Two industry experts face off on whether or not the extraction facial is the answer your skin has been looking for.
Extraction facials are the OG, hardcore, super-cleansing treatments we always think we want. It’s the super satisfying, albeit uncomfortable facial that quite literally squeezes the shit out of your face—the idea being that it leaves your skin purified and perhaps unnaturally clean. But there are a million and one facial options these days, from microneedling to microcurrent, that make extraction seem both extreme and like child’s play at the same time. And then there’s places like Skin Laundry and Heyday that serve up facials in 30 minutes flat. So what’s in an old school favorite? Does the extraction facial still rule? We asked two of the ultimate experts, Shamara Bondaroff of cult skin shrine SB Skin, and Alena Arboleda, head aesthetician at Upper East Side mecca Mario Badescu, to sound off on the good, the bad and the ugly: how often you should go to get your skin professionally picked; and whether it’s actually better than doing one of the other myriad treatments out there.
“My opinion on extraction facials is that I feel you really only need them seasonally—four times a year.
“It's great to do extractions when you’re getting your skin ready for the next season, and want a good exfoliation and pore cleanse. But I've seen is some aestheticians overstimulate the face with over-steaming or over-extracting, and that can cause breakouts. Some breakouts then lead to hyperpigmentation. It's important to find that great aesthetician who does just the right amount that won't cause issues after.
“It's so easy now to find great products to maintain a good at-home skincare regimen. If you are consistent with exfoliating gently and applying masks, you’re good with just a seasonal extraction facial.”
“Facials that include extractions are beneficial because they help deep cleanse pores. This helps to keep skin clear and smooth out bumps. Most skin types can get extractions, but some may need more extractions than others—still, most people can have them.
“At Mario Badescu extractions are an important part of our signature European Facial treatment. This treatment starts with a cleanse and steam of the skin—the steam helps to relax the pores. Once the skin has been steamed we perform extractions. After extractions, our aestheticians select targeted treatments that will address the client’s skin type and concerns.
“Anyone who is under the care of a dermatologist, has a chronic skin condition, or is taking prescriptions that can affect the quality of the skin may not be a good candidate for extractions. If this is the case for you, ask your dermatologist if they feel that extractions will be helpful for you.
“Our general recommendation is to come in for facials every four weeks. Occasionally, an aesthetician might recommend coming in more or less frequently than that depending on the condition of your skin.”