The Truth About Extractions


There is a lot of debate in the aesthetic and beauty industry about the necessity of extractions.

While some believe it is a great way to maintain a clear complexion, others argue that it only damages the skin.

Are extractions a safe component in a facial and how much difference can they make?

We look at situations where a client should consider extractions and best practice for the safest and most successful outcome.

What are extractions?

Extractions are essentially the physical removal of oil, dirt and debris from the skin’s pores, most often in the form of blackheads or whiteheads (clogging and congestion).

How are they performed?

Extractions should only be performed by a professional. The skin is first prepared with a thorough cleanse and often a light peel which loosens the stratum corneum, the topmost layer of the skin.

Steam is applied to warm the skin and soften the built up oil and debris in the pores.

Once steamed, the aesthetician will perform the extraction, often with gloved hands and tissues to provide pressure to the pore. Some aestheticians use a metal extraction tool, however most prefer their hands as they are better able to judge the pressure they are applying to minimise potential damage the skin.

Extractions are followed by a light toner (if preferred) and the appropriate moisturiser.

How to find the right aesthetician:

Not everyone will perform extractions and some have more experience than others. It’s important to do your research to find someone who will suit you. Looking at reviews will be your first point of call in finding someone who will do the job well, and ideally the aesthetician will have at least two years’ experience in extractions.

Things to consider:

After an extraction, it’s best to leave skin make-up-free until the next day. This gives skin a chance to breathe and settle after the procedure.

An aesthetician can usually only extract a blackhead or whitehead. A cyst is an infection deep within the pore and cannot be extracted in a salon-setting without further dermal training. Milia (a white lump that looks like a whitehead but cannot be extracted via squeezing) can be extracted with a lancet by a trained aesthetician or medical practitioner.

A blemish can take 5-7 days to heal after an extraction therefore it’s best to book in at least  a week before a big event.

Main Image Source: Starlight Med Spa