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Unnecessary Skin Care and Beauty Products: Blemish Extractors

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Posted: 05/15/2012 Acne in Acne/Pimples in Professional Facials with , , , , , , ,


This is my third installment writing about skin care products you don’t need, and I have to say, this one pains me the most. As a skin care professional for 30+ years, I know there’s nothing that can permanently harm your skin more that trying to perform your own extractions at home. And using a blemish extractor is a one-way ticket to scarring, infection and even more breakouts.

Blemish Extractors: Run, don’t walk, away from them!

Blemish Extractors (sometimes called ‘Blackhead Extractors’) are tools with metal loops that squeeze the skin to extract impactions. Some versions even include a pointed lance to pierce and break the skin.

I cannot stress enough how harmful these can be to your skin. Trying to “pop” zits or breakouts on your own is a bad idea, and using a tool like this only makes it worse. Stick to using the best skin care products for acne – extractions should only be performed by a licensed esthetician. Here’s why:

NO PORE IS SAFE: Let me put it this way, most skin care pros don’t even use these metal extractors. Why? Because they are dangerous. They dent in the skin and have no “give,” meaning they can push dirt and debris further deep into the pore, causing infections and even more breakouts. And the very last thing you should do to your skin is stick a lance in it. If a pore is closed, it is closed for a reason! Poking holes in your skin will only cause it to scar.

Some extractors come with instructions like: “for easier removal, first steam your face.” I’ll be clear with you about this – there is absolutely no way you can steam your skin at home that will prepare your pores for extraction. Your shower will not come close. Hovering over a pot of boiling water won’t, either. Only through a professional facial will your skin be prepped and steamed correctly for extractions – by the hands of a trained, licensed esthetician. No metal tools required.

For even more reasons you should leave your extractions to the professionals, check out my previous blog on “how to pop a pimple.”

Have an at-home pimple emergency and no time to see a pro? If you’re acne-prone, take 15 minutes to put your breakout in its place with an Amino Mask. Applied all over, or just on select pimples, this sulfur-packed mask will remove excess oils, gently exfoliate, and penetrate your pores to reduce acne pimples. If you only have the occasional pimple, a treatment targeted at acne might not be right for you. Instead, reach for a benzoyl peroxide serum to spot treat troublesome areas.


One of the first-ever licensed estheticians in the U.S., Barbara Salomone is the architect of the modern American facial. Since launching Bioelements Professional Skin Care in 1991, she has trailblazed the industry, incorporating nutritional supplements into topical skin care products, and pioneering the introduction of antioxidants, calcium, probiotics and lutein. Visit Bioelements on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.

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Comment (1)

tht1guy says:
Mar 16, 2014

i have been popping zits and removing blackheds on myself for 20+ years. Never an infection nor problems. Just zits gone .

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