An extraction is the cleaning of a compacted or clogged pore through manual or mechanical means. Extractions are normally done as a part of a facial, though most people differ in how many extractions they may need during a treatment. Some only require a couple of extractions, though if it’s your first facial, you may require additional extractions.
The most common reason for an extraction is a Comedone (blackhead). It’s common for people to think that a blackhead is just “dirt in the pores”, but it’s not. It’s a pore that has been blocked and clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells. The dark spot that is visible on top of your skin is oil which has been oxidized and darkened from being exposed to the air. It’s the same as when you slice an apple and leave it sitting out in the open air.
Depending on their size and depth, pimples and pustules can also be extracted. This usually require the use of a lancet to carefully lift and remove the top layer to allow an easier extraction of the pustule.
Some pores may not be easily extracted the first time, so additional treatments may be required before they can be cleared.
First, your esthetician will cleanse your skin, often using a desencrustation fluid or an enzyme. Along with the cleanser, steam will be applied to the skin using a hot towel or facial steamer for a few minutes. This will soften the skin and make it easier to perform the extractions.
Extractions are performed under a magnifying lamp with a bright light, so your esthetician can clearly see the pores that need to be deep-cleansed. Protective eyewear or eye pads will be placed on your eyes to protect them from the bright light. Wearing gloves, the esthetician will gently apply pressure to the area around the pore to extract the contents. This may be done using the fingers (which will be wrapped in gauze or cotton) or with the soft ends of Q-tips.
Once finished, to prevent post facial breakouts, an antiseptic/antibacterial product will be applied to your face, bringing your skin back to its normal acid pH. To kill bacteria and calm the skin, a high frequency current may also be applied. Afterwards, a soothing mask is applied to help heal blemishes, reduce redness, and calm the skin.
Leave Your Extractions to Your Esthetician
It can be difficult to keep yourself from picking at your skin, which is what many clients with acne tend to do. In order to achieve clear and healthy skin, it is vital that you keep your hands away from your face and leave the extractions to your professional esthetician. You can damage your pores and spread bacteria, which will make your skin worse instead of better if you attempt to do this on your own. Attempting to clear your skin can result in the breaking of the pore wall inside of the skin which will push bacteria out and around the surrounding tissue, spreading the breakout even further. Your esthetician will know how to correctly clear the clogged pores without spreading inflammation and infection.