The Art of Pimple Extraction
When we first started our business in 1989, we offered deep cleansing facials with extractions at our location in Walnut Creek, California. While facials at other locations offer massage, soothing music, and foot massages, we concentrated on cleaning out the debris inside the clogged hair follicles to clear our clients’ skin.
After cleansing the skin, we applied an enzyme exfoliating mask and steamed the skin for 20-30 minutes to soften the impurities and remove topical dead skin cells.
Then we went for it!!! Extractions under a 5x magnifying lens! Folks who had our facials would probably tell you horror stories about the ‘torture treatments’ they endured each month. Painful? Yes. Worth it? Definitely.
Contrary to some popular belief, the only way to clean out pimples formed in clogged hair follicles is to perform manual extractions. Ouch!
It is perfectly OK to do these types of extractions as long as *** and this is the key *** you prepare the skin appropriately and your technique is correct. What does this mean?
1. Cleanse the skin thoroughly to remove topical bacteria.
2. Use an enzyme mask to remove topical dead skin cells that form a “crust” over the pimples. If you have an at-home facial steamer, use it. Steaming the enzyme mask will enhance the activation of the protein digesting enzymes to make the skin soft and smooth. This is a very important step and one that is often skipped.
3. When performing extractions:
– Do NOT use downward pressure on pimples or blackheads. Downward pressure drives the debris deeper into the follicle which may cause infection and a larger pimple in that location.
– Squeeze gently!!! You don’t need to apply the pressure of vise grips on your skin to remove debris. It should come out relatively easily if ready.
– NEVER use your fingernails as an extraction tool. Scraping the skin causes scarring. Who needs that?! Instead use the pads of your CLEAN fingertips.
– If something isn’t budging then leave it alone and get a professional facial by an experienced practitioner. Running the risk of infection, larger pimples and scarring isn’t worth it.
5. Follow up an extraction session with an anti bacterial mask such as our Abolishing Sulfur Mask. Sulfur calms the skin and is antibacterial.
6. Immediately ice skin, concentrating on extraction zones for 5-10 minutes. Repeat every hour until inflammation subsides.
7. Wait for 1-2 hours to apply your topical medications unless your skin is extra sensitive/reactive in which case wait 4-6 hours. If you notice excessive stinging after applying glycolic or salicylic acids, wash off, skip that application and try the following day.
And as always, contact us if you have any questions!