Extractor Fan

I always considered one of the golden rules of skin care to be that you should never do your own extractions.


But I was talking to Liz Earle the other day and she reckons it’s fine to DIY as long as you follow some basic guidelines:


1. Give skin a good cleanse first and only extract after a shower, bath or steam so skin is soft and easier to work.

2. Make sure your hands are scrupulously clean.

3. Always use a tissue – it’s kinder (and cleaner) on skin than bare nails.

4. Use a little plant-based oil on the area before you extract (mineral oils can clog pores). It protects the skin and makes extractions easier. (Try Superskin Concentrate by Liz Earle, from £5.)

5. Use a magnifying mirror or at least make sure you have plenty of light.

6. Don’t over-poke. If a black head or spot doesn’t budge after a bit of massaging around, leave it. (Think of extractions as an on-going part of your cleansing routine – you don’t have to get them all out every time but removing the worst will keep skin looking clear.)

7. Use a little antiseptic afterwards – diluted witch hazel or a few drops of tea tree oil on a damp cotton wool pad works fine.

8. Help eliminate black heads by always cleansing with a muslin cloth. ‘Within six weeks, your blackheads should have disappeared,’ says Liz. Use an oil based cleanser to loosen make-up and dirt, soak your muslin cloth in warm water and use it in firm strokes to clean up. If you’re prone to break-outs, shake a few drops of tea tree oil on to your damp cloth first.

Happy zapping.

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