It’s official, pore extractions are the new cats of the internet.
Are we totally obsessed with watching pimple popping videos because seeing the extraction of super gross pus-filled zits somehow makes our own issues feel normal in comparison? Or is it down to our borderline addiction with learning about the usually private, totally fascinating bathroom rituals of other women (Top Shelfies, we’re lookin’ at you). Either way, the once-private subject of pores and their contents has now become standard beauty news – and videos of their removals are all over our feeds. We simply can’t get enough.
From close up videos of three-year-old blackhead removals to entire forums devoted to extraction techniques, the internet is constantly coming up with new and exciting ways to extract gunk from pores. The latest, according to the Reddit’s skincare addiction community, is skin grits.
‘WTF is skin gritting?’, you ask. Skin gritting promises to banish your blackheads at all once. The ‘grits’ refer to the little black grains left on your skin’s surface after the process, which feel gritty to the touch.
The Reddit method involves cleansing first with an oil cleanser, followed by applying a clay mask which soaks up dirt and grease and helps to unblock pores, and then oil cleansing again, while using your fingers to give your face an intense, vigorous massage.
These three steps, they say, encourage excess oil and grime break free of the pores and allow blackheads to literally pop out of your skin, minus the potential damage of your usual squeezing technique.
But despite the internet’s excitement, it turns out this isn’t a new technique. In fact, as skin therapist Linda Jackson of Skin Wellness medical skin spa explains, it’s similar to something Environ skincare specialists have been doing for years. “We don’t call them grits in the industry,” says Linda, “but I’ve been doing it for about 20 years as a pre-treatment in the Environ range. Doing it regularly (up to three times a week) is a safe and effective way to gradually reduce blackheads and comedones over time, plus pores shrink down because they’re empty.”
While we always hear that cleansing with oil can help clear out the pores, Linda explains the trick is in the rubbing. “It’s no good just putting it on, you need to really rub and massage it into your skin.” The clay in this technique acts as a gentle exfoliant, drawing out impurities and giving the dead skin cells something to grab onto (which combined with the clay fragments is what Linda thinks the ‘grits’ really are).
See below for Linda’s skin grits step-by-step:
- First use a pre-cleansing oil which removes makeup and debris. Massage it on and remove with a warm cloth.
- Apply more oil and then sweep a very light coating of a clay mask on top. “You don’t want a thick coating or else you’ll be rubbing forever,” says Linda.
- Massage the skin deeply, focusing on where the blockages are. “It becomes pastey and then you get little bits as the dead skin cells cling to it. Keep rubbing until all those bits start coming away in your hands,” says Linda.
- Lastly remove with a warm cloth.
Voila! Blackheads, or skin grits, be gone.