Those of you with acne will spot a new pimple in the mirror. Your mind goes into acne panic mode, and the thought process goes something like this; "There's this hideously huge zit on my chin (everyone always thinks theirs is huge), and I want it gone - NOW". Generally, its not even a thought, more like instinct. You then perform "acne bathroom surgery", a combination of squeezing and picking which leaves the skin looking worse than the pimple that was there before.
I know right away when you squeeze and pick, whether its recent or years old. Everyone who sees it also knows you recently performed acne bathroom surgery, too. Its bright red, has been irritated beyond the original edges of the pimple, is dried out by an assault of acne drying chemicals, and may be even plastered with concealer that doesn't match, since your skin is now so red, leaving you with this weird patch of flesh tone matted stuff over red skin.
You see, acne bathroom surgery and the subsequent cover up didn't really help. More to consider...
You've also potentially created an acne scar or crater-type hole, post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (red or brown spot that doesn't leave for months, if ever) and more bacteria leaking to other areas. You may have also not gotten to the root of the pimple and now sealed in the gunk with poor technique and drying chemicals to cause an infection and more pimples in the surrounding areas.
"But" you protest to me, "YOU squeeze my pimples, how is that different?"
So here's my process in most of the acne facials I provide, and how its different than bathroom surgery;
1. Examine the skin to see if the pimple can and should be extracted. Not all acne can or should be extracted. For example, if you're skin is dehydrated from improper home care, or you tend to hyper-pigment easily and haven't had professional esthetic care in some time, it is best to not extract until the skin health has been improved.
2. Clean the surface skin with a non-drying cleanser. This not only begins to soften the acne lesions, but remove some of the surface impurities and provides a hygienic surface to begin the procedure.
3. Exfoliate - This can be either physical exfoliation (ie., grains in a creamy or gel substance) or enzymatic (a substance that dissolves surface dead skin cells). Certain types of acne should not use physical exfoliation or scrubs, and some may require both. In either case, they are generally performed during the next step...
4. Steam - this helps to soften the impacted pimple and surrounding skin, relax the clogged pore to let out the blockage, and stimulate circulation to activate the skin's natural self-cleaning process. You are steamed for 5 - 15 minutes depending on other condition factors.
5. Disincrustation - in esthetics this means to soften what's in the pore by creating an alkaline surface on the skin temporarily. This can be done with products designed for this purpose, or with special machines.
6. Extract - Then, and only then, do I proceed with gloved hands and organic cotton stored in air-tight containers, to lightly stretch the skin, press down around the bottom of the blockage, then lift out the blockage. Multiple rounds of fresh cottons are needed if there are lots of extractions to do, to prevent spreading around the materials that can infect other pores.
7. Sanitize - the skin is dabbed with clean soft cloths and sprayed with colloidal silver, a substance that tames surface germs. For extracted areas that are at greater risk of infection, I also use a machine that produces a small amount of ozone or LED Light Treatments to kill germs on the surface of the skin.
8. Heal and Treat - Based on your skin condition and type, I choose a post-extraction masque and a treatment masque to apply. These masques contains ingredients that balance the skin, since I just disrupted the pH balance by creating an alkaline state, and calm the skin, while imparting nutrients to improve the health of the skin. In most cases, I will use one of the masques as a massage medium, and perform a lymphatic massage to help the skin clean and heal itself from the inside out. The second masque is left on for several minutes while I massage your neck, shoulders and décolleté to make sure that circulation throughout the region is optimal to continue the healing.
9. Hydrate and Protect - the most common mistake women make is trying to dry out a pimple by not using moisturizer. I always apply a moisturizer and an appropriate sunscreen. Sunscreen is used to minimize the occurrence of the red scars or hyper-pigmentation.
So as you can see, there are many steps to properly extracting a pimple. Anything short of that is, well, bathroom surgery!
The most effective start to healing acne is regular professional skin care. Let's get you on a proper program that includes professional treatment, and a customized home care plan (nutrition, stress reduction and a custom-designed regimen for your skin type and issues).
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