Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D
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Are You Using an Extractor?
Have you ever used that beauty tool called an extractor? The ends look like the eye of a needle on a metal stick, and when you press one of them against a congested pore, the pressure forces sebum and dead skin out through the tiny hole. You may be tempted to make regular use of the thing, but resist that devilish urge, says Ranella Hirsch, MD, president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology & Aesthetic Surgery. "When you incorrectly attack a blemish with an extractor, you can create an open wound that's vulnerable to bacterial infection," she says. Instead, rely on exfoliation to keep your complexion clear. Once a day or every other day, use a mask or complexion pad with glycolic acid (or salicylic acid if you're prone to breakouts); once a week, massage your face with a gentle scrub. And save the extractor for removing grout.