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As we slowly integrate fragments of our normalcy back into our lives, pairing your look with a protective mask may be the new norm.
Although masks are great for protection, they are not so great for your skin. You may already have noticed the extra heat and moisture that builds up after extended wear. This environment is ideal for creating clogged pores and skin irritation.
So, what can you do to minimize the damage? Read on as we offer tips to follow that will help keep your skin clean and protected…
1 | Properly lined and fitted mask.
The inner lining along the border and points of contact should be made of a soft material. The less friction from heavy or coarse fabric, the less chaffing and sloughing of the skin during wear. Disposable masks are typically more breathable and lightweight than fabric masks.
2 | Avoid wearing heavy moisturizers under your mask.
With the added moisture and oil production that will naturally occur underneath your mask, a lightweight moisturizer should suffice.
This lightweight moisturizer provides fresh hydration without the oil content. *Recommended for oily/acneic or normal combination skin types.
An option for Normal Combination/Dry/Sensitive skin types is the GLO Conditioning Hydration Cream – This ultra hydrating moisturizer provides a dose of hydration and lightweight moisture.
3 | Barrier balm or cream if you are experiencing chaffing.
Although the consistency of the product contradicts the previous recommendation, it may be necessary at this point. If your skin has started to show signs of irritation, a proper balm or cream will help create some glide and minimize the friction. You may need to gently clean the skin and reapply through the day.
4 | Double cleanse.
This may be a part of your regular routine already, but if not let’s start today. A double cleanse ensures that your skin is free of superficial buildup and rinsed for a fresh finished.
For Normal Combination/ Dry/Mature skin types, we recommend the Hydrating Gel Cleanser. This hydrating cleanser helps refresh dull skin complexion and cleanse away impurities.
For oily/acneic skin types, we recommend the Purifying Gel Cleanser. this refreshing cleanser dissolves oily buildup without compromising the skin natural pH.
Calming and hydrating the skin covered by your mask will help keep it strong throughout the day and sooth your skin after being exposed to the friction caused by mask wear.
6 | Enzyme exfoliate 2-3 times a week.
Exfoliation rids the skin of buildup that naturally occurs. Having constant friction and pressure from your mask can increase the amount of debris that builds along the seams. A gentle exfoliant with an enzyme will lift away debris without overworking the skin.
7 | Apply a Kaolin clay or zinc mask 2-3 times a week.
Kaolin clay and zinc are excellent for drawing out impurities and balancing oils production without drying the skin. Kaolin clay is also known to relieve skin rashes and irritation making it suitable for even the most sensitive skin types.
Start with a clean face (cleansed and exfoliated).
Wipe your skin with a toner or Witch Hazel prior to applying the solution.
Mixing & applying the solution:
Combine the baking soda and water until it becomes clouded. The baking soda will quickly settle at the bottom of your mixing bowl. This is fine, just give it a stir again right before you apply.
Using a flat makeup brush, mask brush, or cotton swabs, carefully dab a thin layer of the solution onto congested areas. The solution can be runny, cover your eyes with a tissue if applying to your forehead.
Let the solution set for 5 minutes.
Steaming the pores:
Carefully pour the boiling water into the bowl/basin.
Hover your face approximately 12 inches above the bowl.
Drape a large towel over your head to ensure the steam remains enclosed.
** Combo skin: steam for 5-7 minutes. Oily skin: steam for 7-10 minutes. **
Take short breaks if needed, just make sure to keep the steam under the dome.
Extracting the Blackheads:
Wipe the solution with a damp cotton pad/ gauze, or face towel.
Using your finger or cotton swabs, roll down the side of your nose while supporting the skin on the opposite end.
Sealing the pores:
Soak a small towel with cold water and wring out the excess water. Press the cold towel into your skin to contract the pores.
There’s something about popping blemishes that can be so satisfying to watch. Pimple popping videosgained such popularity, there was a television series devoted to the extraction!
So, what does this juicy procedure involve? Read on as we dive into your pores for a proper blackhead extraction!
Blackhead extractions are the focal point of our pore cleansing facial: the PORE.
Pore cleansing is defined as the process of physically and/or chemically removing debris from the pores. The process clears build-up from the pores and allows them to contract.
Start with a fresh face.
Extractionsare best on freshly cleansed and exfoliated skin. Cleansing ensures that no harmful bacteria ispresent when exposing the open pore.Exfoliationclears the opening of the pore andloosens the tip of the debris.
A specialized solution is applied to help dislodge the oily debris after cleansing and exfoliating. The solution is commonly a sodium bicarbonate blend that creates a chemical reaction known as saponification. This reaction transforms oils & fats into a soap solution. Oily debris also becomes water-soluble in the process.
After the solution has worked its magic, the skin is placed under a warm steamer. The warmth and humidity of the steam opens up the pores and dampens the now water-soluble waste.
Professional steamers feature an Ozone (O3) function that emits ozone steam onto the skin. O3 increases the skin’s healing abilities and disinfects the surface. O3 also has an oil-reducing effect that lasts beyond the service.
The physical extractions are performed using a pore extraction tool and directional pressure. Large pores are emptied individually using a “scooping” maneuver. Smaller pores and superficial debris are purged with a simple glide of the tool or fingers.
Following extractions, the skin is soothed and sanitized with a post extraction solution. The solution usually contains an antiseptic and a calming ingredient.
Blackhead extractions can take 15-30 minutes depending on the skin condition. They can also leave the skin looking irritated for 1-2 hours, so be prepared. Once the pores are cleared though, they can remain clear for up to 8 weeks.
When it comes to our role as skincare technicians, we must say juicy extractions are by far a service favourite!
Although blackheads are not necessarily caused by poor skin hygiene, these darkened little oil specs can make the skin look and feel rough, oily, and dirty. We have countless skin products and methods of removal, but what should we really be looking for when choosing products, ingredients, and services?
In this article we will focus on defining the ‘blackhead’. From selecting the right ingredients to DIY pore cleansing techniques, our tips will help you minimize and control blackheads.
What is a blackhead?
Blackheads are quite simply clogged hair follicles in the skin. These tiny follicles can become clogged due to enlargement and/ or years of buildup.
Our hair follicles are a type of pore found throughout the body, except for the palms and soles. They are most visible in areas with higher oil production or areas where the oil collects throughout the day such as the creases of the nose.
A combination of waste.
This particular type of pore consists of a tube-like structure in the skin that sprouts hair, excretes oil, and retains a combination of waste within the its tiny canal. This combination includes dead cells, oil, makeup, dirt, and basically anything that can melt into the pores. Over time the debris can become solidified when neglected by being left inside the pore.
Loss of elasticity.
Adding to the cause is the loss of skin elasticity. Over time the opening of the pores can become weakened due to underlying skin condition, skin trauma, or pressure from buildup. Once the pores have lost their ability to contract it becomes difficult to regain this elasticity without resorting to advanced skin therapy such as LASER or IPL.
Dead keratin, not dirt!
Blackheads may vary in colour, diameter, and depth, but they all have the same characteristic opening that can be easily spotted. The dark pinpoint that we see at the surface of the skin, is actually a result of dead keratin cells being exposed to the open air (oxidized). This reaction causes a browning similar to the effect caused by leaving cut fruit such as a banana or an apple open to the elements. Contrary to popular belief, the dark tip is not dirt!
Blackheads are different from whiteheads due to the opening being present and the causes vary. If a blackhead becomes infected it can then transition into a pustule aka a “pimple”. Improper extraction and/ or excess pressure are most commonly the cause of infection.
Now that you’re familiar with the composition of a blackhead, let’s move on to some solutions and prevention, and DIY techniques for extraction.