Notes on My First Extraction Facial

Thursday October 15, 2015 comments   

tools and products for beauty facials

I said I would update about this so here I am! I had my first extraction + facial ever yesterday. Now I gotta say that this is just my experience. I know there are a 100 different ways this could have gone down. I also know some medical aestheticians are fully against extractions while others do them 100% of the time.

I had mine done at the same dermatology office that I received prescription retinol cream from 2 weeks ago. This office is a cosmetic and dermatology clinic so they go beyond just skincare there and into botox, etc. I thought the procedure would be more cold and clinical but rather it was much like that of a spa massage. Celtic music in the background, lavender scented mists, and shoulder/neck massage included.

The extraction itself hurt. It doesn’t help that the pain is on your face so it feels more intense. I would say that it hurt more than getting my tattoo or piercings due to duration. Coupled with how problematic my skin has been it took a while. Afterwards I had a chemical peel done. That was fine. Normal stinging, disinfecting feeling. Hot towels, creams, and a cooling coconut scented mask and I left feeling supple and renewed.

Later that night the red scars began to show out of the pinkish plump skin. My skin was sore; almost bruised feeling. Today it’s about the same. Sore with a few new zits that have risen to the surface. I was told I could wear makeup right away but I decided to skip it when I went out last night. Judging side-eyes be damned I really did not care. Though I will likely wear makeup to the office tomorrow and definitely when I go out this weekend. I’m sure I’ll have the red spots for a few more days.


Would I get a professional extraction again? No.
It was too harsh and the damage is too overwhelming to tempt me into trying it again, even elsewhere. I can do extractions I need at home if I’m so inclined. While I don’t think the aesthetician did a terrible job, I just don’t see paying a bunch of money to have someone else to blame for creating new zits is worth it. I also think she over-extracted. At the time I had 1 zit and a handful of blackheads on my forehead. I saw she tackled some spots that were really just larger pours. And I’m a bit worried she might have caused pox scars which I rarely ever get (we’ll see.) The swelling in my forehead and nose are still bad the next day as you can see. Yeah… there’s hardly a part that isn’t red and super swollen.

Would I get a chemical peel/facial again? Yes.
I wouldn’t do it often but maybe once a year I could see a benefit in it. I like the low-grade peels you can buy on the market and the medical grade stuff does seem worth the extra time and costs.

Regret? Not really.
I don’t regret the appointment entirely. I learned a lot of valuable information from discussing my routine and products with the aesthetician. She offered a more detailed understanding about how and why I had this acne flare up while my doctor just threw a prescription at me and told me to come back in 2 months.

The aesthetician told me the blackhead flare up looks related to the skin being stripped of too much oils. She mentioned having oily skin herself (which true or not made me trust her) and when I mentioned all my lotions and cleansers were oil-free she felt more sure that my issue was thirsty skin. Which makes sense given that the sunburn is what triggered this mess in the first place.

And oh the sunburn. She pointed out that I had been using a nightly chemical exfoliator weeks before getting out in unusually intense sun. AH! I didn’t even think about that! Of course! I should have chosen a higher SPF than my usual stuff because now my skin was more photosensitive! This really helped put things in perspective.

It’s not easy to find a way to get extra moisture when you have sensitive, acne-prone skin. But over the years of all the things I tried, Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Oil has given me the most moisture and least amount of zits I’ve ever seen. So I bit the bullet and purchased a full-sized bottle. Hopefully this will be the extra balance my skin so desperately needs.






Post-Sunburn Skin Problems

Sunday October 04, 2015 comments   


I wrote this post then a day later made an appointment to see a dermatologist who has since started me on a prescription retinol gel. I’ve been on prescription acne medications twice before in my lifetime and I will say I’m very skeptical. They tend to cause my skin to get worse before it gets better. Of all the products listed below the only ones I can use now with the prescription gel are GLAMGLOW Daily Clearing Cleanser, Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation lotion, Simple Micellar Cleansing Water, and Roberts Florentine Rosewater Cleansing Gel. I actually go in for a facial treatment (& extraction) in a few weeks which I hope will help more than anything else has.

sand castles and beach umbrella

A few weeks ago I was visiting family on the coast. Out in the sun a ton and always wearing sunscreen. But on the last day I was careless and forgot to reapply sunscreen in time. I ended up quite badly burned; especially on my forehead. I haven’t dealt with a burn in years. In the past there wasn’t much issue but this time my skin was very damaged. I kept it moisturized but it still took about 2 weeks for the burn to actually diminish. Next was peeling. Followed by leather-like dark patches of skin left. And now? Well it’s a mess. It has caused a bad case of closed comedonal acne. I’ve never had this type of acne. It is very much out of control and stubborn to treat. My usual products were not helping clear it completely. It was only getting worse. So I started buying new things to try.

