“Blackheads and whiteheads are just different kinds of congested skin,” explains our lead esthetician Monica Dawidowicz. “A blackhead is also called an open comedone, or when sebum gets to the surface of the skin and becomes oxidized. This is what gives a blackhead its black spot. Whiteheads are pores that are clogged with dead skin, oil, and bacteria.” Luckily, they are treated almost the same way - with exfoliating ingredients that assist in removing materials that may be clogging pores.
Salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliant, and retinol, which increases cell turnover, are commonly used to address breakouts. A gentle introduction to the acid is Youth to the People’s Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant
, which contains 2% salicylic acid alongside calming ingredients like licorice root to prevent irritation. Oftentimes, dermatologists will prescribe retinol regardless of what kind of acne you have. “My favorite retinol is Environ’s Concentrated Vitamin A Serum
, which includes colostrum, an extremely reparative, healing and rebuilding ingredient.” The serum comes in three levels of intensity, so that skin is able to acclimate to the active ingredients.
To remove the dead skin cells left as a result of using retinol or chemical exfoliants, it is important to physically exfoliate. Monica is partial to The Nature of Things Clarifying Facial Polish
. “It is one of my favorite products in the store, and we sell out of it all the time. It is the perfect daily exfoliant. It prevents that build up of dead skin and helps even texture without causing damage.”
A facial is the best way to get a deep clean and to have a professional extract blemishes safely and sanitarily, but if you can’t resist the urge to do so at home, heat and steam can make things easier. After a warm shower, wrap your fingers in clean tissue before applying gentle pressure to clean skin and disinfect with hydrogen peroxide after. “Pimple patches
are great for after extracting, when there is still some fluid left and swelling,” Monica advises. “Within a few hours, anything left over is sucked out and the area is flattened, making the appearance a lot less noticeable.”
Face masks can do wonders for congested skin, but overstripping with harsh, drying treatments can happen all too easily. “A lot of people over treat their skin if they suffer from breakouts which can cause new issues by killing good bacteria.” says Monica. “I try to create balance by calming, soothing, rebuilding, nourishing and hydrating.” Goldfaden MD’s Facial Detox mask
, which can also be used as a spot treatment, is made with sulfur, zinc oxide and camphor to deep clean and soothe skin.
In her treatment room, Monica uses bio-cellulose fermented masks that are often used on burn victims because they are extremely anti-inflammatory. Decree’s bio-cellulose SOS Revitalizing Sheet Mask
, infused with rose, aloe, niacinamide and aloe, is great for at-home use.
Nourishing Cleansing Balm
Probiotics Cica Complex Biome Booster
Overnight Onboard Hydration Mist
Hibiscus Night Cream
UV Clear Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
Age-Response Compound K Hyaluronic Booster
Clarifying Facial Polish
Helichrysum Hyaluronic Toner
Preservation Day Cream
LightStim for Wrinkles
Concentrated 3 - Vitamin A Serum
System D Cooling Eye Serum
Balancing Facial Essence
Concentrated 1 Vitamin A Serum
Concentrated 2 - Vitamin A Serum
SOS Revitalising Sheet Mask
Decree SOS Revitalising Mask Edit