Admit it—you’re a popper. Before bed. After a shower. The morning of a big day. You go against every rule in the book and take two fingers to your pores, de clogging up a storm and feeling foolish (and looking a little splotchy) afterward. If this is something we’re all secretly doing, then shouldn’t we start doing it like the pros?
We got a few expert tips from esthetician Cassandra Lanning who knows a thing or two about bathroom extractions—she even admits to doing them herself! Though Lanning feels that chronically clogged pores need professional treatment, occasional white and blackheads can be taken care of at home. “For all those little pimples, I don’t think it’s a problem for the client to extract those,” Lanning told us, “When you get that little whitehead on the side of your nose on date night, by all means just pop that sucker out.”
Here are a few of Lanning’s top tips on responsible extracting:
A sterile environment stops bacteria from spreading—a high risk with extractions. Make sure both your face and hands are freshly cleaned and sanitary before you begin.Instead of jumping in with bare hands, Lanning suggests wrapping fingertips in tissue or wearing disposable rubber gloves to prevent bacteria that may be hiding underneath fingernails from coming in contact with any broken skin.
What’s more important than cleaning the skin before extractions? Cleaning it after! Lanning recommends dabbing the area with a witch hazel toner, followed by a light moisturizer. “ After surgery you’ve gotta clean up the mess, and that’s just what needs to be done here,” Lanning explains. “Wipe it away in a sanitary manner and keep the area clean.”
“Don’t be using tools if you don’t know how to use them,” says Lanning of the many discount extractor wands and gadgets sold at drug stores. If you do choose to utilize a tool, make sure it’s a quality model such as theTweezerman No Slip Skin Care Tooland do a little research on how to properly use it to avoid risking abrasions to these likely already inflamed areas of the skin. “God knows what some of those things are for and how to use them,” Lanning told us. “Don’t use tools if you don’t know what you’re using, and if you do use them, invest in a good one.”
Dealing with crops of pesky clogs? “If getting things cleared out of your own face is a little more on the stubborn side, try doing a wash cloth steam,” says Lanning, “ Soak a washcloth in hot water, then lay it across your face focusing on the area you plan to do the extractions for 5 minutes or so. Then, give it a go and see if it comes out.”
The easy way to ensure pores stay clean? Wash daily with a wash cloth. “Washing with your hands do not help clean out your pores because they’re not going to knock off any dead skin cells. All you’re accomplishing is moving the dirt around your face.,” Lanning explains,”If you use a washcloth or sponges, you’re getting manual stimulation of the circulatory system, to remove anything excess that needs to come off. The massaging action is going to loosen debris that might be trapped in your pores, so using that washcloth with warm water on a daily basis is gonna help loosen all that up.”