Discover more about acne and how to fight it!

Causes of acne are multiple. Your trusty cellphone, for example, keeps you close to your friends, but also to your enemies as it’s a propagator of nasty bacteria and dirt. Learn more with us on what causes acne, and pick up quick tips and solutions to help keep it at bay for clear, radiant skin from within.

Facial acne is a problem that most of us have experienced throughout our lives. While some of us may have only struggled with it during our teenage years, others continue to wrestle with these pesky pimples throughout our lives.

To make matters worse, the new norm of mask-wearing has resulted in red ‘maskne’ bumps for even the best of us.

women with acne

Credit: Polina Tankilevitch

Understanding your Acne

To ensure that we can enjoy healthy skin with minimal breakouts for the long term, we need to manage it from its root causes. 

Acne is commonly caused by a combination of genetics, sebum and dead skin cells build up and hormone fluctuations. Our pores naturally produce sebum which emerges to moisturise our skin’s surface. Improper skincare can lead to dead skin cells and dirt to build up within the pore, causing congestion to form.

This congestion creates the perfect breeding ground for p.acne bacteria – a bacteria responsible for causing inflammation and irritation of the pore – to thrive. All this leads to your skin becoming irritated and inflamed; these pimples are screaming for help! 

Custom Blended Mask for acne treatment

Porcelain’s Cult-Favourite Acne Facial

1. Quintessential™

At the top of the list, we have our award-winning Quintessential™ treatment. This is the treatment for more acute facial acne. Every extraction therapist in Porcelain undergoes a minimum of 500 hours of training to ensure absolute precision when conducting extractions. Additionally, the Quintessential’s extractions go deeper than most others, thoroughly cleansing congested pores. 

While seemingly intense, the 120-minute-long procedure promises a deep cleanse to decongest and smoothen your skin texture!

With the deep extractions, do not be alarmed by the redness that occurs in the next 1-2 days. Just remember to sufficiently hydrate and protect your skin with SPF to ensure a proper recovery. To prevent further congestion or inflammation, avoid wearing make up for the next 3-5 days.

2. OxyRevive Plus™

Have a low pain tolerance but still want to achieve healthy skin?

Our 90-minute OxyRevive Plus™, an enhanced version of the original 60-minute OxyRevive™ would be just right for you!  The OxyRevive Plus™ has all the goodies of its predecessor, with the addition of a shoulder massage and a Shiatsu face massage to improve circulation, reduce puffiness and drain toxins.

The gentle yet effective OxyJet uses a high-velocity jet of saline solution and oxygen to remove surface impurities and dead skin cells. Furthermore, Hyperbaric Oxygen Infusion therapy immerses the skin with a customised blend of serums and nutrients, soothing and encouraging its natural reparative functions.

LED Light Therapy

3. OxyZap

Another alternative for the Quintessential would be the OxyZap, a fusion of the OxyRevive™ and ZitZap™. Utilising the high-velocity OxyJet and Hyperbaric Oxygen Infusion therapy, OxyZap’s main difference lies in the incorporation of intensive pulsed light (IPL) therapy.

Medical-grade IPL penetrates the deeper layers of the skin to trigger our body’s natural wound healing process. A mix of red and blue IPL lights are administered to the skin with utmost precision. The red light reduces inflammation while the blue light kills p.acne bacteria, speeding up the body’s healing process against acne.

Still unsure about which acne facial suits you? Check out our Skin Discovery™ where you get the opportunity to learn more about your skin and how to take care of it!

With over 7.8 billion people in the world, there are only a few things everyone has in common with each other. Unsurprisingly, experiencing blackheads is one of them. However, those of us living in tropical climates like in Singapore often experience blackheads more often. Despite that, it’s a problem that can be easily managed with the right skincare guidance and tips!

Credit: Healthline

What are Blackheads?

A mild form of acne, blackheads are small bumps that appear on your skin when a pore is congested (with dead skin cells and sebum) and exposed to air. This exposure to air gives regular whiteheads (aka closed comedones) their darker appearance synonymous with blackheads. 

What Causes Blackheads?

1. Sebum

One of the main components to blackheads, sebum produced by the skin can become congested within the pore, leading to their formation. This also explains why Asians or individuals reside in tropical climates experience more blackheads. The warm temperatures paired with higher humidity makes sebaceous glands more active, making it easier for blackheads to form.

2. Dead Skin Cells

Another essential component to blackheads, dead skin cells that lie on the surface of the skin can clog pores, preventing the oil produced by sebaceous glands from leaving the pore. Over time, this builds up the congestion that forms into a blackhead.

