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Oct 09, 2017
by Vivant Skin Care
A reader asks: “My daughter has whiteheads and blackheads especially on her cheeks. Is it better to start on a benzoyl peroxide program before doing extractions, or remove clogged pores and then start on the BP?”
That’s a good question. The answer is program (precondition) first, extraction second. We’ll explain.
Extraction is an acne cycle disruptor that promotes overall healthier skin. It speeds the healing time of pimples, reduces future breakouts, and minimizes the chances of scarring. To make sure you’re getting the most from your session, you need to precondition the skin first with a program that includes benzoyl peroxide, vitamin A, and/or mandelic acid.
Use the products consistently for at least two weeks prior to any extractions. The reason for this is twofold.
Preconditioning will loosen impactions to make extraction easier and less painful. Loosening impactions also reduces the risk of an infection that could develop when a tight follicle is disturbed.
Additionally, preconditioning gets to the micro-comedones that are working unseen beneath the surface. As long these micro-comedones are developing, no amount of extraction will clear the skin because while your esthetician is busy rooting out surface comedones, a new crop of impactions is already forming. By preconditioning the skin you are treating the underlying issues that extraction alone can’t manage, and this reduces the risk of future flare-ups.
Note, there is a big difference between extractions and picking. The difference is a licensed skin care professional. Don’t try to do your own extractions. If you’re not an esthetician using the proper tools under the proper conditions, then you are just picking, and that is going to lead to inflammation and potential scarring.
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