I’ve been hearing from a lot of new clients the past few years that they’ve had facials from other estheticians who did not perform extractions. Some of these estheticians told them that extractions are bad for the skin. So what’s the real story?
First, let me explain what a blackhead really is. It’s a plug consisting of dirt, oil and a buildup of dead skin cells that accumulate in a pore and get stuck. No matter what anyone tells you, no matter what a product claims to do, once that plug has been formed, it won’t come out without some physical manipulation also known as extraction.
Most people get blackheads, even if they don’t have acne. Blackheads in the nose and chin are the most common areas because we have more sebaceous (oil) glands in those areas. Just because you get some blackheads doesn’t mean you’re a dirty person. Yes, you can reduce them by cleansing properly twice a day, but there’s no way to completely prevent them.
But by getting monthly facials by a licensed esthetician who has been properly trained in and has lots of experience with extractions, you can substantially minimize those pesky blackheads.
Performing extractions is truly an art and my personal theory why many new estheticians are falsely telling people that they aren’t necessary or that they’re harmful is really because they themselves haven’t been properly trained and they’re afraid to perform them.
The skin must be properly prepared with steam, enzymes or some other product or technology to soften up the skin, dilate the pores and begin to dissolve the plug inside before the esthetician attempts to roll it out. This is why extractions should never be attempted yourself in front of the bathroom mirror.
I’ve been an esthetician for more than 17 years and I can’t extract my own blackheads…and trust me, like you, I’ve tried. The worst thing you can do is use a comedone extractor, one of those silver tools with a loop or hole on the end. They hurt like you know what and they bruise the skin.
The only time I’ll use a comedone extractor in the treatment room is on the scalp or in and around the ears where I can’t get my fingers in to roll out the blackhead.
In summary, extractions are not only not bad for the skin, they’re necessary to keep pore size minimized and skin clean, but be sure and find an esthetician who is properly trained.