3. Hormones

Skin is more than what is on the surface. Our skin is also largely impacted by our body’s health and wellbeing. At various points (like during menstruation), our hormones fluctuate, resulting in an increase in sebum production.  

With a handful of root causes, it makes blackheads one of the more manageable forms of acne! 

blackhead extraction in Singapore

Combatting Blackheads with Treatments

Treatments are the best ways to get rid of blackheads quickly and safely. Not only are technologically advanced equipment used, but trained experts who understand the inner workings of skin thoroughly are better able to manage skin and remove blackheads efficiently. Here are our recommendations for Porcelain’s best blackhead treatments.

OxyRevive™ Facial

Oxygen not only powers your body and everything around you, but it can also help clear blackheads and leave you with brighter skin. A gentle yet intensive high-velocity OxyJet coupled with saline solution removes dead skin, sanitises pores and loosens congestion. To replenish the skin with vital nutrients and give it a natural glow, a Hyperbaric Oxygen Infusion therapy that pumps the skin is deployed. While it may take longer to achieve a blackhead-free complexion, OxyRevive™ Facial is the perfect alternative for milder cases of blackheads.

Quintessential Extraction Facial

Your blackheads are no match for good-old fashion extractions. Not only does our award-winning treatment deploy extractions, but it also focuses on rebalancing the skin’s pH for stronger resilience against impurities that threaten to inflame skin as it recovers from extractions. Utilising medi-technology and in-house formulated products, the Quintessential Facial thoroughly cleanses skin while replenishing it with vital nutrients to recoup and thrive. This, paired with the expert extraction techniques deployed by highly trained therapists, blackheads (along with other pesky acnes) do not stand a chance! 

OxyZap™ Facial

The perfect, painless alternative to the Quintessential Facial, the OxyZap™ Facial combines the benefits of OxyRevive™’s oxygen therapy with the power of IPL. OxyJet and Hyperbaric Oxygen Infusion therapy work to cleanse the skin, loosen congestion and reinfuse essential nutrients while IPL soothes inflamed/irritated sebaceous glands to reduce sebum production. The ultimate duo for reduced blackheads in the short and long term!

Combatting Blackheads with Homecare

Though treatments are effective in dealing with blackheads, homecare plays an equal role in ensuring the skin stays healthy with minimal blackheads between treatments.

Homecare Tips:

1. Exfoliate Regularly

With one of the causes of blackheads being dead skin cells, regular exfoliation is needed to help remove them and give you softer, brighter skin too! Exfoliation can come in many forms – from chemical exfoliation with AHAs and BHAs to physical exfoliation. To learn more about the difference in AHAs and BHAs plus what they can do for your skin, check out our cheat sheet to skincare acids.

Generally, for chemical exfoliation, BHAs like Salicylic Acid are a better alternative when dealing with blackheads as they are better able to penetrate the skin to break down sebum buildup and congestion within pores. Although this may entice you to pick up products that contain high percentages of Salicylic Acid, it’s good to note that it is most effective at a low concentration (between 2-4%) and is better suited for oilier skin types thanks to its drying effect. Alternatively, AHAs like Glycolic Acid are still effective at exfoliating despite being unable to penetrate as deeply as Salicylic Acid.

For physical exfoliation, it is exfoliation that requires physical rubbing or scrubbing to remove dead skin cells. On that note, we do not recommend reaching out for scrubs or exfoliants that contain granules or microbeads as they can create micro-tears in the skin, leading to inflammation and sensitivity. Instead, look for gentler exfoliants that utilise natural enzymes – like our Natural Skin Refiner!

2. Balance skin pH

Blackheads are often synonymous with oilier skin types. While skin types are predominantly determined by genetics, they can be managed by balancing your skin’s pH. Your skin’s pH is determined by the balance between the oil and moisture content on your skin. Oily skin’s pH imbalance lies in an over-production of sebum to compensate for insufficient hydration. Sebum is your skin’s way of retaining moisture and hydration. When there is a lack of hydration, the skin produces more oils to prevent further loss of hydration. This additional sebum production also explains why those of us with oily skin tend to experience a greater frequency of blackheads. 

Thus, the key to rebalancing oily skin’s pH is to hydrate and regulate the skin’s sebum production. Hydrate the skin with ingredients like Sodium Hyaluronate while regulating oil production with ingredients like Tea Tree Oil (both of which are the main ingredients in our Sebum Control Essence). 

Important note: when it comes to using products containing high percentages of Tea Tree Oil, use it in low concentrations and in small doses to prevent over-drying the skin.

