Derm DMs: What Are Facial Extractions?
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you’re likely familiar with stubborn whiteheads or blackheads that just won’t go away. While you should try to clear your complexion with skin-care products first (think: benzoyl peroxide, acids and retinoids), your dermatologist or esthetician may recommend getting facial extractions to help clean out the gunk inside your pores. To get more details on facial extractions, we spoke with board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dr. Rita Linker.
What Are Facial Extractions?
“A facial extraction is when you clear a clogged pore or comedone from the skin,” says Dr. Linker. “Comedone extractors are used with precision to open up congestion in a way that is delicate and leaves no evidence of scarring.” Typically, the skin will be cleansed and steamed before performing any extractions. “I also do a light glycolic peel after extractions to help brighten the skin and control oil production.”
While the skin should look clearer after getting extractions, it’s important to continue with a good skin-care routine afterwards. Try incorporating a retinoid, like the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Adapalene Gel, or an alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA), like the L’Oréal Paris Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum into your regimen.
How Often Should You Do Facial Extractions?
Dr. Linker says that extractions, which should only be done by a licensed professional, are great for acne-prone or oily skin types. “I recommend that my oily clients do this monthly to clean out their pores.”
We urge you not to pop your pimples or do facial extractions at home — it should be done by a board-certified dermatologist or licensed esthetician. If you are going to pop a pimple at home, though, make sure the area is clean, the pimple has reached a head and gently apply pressure with two Q-tips. Then, follow up with a spot treatment (we like the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Acne Spot Treatment), moisturize the area and skip makeup until the skin heals. (Editor’s note: Don’t order a blackhead removal tool or comedone extractor online. When not being used by a professional, it can damage the skin.)
Design: Hannah Packer