There’s nothing quite as relaxing and refreshing as a good facial. No matter what your skin type, or skin complications, you and your aesthetician are bound to find something that ends up being your perfect fit.
But for people who struggle with acne and blackheads? They often find themselves looking for a deep cleanse they can’t quite get at home. Extraction facials are the solution you’ve been waiting for – here’s why.
WHAT CAUSES ACNE & BLACKHEADS?
Acne is usually associated with red bumps and whiteheads, but blackheads are actually a mild form of acne as well. Most of the time, acne is attributed to changes in a person’s hormones, which is why it tends to be worse during a person’s teenage years. Hormonal acne isn’t the only kind, though. Acne can be caused by excess oil production, pores clogged by dead skin cells, the development of ingrown hairs, and bacteria.
It’s important to know what kind of acne you have, especially if it is persistent, so it can be properly treated. Acne can appear not only as whiteheads and blackheads, but also in the form of nodules, cysts, and papules or pustules as well. Noninflammatory forms of acne usually respond well to over-the-counter (OTC) treatments. Inflammatory acne tends to become swollen and uncomfortable; often requiring prescription treatment under the care of a dermatologist.
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T TOUCH YOUR FACE
Unfortunately, a lot of people with acne tend to touch their faces constantly. Let’s be realistic: we’ve all popped a pimple or two in our lives. Once in a blue moon isn’t really going to hurt anything, but it’s definitely a practice you need to avoid.
Gently cleansing your face when you are broken out is fine, but the key here is to treat your skin with care. The more aggressive you are about your skincare routine, the more likely you are to cause excess inflammation and irritation. You may even end up ripping your pimples open.
What you really need to do is stop picking at your skin. Resist the urge to pop those whiteheads or squeeze the heck out of your blackheads. Picking and squeezing actually increases your odds of pushing debris and bacteria deeper into the pore, making your acne blemishes worse. Those that you do manage to pop open completely will likely form scabs, looking just as bad or worse than the original blemish. They’ll definitely take longer to heal, too.
WHAT IS A DEEP-CLEANSING EXTRACTION FACIAL?
The safest and most effective way to clear acne and blackheads is to visit an aesthetician for a deep-cleansing extraction facial.
Even though there are do-it-yourself kits on the market, your skin will thank you for letting a skilled professional take the reigns. Your provider will be able to closely and carefully assess your skin to ensure you are getting the appropriate treatment based on the cause of your acne (like oil) and how much dead skin cell buildup you have.
This specialized type of facial is done with quite a bit of care. Your aesthetician will start by gently cleansing and exfoliating your skin in order to remove bacteria and debris from the surface. They may then apply glycolic acid (AHA) peel to remove the next layer of dead skin cells. After that, they will steam your face in order to open your pores.
After your pores are open, your provider will use their hands to gently manipulate your blackheads and whiteheads. In the case of blackheads, the steam should open your pores enough to loosen up the extra skin cells and sebum that are causing the clog. In many cases, an aesthetician will use cotton finger covers to protect your skin. There is a metal extraction tool that can be used for extracting blackheads from awkward areas, such as the deep folds around your nose, but finger manipulation is gentler and less painful.
Extracting whiteheads is a little different because the dead skin cells have more or less grown a covering over the clogged pore. This creates the pocket where the fluid that usually comes out builds up. In these cases, your provider may need to use a small, sharp lancet to gently open the skin. Whether or not they use a lancet instead of some other form of manipulation will vary depending on where you are having your facial done. Not all states allow aestheticians to use lancets.
Once your extractions are complete, your aesthetician will likely apply some serums. These will work to promote healing and calm any inflammation caused by the skin manipulations.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR FACIAL
The reality is that extraction facials aren’t the most comfortable option, but they are effective for those with acne issues. No two people are alike, so one person may feel more discomfort than another. Your pain level will be determined by your personal tolerance and how much build-up there is on the surface of your skin. Don’t be afraid to tell you aesthetician if you are uncomfortable. They may need to vary their own pressure levels while they work.
Extraction facials don’t take long; instead, they’re short and targeted. You may need several appointments before your entire face is treated. It’s better to work on small areas at each session so that your skin has time to recover and heal. Talk to your provider about how often you should return to treat new areas and maintain the ones that have already been cleared.
Once you have had an extraction facial, it’ll be up to you to maintain your skin to prevent severe breakouts in the future. This means regularly cleansing your face at home, removing your makeup before you go to sleep at night, staying properly hydrated, and seeking regular professional care.
While there is really no way to shrink the overall size of your pores once they’ve been stretched out, regular care will help you to keep them clean so they don’t get swollen or clogged again. Talk to your aesthetician about the best at-home products and treatment schedules for your particular needs!