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There are a variety of ways to extract open/closed comedones and pustules. It takes practice and tools that are effective in reducing any trauma to the surrounding skin tissue. During our recent clinical study, I was performing our 02 Clear Facial on an acne-prone adult woman (32 years of age); with a typical combination of both open/closed comedones and a few papules. She has made the commitment to a 6 week treatment series and products.

She was a classic hormonal acne woman with redness and congestion. As I began working with her, it reminded me of a message I share with Esthetic students when teaching: Take it easy with extractions. When first beginning an Esthetic career, there is a tendency to be either overzealous with the extractor or afraid of performing extractions all together. When the client goes home with effective products, much of the acne clears up on its own over several weeks. So, while extraction methods are very important and whether you use a comedone extractor, cotton tip applicators, or your fingers and tissue, your goal is to help remove the excess oil and sebum without causing additional inflammation to the skin. Here are a few tips to help in this effort:

• Extractions are easiest when the skin is still moist. So, shortly before the steam is turned off, I apply a small amount of our Skin Nourishing Balm or 02 PRO Booster and massage into the congested areas. You can occlude with plastic wrap if desired. Perform extractions around the face, then come back to this area, tissue off the excess balm or oxygen cream and you will find extractions are much, much easier.

• Apply cold after extractions. The skin will naturally get red and/or inflamed if lots of extractions are performed. The client’s skin also may become warm. When the skin is inflamed the client is more at risk for prolonged redness or hyper pigmentation. This is the ideal time to use cold stones, beauty globes or simply aloe ice for 30 seconds. The client’s skin calms down and it is greatly appreciated by the client.

• Apply Clear Med 5% or 02 Med after extractions or at the end of the facial on acneic areas. Provided you know that your client is not allergic to benzoyl peroxide (which most people are not), apply a very small amount of either product on the areas you performed extractions, wait a minute or so for the treatment product to penetrate, perform high frequency if desired, then apply your usual moisturizer and/or sunscreen. This will help ensure that your client will not breakout after the facial and aid in clearing.

 

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