3. Avoid DIY Home Treatments

Everyone loves a good DIY that can help save time and money. But not all DIYs are created equal. DIY Home Treatments such as using baking soda to remove blackheads can strip your skin of its natural moisture, alter its pH and disrupt the skin’s natural bacteria that is needed to protect itself from infections. 

Home extractions should also be avoided as they can cause inflammation that would worsen acne, cause trauma to the skin (bruises, tears etc) and result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and acne scars.

Think you need personal guidance in finding the right blackhead solution for you? Book yourself a 30-minute Virtual Skin Education Session with our highly trained Skin Educators as they guide you through your skin and make tailored recommendations based on its needs.

Plus, it’s now complimentary by Porcelain because of COVID-19!

Not all acne is created equal. While each bump may feel and seem the same, each can be caused by a different combination of factors. Join us as we discover the causes of each form of acne and how to manage them at the root. 

Credit: Cottonbro 

Different Types of Acne: 

Much like skin, there are numerous forms of acne, each created through a different combination of factors. Though it may be unnerving to discover that there is more than one form of pesky blemish, they are often quite manageable (or can become manageable) once the root of the issue has been identified.  

There are three common causes of acne: 

1. Genetics 

Your genetics are the blueprint for your body. Based on genetics, you can be predisposed to having oilier skin (which contributes to acne) or be more prone to acne formation. Although genetics cannot be altered, a lot can be done to ensure your skin remains resilient to minimise the severity and frequency of breakouts.   

2. Sebum Build-Up & Dead Skin Cells 

The two core “ingredients” that form congestion. Without proper and regular exfoliation, dead skin cells prevent sebum produced within the pore to emerge and keep the skin moisturised. Over time, this causes sebum to build-up within the pore. Additionally, with dead skin cells covering pores, it creates the perfect environment for p.acne bacteria to breed, causing inflammation.   

3. Hormone Fluctuations 

Hormone fluctuations cause the body to produce androgens that stimulate the over-production of sebum. With sebum build-up being one of the core factors for congestion, acne can form as a result. 

Without further ado, let’s look at each form of acne, it’s root causes and our solution to managing them. 

Non-Inflammatory Types: 

1. Whiteheads & Blackheads 

Caused by: Accumulation of dead skin cells & sebum build-up 

Whiteheads are easily identified by their white centres – a mix of accumulated dead skin cells and sebum build-up. This congestion resides under a layer of skin, allowing it to retain its white-ish appearance.  

Contrariwise, congestion found in blackheads does not reside underneath a layer of skin. Instead, it is exposed to air, causing it to oxidise and darken. 

Solution: Regular exfoliation and pH rebalancing 

Whiteheads and blackheads are simple to manage. Regular exfoliation with non-abrasive exfoliators paired with products that regulate sebum production and hydrate the skin can reduce their occurrence. This method of balancing sebum production and hydrating the skin is known as rebalancing the skin’s pH. However, this example applies to oily skin types only. Find out more about how to rebalance your specific skin type’s pH.

Scheduling regular decongesting facials would also help remove congestion  – particularly blackheads as they can cause the skin to appear dull. 

Our Recommendation: Natural Skin RefinerGlycolic TonerSebum Control Essence & OxyRevive Facial 

For a gentle yet effective exfoliation, give our Natural Skin Refiner and Glycolic Toner a shot! Each packed with skin-loving ingredients to exfoliate and nourish the skin. To rebalance the skin pH (in this case, for oily skin), the Sebum Control Essence works to regulate sebum production and deeply hydrating the skin.   

Furthermore, scheduling regular facials like the OxyRevive can clear the pores of their congestion and leave your skin feeling healthier.   

The OxyRevive Facial utilises a gentle yet intensive high-velocity OxyJet to cleanse, remove dead skin and loosen clogged impurities. Paired with hyperbaric oxygen infusion therapy to pump essential nutrients into the skin to revive radiance in the skin. 

Credit: Polina Tankilevitch 

Inflammatory Types: 

1. Papules & Pustules  

Caused by: Accumulation of dead skin cells, sebum build-up & over-growth bacteria 

Papules are red bumps with no visible head while pustules have a visible pus head. These form because of p.acne bacteria over-growth. Congested pore provides the perfect environment for the naturally present bacteria to breed, causing infection and inflammation.  

When this occurs, the body deploys white blood cells to fight the infection, creating pus (a combination of sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria) that fills the pore and creates a bump. 

