You may have seen those oddly satisfying videos of a blade-like tool being scraped across someone’s nose or forehead, forcing an oily substance onto the blade. The videos and product descriptions suggest that this sonic “skin spatula” could be the next best thing in eliminating clogged pores.
We asked experts in skin if this is really the tool we should be using to fight pesky congestion on our faces.
Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, a celebrity dermatologist with La Jolla Laser Derm, said that we should really be focusing our attention on exfoliation when it comes to reducing buildup in pores and preventing acne from forming ― and scraping is actually a form of exfoliation. But there’s a right and wrong way to exfoliate.
“Old skin cells pile up and excess oil blocks our pores, leaving skin looking dull,” Shirazi said. “Exfoliation becomes important as it removes this build-up, allowing for fresh new healthy skin cells to surface.”
She added that when we exfoliate regularly, we may expect to see a minimized appearance in pores, brighter complexions and improved effectiveness of our skin care products, since exfoliation allows them to penetrate deeper.
“Chemical exfoliation employs the action of acids on the skin that disrupt bonds between dead skin cells, which allow them to be removed more easily,” Camp said. Common chemical exfoliants include salicylic and glycolic acids.
The skin spatula tools and other skin scrubbers, which fall under the physical exfoliation category, can be convenient and effective options, especially if you wear makeup. You simply use them with your cleanser while you’re washing your face.
However, you can also overdo it.
“When misused, they can cause micro-abrasions, a disrupted skin barrier and, in rosacea-prone skin, they can cause broken capillaries,” Shirazi said.
Both Camp and Shirazi agreed that when it comes to finding the right physical facial scrubber, silicone bristled options are most likely the safest.
“Silicone bristles are non-porous and thus resistant to bacterial build-up. They are up to 35% more hygienic than nylon bristles and sonic (vibrational) technologies in many of these brushes make them more gentle than using a loofah or harsh scrub,” Shirazi said.
So about this skin spatula: The included silicone covers plus the sonic feature can make this a suitable and safe approach to clogged pores; however, the jury is still out when it comes to using the metal “blade” alone. If you want to be on the safe side when it comes to skin scrubbers, keep reading to see some of the ones our dermatologists recommended, plus the proper way to use the spatula, if you choose that option.
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