Say Goodbye To Acne

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Say Goodbye To Acne

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How to Extract Blackheads & Whiteheads Safely

September 30, 2022

Extractions: Yes or No?

Some of you who knew us from the days of our Clinic in Walnut Creek, CA were lucky enough to experience one of Pamela’s famous facials. And no, these were not the relaxing, spa-like facials that leave you relaxed and glowing. She would, as she liked to tell people, go to town, getting rid of every blackhead and whitehead that lay lingering under the skin’s surface. Many feared her as much as they loved her – but would come back time and time again because after the initial session, their skin would be smooth and blemish free for weeks.

In fact, to this day, over 15 years since closing the Clinic (The Acne Treatment Clinic in Walnut Creek, CA), we still have clients reaching out to ask 1/ if we still offer those facials and if not, 2/ can we recommend anyone who does as thoroughly as Pamela did back in the day. The answer to both of these questions is no. She does not do facials any longer and unfortunately we do not have local recommendations for extraction facials.*

That said – extractions are extremely beneficial, especially for those with moderately to severely congested skin. Removing the debris from clogged hair follicles speeds the clearing process, allows the skin to heal more quickly and allows the topical medication to penetrate more deeply, thereby preventing future breakouts more effectively.

If you don’t have an extraction specialist near you, you *can* do a mini facial with extractions at home. Here are step by step directions to follow. Just a reminder that your skin is a protective organ, it literally shields you from environmental bacteria and viruses so go easy! You don’t want to tear or rip or create damage to your skin.

  • Wash your skin with facial cleanser and scrub well to remove topical bacteria that may cause infection to the skin while performing the extractions.
  • Apply the enzyme mask for 15-20 minutes to exfoliate topical dead skin cells that may be occluding the hair follicle openings.
  • If possible, steam your skin with the enzyme mask to soften the debris in the hair follicles. If you do not have an at home steamer, make sure you keep the Enzyme Mask damp while it’s applied to the skin. The enzymes need moisture (steam or dampness) and heat (your body heat or a steamer) to be active. They are active up to 20 minutes. Rinse off the Enzyme Mask well with water.
  • Wrap your fingers in a few layers of tissue or a cotton pad. SUPER important! Do not use your finger nails! You risk tearing the skin, introducing bacteria and causing possible scars.
  • Gently, gently! Push in the direction of hair growth so you are not pushing against the sidewall of the hair follicles which can cause damage. Do not push down! That will push the debris and bacteria deeper into the skin and cause inflammation. Don’t use excessive force! If it doesn’t come out easily then try again the next day.
  • If it is a white pustule, use a small sterilized needle that has been soaked in alcohol for at least 20 minutes. Gently open the top portion of the white pustule. Then squeeze very gently in the direction of hair growth. You do not want to use excessive force because that will push the debris farther into the skin, causing a larger pimple to form.
  • After extractions, use the Abolishing Sulfur Mask to quiet and calm the skin and kill surface bacteria.
  • It is also helpful to apply ice directly to your skin for 1 to 3 minutes to reduce inflammation after washing off the Abolishing Sulfur Mask.
  • Make sure you use your topical medication the night of the extractions with the exception of glycolic and salicylic, Skip those for 24 hours.

If a pimple does not easily come out of your skin, do not exert excessive force. Instead allow it to move closer to the surface and try again the following day to extract it. Sometimes it takes two or three days of gentle extraction to resolve a blemish.

Finding Experts to Perform Extractions

You can also get a facial at a skin care salon. Make sure the person doing the extractions prepares your skin well, cleaning, steaming, enzyme mask and gentle extraction followed by an anti-bacterial treatment.

It is often helpful to get a professional monthly facial with extractions when starting the treatment for the first 3-4 months. You can also do this treatment yourself with the above listed products, especially if you have great eyesight or magnifying glasses!

Remember, doing an improper extraction can cause more damage and dark marks to form so be careful! Go easy on your skin.

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


Call/text: 925.933.8425

* If you find an esthetician who does acne facials and would like Pamela to check in with them about their techniques and training, please reach out to her at
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