Solution: Decongesting facials and anti-bacterial homecare 

One of the best ways to counter p.acne bacteria would be to extract the congestion. Removing the congestion quickly would minimise the possibility of scarring as well (which often results when excessive congestion widens or breaks the pore walls). This is best done with a proper decongesting facial done by an expert. As many considerations go into a thorough extraction, it is ill-advised to attempt it yourself. On top of decongesting facials, a robust homecare routine is required – particularly one that has anti-bacterial benefits to counter p.acne bacteria. 

Our Recommendation: Daily Cleansing GelHydraclear Gel & Quintessential Facial 

Extractions are a great way to manage papules and pustules. But the award-winning Quintessential Facial is more than that – it combines medical-grade technology with craftsmanship to deliver the ultimate deep cleansing experience.  

While not a complete home care routine, the Daily Cleansing Gel and Hydraclear Gel form the cornerstones of an effective regime against further bacterial infection and inflammation. Bladderwrack Extract, Matricaria Flower Extract and Carica Papaya in the Daily Cleansing Gel work to soothe, lend its anti-bacterial properties and slough away dead skin cells.   

Paired with the Hydraclear Gel – packed with Witch Hazel Extract and Lemon Fruit Extract that contains potent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties – to restore the skin to a healthier state.   

2. Nodular Acne 

Caused by: Dead skin cells, sebum build-up, over-growth of bacteria & deep infections 

Like pustules and papules, nodular acne is a result of p.acne bacteria over-growth. The main difference is that nodular acne occurs at a deeper layer of skin, causing the bump to have no visible pus head and be hard to the touch. Nodular acne also remains in the skin for longer compared to blackheads or pustules. 

Solution: Robust homecare & decongesting facials 

With nodular acne being harder to manage, more is required in terms of skincare solutions. For homecare, products with potent anti-inflammatory and healing properties would greatly help.   

In addition to home care, regular treatments can aid in managing nodular acne as they often deploy technology that penetrates the skin deeply to deal with the issue.   

Our Recommendation: HA+ Hydrating SerumBotanical Sensitive Care Toner & ZitZap Facial 

The HA+ Hydrating Serum is a multi-faceted concoction, with 4 unique blends to manage nodular acne. Cucumber Extract lends it reparative and anti-inflammatory qualities while Probiotics work to rebalance the bacteria on the skin, minimising over-growth of p.acne bacteria.  

Botanical Sensitive Care Toner and its reparative blend of medicinal herbs like Korean Mint and Honeysuckle Flower Extract soothes redness and inhibits bacteria growth.  

Treatments like ZitZap utilise medical-grade IPL to penetrate the skin deeply, effectively reducing inflammation and eliminating p.acne bacteria. This stops nodular acne from worsening and allows the body to naturally remove the congestion.   

3. Cystic Acne 

Caused by: Dead skin cells, sebum build-up, over-growth of bacteria & deep infections 

Often confused with nodular acne, cystic acne is the most severe form of acne. However, with time, patience and the right skincare solutions, it can be managed. Cystic acne develops deep within the skin. However, its severe infection generates a lot of pus, making it softer compared to nodular acne. It also has a visible pus head, unlike nodular acne.   

Our Solution: Combat bacterial growth and remove congestion 

Cystic acne often results in acne scarring as the volume of congestion breaks pore walls. To minimise the severity of scars, reduce the proliferation of p.acne bacteria with anti-bacterial homecare and extract congestion as soon as possible. 

Our Recommendation: Hydraclear GelZitZap & Quintessential Facial 

An essential for cystic acne, the Hydraclear Gel combats bacterial growth, reduces inflammation, hydrates, and regulates sebum & skin pH levels. This aids in diminishing p.acne bacterial, calming cystic acne and slowing down their occurrence as well. 

The mighty duo of ZitZap and Quintessential works quickly to minimise the damage of cystic acne. ZitZap uses medical-grade IPL to reduce inflammation and eliminate p.acne bacteria while the Quintessential utilises craftsmanship to remove the congestion with precision.   

Credit: Polina Tankilevitch 

4. Hormonal Acne 

Caused by: Hormone fluctuations 

Hormone fluctuations typically experienced by teenagers and women experiencing menstruation, menopause or pregnancy. Hormone fluctuations cause increased sebum production and p.acne bacteria propagation. Hormonal acne can come in all forms – papules, pustules and even cystic acne – depending on the severity of the infection.   

Solution: Identify your acne 

The best solution is derived once the type of acne has been identified. 

Balancing the skin’s pH levels also works to reduce the severity of hormonal acne. Plus, it allows the skin to have greater resilience against p.acne bacteria over-growth, irritants and sebum overproduction.   

