Acne Tools: Do’s and Don’ts

How to properly use these tools in the treatment room

Beyond effective products, there is a core selection of acne treatment tools that are extremely beneficial, and often necessary to the clearing process. Like any tool, specific guidelines should be followed to ensure success and to avoid harming the skin. Let’s take a thorough look at three essential acne tools and how to properly use them.

Comedone Extractors

After exfoliating your client’s skin with an enzyme or chemical peel, it’s time to perform some extractions. Extractions help accelerate the clearing and healing process for acne clients by safely clearing debris from the pore. The first method of extracting is with a comedone extractor. Coming in all shapes and sizes, comedone extractors can be extremely helpful when extracting open and closed comedones.

Though helpful, an acute level of care and caution must be taken when using this too. For instance, do not attempt to extract a noninflamed lesion where inflamed lesions are closely present because it can risk damaging inflamed areas. Do not use comedone extractors on thin, compromised skin as it can cut or bruise the skin.

When using a comedone extractor, apply pressure carefully. If the lesion does not easily budge, move on, and come back to it later. If it still does not extract when you come back to it, stop attempting an extraction. Instead, spot treat the lesion with an anti-inflammatory keratolytic such as sulfur. If you feel uneasy using a comedone extractor, two cotton tip applicators can be used instead. This method will work for both inflamed and noninflamed acne.

“Do not use comedone extractors on thin, compromised skin as it can cut or bruise the skin.”


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Alex Hernandez

Alex Hernandez, a licensed esthetician since 2016, serves as the Clinic Manager and Lead Educator at the Face Reality Acne Clinic in San Leandro, CA. Alex has trained alongside Laura Cooksey, owner and co-founder of Face Reality Skincare, a nationally recognized acne expert with 28 years of experience in educating professionals on safe and effective acne treatment. Alex became a Face Reality Certified Acne Expert in 2018 through diligent practical training and Laura’s online course.