What you should know about extractions

If you suffer from acne, breakouts, and blackheads, you may also have considered an Extraction service from your beauty therapist. Extractions have been a source of controversy within the aesthetic industry; some believe it’s a great way to maintain a clear complexion whilst others would argue it merely damages the skin. We’re looking a little deeper at extractions to help you decide whether they might be right for you!

What exactly is an extraction?

An extraction is essentially the removal of dirt, oil and other debris from the skin’s pores. These ‘plugs’ within the pores are often in the form of blackheads or whiteheads.

How do they do it?

This is a procedure which should only be performed by a professional as it poses the risk of damaging the skin. The skin is prepared with a thorough cleanse and, sometimes, a light peel which acts to loosen the stratum corneum (the top layer of skin). Steam is then applied to both warm up the skin and soften the build-up of oil and particles within the pores. Once steamed, the aesthetician will perform the extraction which involves applying pressure to the pore. You may find an aesthetician who uses a metal extraction tool yet most prefer to use their hands as they can gauge the pressure needed more easily and therefore minimise any potential damage. After the extraction, the skin is then hydrated with a nourishing cream or lotion.

What else should I know?

It’s important to understand that, while an extraction can be effective in treating blackheads and whiteheads, it is not a procedure recommended for cystic acne. A cyst is an infection deep within the pore and not easily shifted like the small ‘plug’ of a blackhead. It is best not to attempt an extraction of cystic acne in a salon environment unless your therapist has further dermal training. If you are considering extractions in the lead up to an event, remember that it can take a blemish 5-7 days to heal. With this knowledge, it’s best to book an appointment at least a week ahead of your event. Finally, if you do have an extraction procedure, most aestheticians recommend leaving the skin as free of makeup as possible for at least 24 hours. This gives the skin the chance to breathe and adjust after your procedure. The consensus on extractions is that you should do your research on the therapist to ensure they are appropriately trained with long term experience in the procedure. What are your thoughts on extractions?