Spot extraction sussed
When a blackhead appears your natural instinct may be to squeeze it, but we're here to tell you stop right now before you leave a scar! Extracting spots isn't an easy feat and it may be best to know what you're up against first.
"Blackheads are pores that have been partially blocked by oil, dead skin cells and bacteria," Cherry Woods, owner of the Cherry Woods Skin Clinic in Richmond, UK, tells Cover Media. "They are also called open comedones because the pore does not completely close. The contents of the pore can turn black, or oxidize, from exposure to the air.
"They often take a long time to clear and while it’s tempting to squeeze them, it is virtually impossible not to cause some tissue damage in the process so try your best to leave well alone!"
If you wish to visit a specialist such as Cherry, there's a professional process on offer. Using a low PH, low percentage exfoliation combined with steaming helps prepares the skin for extraction. This will ensure less tissue damage during the procedure and a quicker healing time.
Jasmina Vico, Aesthetic Skin Therapist at Hari’s Salon, advocates visiting an expert. Her approach is using a lancet or micro-lance in the infected area to successfully extract the dirt and bacteria.
"Once the spot is extracted I apply antiseptic before using LED blue and red light to reduce inflammation and bacteria in the area," she notes, adding that she recommends a monthly check up after getting the spot extracted to monitor the skin.
Of course you don't have to book in with an expert if you feel confident enough tackling the problem at home. Denise Rabor, international make-up artist and founder of Wow Beauty, places heavy emphasis on not extracting with nails or a tool such as tweezers. Her suggestion: keep things simple and soft. Using a cotton bud, gently apply pressure to the area to extract. If it doesn't budge then it may be time to turn to a spot product.
Cherry recommends using lemon juice on the area too, mixing with honey to make it less potent. Lemon juice contains natural vitamin C and AHAs, Cherry adds, which acts as a natural exfoliater. And the honey?
"Honey draws out impurities and absorbs moisture in from the air," she reveals. "It’s believed that keeping skin moist can help prevent scarring, encouraging growth of new tissue, so honey is a good option if you have over squeezed!"