I don’t invest much in the beauty industry. I don’t have cabinets of hair sprays, volumizers, anti-wrinkle creams, self-tanners and body lotions. I don’t have dozens of makeup carrying cases that travel with me on vacations. I’m old school with my cetaphil and bar of soap. I’ve read the Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf and Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel by Jean Kilbourne. My lack of consumption of beauty products is due to a combination of resistance to gender roles, frugal spirit, acceptance of my appearance as is and sheer laziness. But I do have this secret stash of products that serve as remedies to this problem I have. You see, I pick my face. Like for fun.

Every other night I feel a strong impulse to inspect each pore within an inch of my mirror. I will spot and zero in on a clogged pore invisible to all but me. And then I’ll go to town. I create problems, manifest blemishes, irritations and spread oil all over that create zits. And then there is the greatest consequence of all, scabs. Friends have taken to yelling across my apartment, “What are you doing?!” when I disappear and get quiet.

This God awful habit vanished from my life for two years while I lived with a man. You see, he would let me pick on his person. He even bought me this awesome tool and let me use his headlamp that in a former life was for camping. He must have really loved me. I’d approach with my tool, inspecting, discovering and then squealing with delight upon releasing an ingrown hair or white head. Eventually he grew tired of my obsession. He’d notice that I was looking at his nose while he talked. Fixated on his pores and not the substance of his words. Eventually, my privileges were greatly restricted.

After we broke up, I was forced to go back to doctoring my own face. I realized I had to buy some remedies to heal my skin post destruction. Enter Mario Badescu. For actual pimples, the Drying Lotion is your best bet. Put on this miracle pink liquid as spot treatment over night. For under the surface blemishes, try the Drying Cream. You can blend it into your skin thus allowing for you to wear it during the day while out in the world. And when you have full blown scabs, try the Healing and Soothing Mask and Special Healing Powder alternating with your standard Neosporin. I must add that Mario Bedesco is awesome at sending fairly large free samples. This is how I got hooked on Seaweed Cleansing Soap, a green scrub that feels like a productive reward for my face each time I use it.

As you can see, I don’t plan on stopping my addiction only mitigating its repercussions. The other night I stumbled upon the world’s oldest black head on YouTube and played it for my father. He shook his head in disgust while proclaiming he was the only human in the world to not have blackheads. He also threatened to put mittens on my hands if I kept this behavior up. I’m not sure if this behavior is unique to my gender. Or maybe an evolution from primates picking at each other as a sign of care and friendship. I mean, my mother loved to finger my scalp when I was little, looking for ticks and moles. But I take comfort in the fact that I’m not alone. (See here, and here.) Fellow female amateur dermatologists, holla if you hear me.

Kristina Apgar is a New Jersey native currently living in Brooklyn. She spent eight years in Los Angeles working as an actress playing mostly junkies and deeply disturbed young women who always randomly had black eyes. Although she is prouder of taking nine years to graduate UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science. To get into heaven she volunteers with kids and hopes to rescue seventeen pit bulls someday. Have a cause to suggest? Because I’m sure Kristina would love to take it up in her vast amount of freelance, free time. Read more on her Twitter and tumblr.