Five Professional Tips from Fabulous Facialists

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Find out what these expert facialists believe to be the key to extraction success:

“I am a big believer in not using extractors but using the fingers for professional facials. A good facialist should know how to extract without causing too much redness. Facial massage helps to prepare the skin for extractions, and it is also excellent for maintaining elasticity. My favorite facial massage is lymphatic drainage.”—Joanna Vargas, founder and celebrity esthetician, Joanna Vargas Salon (New York City and Los Angeles) and Skincare Collection

“Prepping the skin prior to a professional extraction is so important. I incorporate a light herbal steam, including a drop of essence of rosemary and of essence of eucalyptus, which create a perfect medical blend and are so good to breathe. When extracting, I always use a gentle rolling technique to release any impurities rather than a squeeze.”—Tammy Fender, founder and holistic esthetician, Tammy Fender Skincare (West Palm Beach, FL)

“As a professional, best practices for proper extractions include any procedures that make removal easier. That’s why facials incorporating steam, thorough cleansings, and peels are integral to the extraction processes. The more the skin is prepared and softened, the easier it is for the entirety of the oil gland to be emptied out. It is important to understand that when performing extractions, you cannot just walk away after the procedure. You must fully eliminate all excess oil and bacteria left within the pores.”—Ling Chan, founder and esthetician, Ling Skin Care (New York City)

“First of all, extractions should only be done by a skilled professional. I call it a mini-surgery, because you are opening up the skin. If done incorrectly, it can lead to scarring and even make the blemish much worse. Good extractions will help clear skin, diminish the appearance of large pores, and basically clear up any bumps on the skin. It’s 50 percent in the prep, 50 percent in the technique.”—Sonya Dakar, founder and celebrity esthetician, Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic (Beverly Hills, CA)

“When people have a lot of buildup and oil from their glands, and they get a pimple or a rash, they can develop ‘doughnuts,’ when it’s not professionally cleaned out. If it’s left alone or not fully removed and scabs over, it will stay in the skin. Those oil glands are still producing, and so it will get bigger and bigger. To make it go away, it must be opened up and completely dug out, including the bag of the pimple. With extractions, you can remove the oil, dirt, and impurities before it gets to that point.”—Christine Chin, esthetician and owner, Christine Chin Spa (New York City) 

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