Dr. Sandra Lee, MD, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, calls the former "popaholics" -- people who get a thrill out of watching pore gunk evacuation. "I think it creates a response in everybody. It just depends on which side of the scale you have this response," said Lee. "I think that's why it grew so quickly," says the board-certified dermatologist of her YouTube channel, which has 2.6 million subscribers. Lee says some watch to relax, like a pre-bed ritual. Others like that it's a resolution to a problem. "You're making everything nice and the way that it should be," explains Lee. But some do watch for the ick factor, which Lee compares to watching a scary movie or going on a roller coaster. And some viewers have picking problems themselves, and watching the videos is a way to get their "fix" without breaking their own skin.
At their best, pimple popping videos are elegant, with deft, sure hands flitting across the subject's face and soothing, harmonious music playing the background.
Then, we have the other end of the spectrum: We've all at least thought about clicking on 25-year-old blackhead gets removed. Those who have followed through on that thought may have immediately regretted their click, but few can keep themselves from watching the video that YouTube has removed more than once "for violating [their] policy on violent or graphic content."
We've rounded up the top 10 pimple popping videos on our radar. If you've never watched a popping zits video, consider this your primer on all things poppable. If you're a die-hard popaholic, settle in for a treat -- we've highlighted the very best pop of each video, down to the second.
Image via Getty
Cover image via Imaxtree
Best Pop: 1:16 reveals a particularly satisfying dislodgement of a sebaceous filament.
The Ingrown Hair Whisperer
Best Pop: 8:19
The Newest Blackhead Extracting Tool
Best Pop: Starts at 1:36, but anything after the first 1:15 is pimple-poppers' gold.
Pimple Popping With Heart
Best Pop: 1:39 is a two-for-one pop that can't be missed.