One of the things I purchased was Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel 5 pack and Pixi’s Glow Tonic. I was finally seeing a change after using them. But I felt the peels were too gentle as my usual Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment felt much stronger. So I bought the 30 pack of the extra strength formula.

Bad idea. The acne got worse within 3 days. I even had bumps in my eyebrows now.

At the same time I also purchased Fresh’s Rose Toner to calm my skin after cleansing but before moisturizing. It made my skin feel tacky though; not moisturized.

I also had a sample of Sunday Riley’s Good Genes (which I felt was helping clear me up as well.) And added Simple’s micellar water to my routine for makeup removal just in case I wasn’t getting a deep enough clean.

You see the problem here? Too many new products at once. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was helping and what wasn’t. Let alone was it too much exfoliating or too little? My face never felt dry or burning.

Well not until I ditched EVERYTHING and reverted back to my old classic Clinique’s Acne Solutions Kit. After using it since Saturday my acne is shrinking in size and amount. However… now my face is so dry and peeling in some spots. I’ve been keeping my mist diffusers directly pointed at my face to calm down my skin.

I don’t have a real point or message for this post. :) I’m not looking for random advice or a home remedy that worked for your sister’s sister-in-law’s half cousin 2nd removed. Just letting you know what’s been up with me lately. And besides my car being in the shop, work being busy, and the free time I fill with TV, ice skating, camping, and scheming, this has been on my mind on a near daily basis and something I’m still dealing with apparently.

I just ordered Paula’s Choice trial acne kit. Because Clinique is just too harsh for me these days. I also purchased Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub after seeing that Glamglow’s Youthmud Tinglexfoliate made it worse. However Glamglow’s Supermud Clearing Treatment was still really helpful in the larger acne spots that popped up every other day. I’m still using that one often.

GLAMGLOW’s daily face wash and Roberts Florentine Rosewater cleansing gel are the two cleanser I’ve been using for months. The gel is very mild and good for removing excess makeup while the Glamglow’s daily cleanser is like their mask in a lighter form.

Ole Henriksen night treatment and oil-free moisturizer had cleared up my previous small breakout months ago and I stuck with them since. I’d say the night treatment was about as good as Sunday Riley’s Good Genes without the lemon-cake fragrance!

This deluxe sample of Luna Sleeping Oil made my day when I got it. When I ran out of the sample my skin felt so dry because this was keeping it super hydrated. It erased red marks in a single night. Great for overnight repair. One of the very very very few oils I’ve tried that didn’t give me pimples.

Before my sun damage I wasn’t using any strict acne medications. I was using Glam Glow’s daily face wash, a MakeUp Eraser with just water, Organic Rose toner, Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment and Sheer Transformation moisture cream, and Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Oil every now and then. And I was clear. My skin looked near flawless. I had about 2 months of some of my best skin days in recent history before the sunburn.

While I’m frustrated on days that my skin feels uncomfortable, I’m not too bothered by it. My skin has always been extremely acne-prone. At this point in my life I understand there’s an ebb and flow to skin problems. I will also say that it’s become clear this year that my skin is in transition. The items that worked in my early 20’s are no longer effective. I literally removed them from my routine and saw 0 difference. I’m really interested in trying more glycolic and lactic acids and natural flower oils (though I’m acne-prone to others like castor, grapeseed, and coconut) now.

Every product mentioned above:
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Daily Peel

Pixi Glow Tonic

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water

The Original MakeUp Eraser

Fresh Rose Floral Toner

Meishoku Organic Rose Skin Conditioner toner

Roberts Florentine Rosewater Cleansing Gel

Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

GLAMGLOW SUPERCLEANSE™ Daily Clearing Cleanser

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation

Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment

CLINIQUE Acne Solutions Clear Skin System

Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength Two Week Trial Kit



Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub

– loved product

Not related to skincare but a nice perk to having to order so many new products is this Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb free gift set I got with a Sephora order using a promo code. I like Flowerbomb but have never purchased a full sized bottle.


Tags: , ,