To extract or not to extract…that is the question debated by many beauty industry professionals. While there are many differing views on this topic, here at MBS we stand by the following guidelines.
The things that people usually want extracted from their faces are either Millia or Comedones (more commonly known as blackheads)
Millia can be caused by some skin products and makeup and can only be removed by a health professional – never by a beauty therapist as pricking of the skin is required. These should never be attempted yourself as squeezing can cause inflammation, scarring or even infection.
To understand how to remove and prevent blackheads, we first need to understand what they are. In simple terms they are just your skin’s pores being blocked at the surface by sebum (oil) and then attracting dirt (which makes them look black).
Blackheads can be caused by build up of bacteria on the skin as well as certain ingredients that are found in some make up and skin care products. See below a table of ingredients listed by acne.org as to what ingredients to look out for in the products you are using. The higher the number the more likely they are to cause blackheads. If any of these ingredients are listed in the first 7 ingredients on your product you may want to reconsider.
At MBS during your facial, if you have comedones that need removal, we can do that gently with a tissue after a cleanse, steam and exfoliate has been done. However we will never squeeze or cut or prick the skin for extractions as this can cause inflammation, infection and even scarring and is best done by a dermatologist.
We can also incorporate a Glycolic acid exfoliator into your facial that helps to soften the blockages and clear out the pores.
Microdermabrasion or a peel can also be a good solution for your skin if you suffer with this kind of congestion.
Prevention is not just done in the salon however, there are some things you can do at home to start to clear these blockages and prevent new ones.
- Ensure you remove your makeup each night before going to bed.
- Regular exfoliation will help to keep the congestion at bay and remove the excess sebum and dead skin cells.
- Check the ingredients of products you use on your face – some products, particularly moisturisers are meant for the body but are too heavy for the face so get ‘face specific’ creams.
- Use eye creams around the eye area not normal moisturiser. Eye creams are a much finer texture, made for the thinner skin around that area. Continued use of heavier creams can cause blockages.
If black heads or skin congestion are a concern for you then pop in and see us and we can have a look at your skin and recommend the best facial to help.