Our Recommendation: Click here to find out more about how to rebalance your specific skin pH! 

5. Maskne 

Caused by: Heat, sweat, friction & over-growth of bacteria 

The latest form of acne to emerge, Maskne is acne caused by prolonged hours spent wearing a mask. The heat encapsulated within the mask triggers the skin to produce more sebum and sweat that congest pores. Furthermore, friction from the mask damages the skin’s outer protective layer, making it prone to bacterial infections. Plus, with reusable cloth masks quickly replacing disposable ones, bacteria caught in the fabric is in contact with the face until the mask is washed or replaced. This introduces more bacteria to the skin, causing inflammation, irritation and sensitivity.   

Solution: Anti-bacterial & anti-inflammatory homecare 

With a majority of maskne’s issues being caused by bacteria, anti-bacterial home care is vital. Additionally, with the irritation that the mask causes to the skin, anti-inflammatory products are also required to help calm the skin and aid in its repair.  

Our Recommendation: Skin Protecting Sanitiser & Aloe Recovery Gel 

Designed to combat Maskne without stripping the skin of its natural moisture, the Skin Protecting Sanitiser is a plant-based, alcohol-free sanitiser formulated with a combination of Eucalyptus, Tea-tree and 200ppm Hypochlorous Acid clinically proven for its effective antiviral properties. The perfect homecare that you can bring along to manage your maskne! 

Specially formulated with pure aloe extracts, the Aloe Recovery Gel provides intense hydration to heal dry and stressed skin. It works to repair skin and increase its resilience overtime.  


Acne is a very personal matter and should be dealt with the utmost care and personalisation. Thus, do note that the above are general recommendations. For a more accurate and tailored solution, we recommend scheduling a Virtual Skin Education session with our Skin Experts who will guide you 1-on-1 to managing your acne.  

Stay patient, resilient and hopeful! 

Extractions – most people have a love-hate relationship with it. A painful yet innately satisfying process that’s sought after – especially in Singapore where humidity and heat add to an increased frequency of pore congestion. But before you start picking at your zits, here is what you need to know about extraction facials and why you should leave it to the professionals. 

Credit: Andrea Piacquadio

What are Extraction Facials and are they painful?

Extraction facials are the process of clearing congestion from pores using extraction tools or fingers. This process manipulates and applies pressure to the skin to express congestion. Thus, there is a high likelihood that there would be pain experienced as a result. However, the severity is dependent upon the expertise of your therapist and personal pain tolerance. While extraction facials may seem simple, multiple factors come into play. Acne type, skin sensitivity, skin type, skin condition and pore direction all factor into the difficulty of extractions. 

While most would gravitate towards a ‘painless’ extraction, it is good to note that a thorough extraction is rarely that.

Can I do my Extraction Facials by myself?

Should your skin, fingers or tools be improperly sanitised, it can result in inflammation. Although inflammation may seem like a small price to pay for seemingly cleaner pores, it is typically a sign that there is much worse to come and don’t say we didn’t warn you here about the dangers of extracting at home

An inflamed pore shows the presence of bacteria. These bacteria can further irritate the oil glands within the pore, causing it to produce more sebum. This further clogs the pore. If not dealt with correctly and immediately, it can cause the pore to enlarge on the surface and within the skin. At this stage, even removing the congestion thoroughly can leave behind acne scars and pigmentation spots (a result of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).

Therefore, as gratifying as it is to express zits and blackheads, improper extracting knowledge, technique and sanitation will only cause more problems than it solves. 

Credit: Polina Tankilevitch

Are Extractions good for your skin?

Yes, when done correctly! Congestion left for too long can lead to enlarged pores, bumpy skin texture and in some severe cases of acne – a higher possibility of acne scars developing post-extractions. Thus, a thorough extraction done by a trained professional will aid in:

– Minimising pores
– Evening skin tone
– Improving overall skin texture
Stimulate cell renewal
– Reduce sebum production
– Minimising presence of acne causing bacteria

How often should you go for extractions?

No two skins are alike. Thus, the frequency of extractions depends on a variety of factors like genetics, skin type and severity of congestion. Genetics determines your skin type and its conditions. Should acne be a genetic condition, it would require a higher frequency of extractions to manage. In addition to genetics, skin types like oily skin produce higher quantities of sebum – which contributes to acne formation. 

While extraction facials satisfy the desire for congestion-free skin, it is vital to support the recovery process of your skin post-extraction. After all, the extraction process causes small wounds (aka extracted pores) to form. A sturdy recovery process is a balance of a holistic home care regime and treatments that replenishes, protects the skin and boosts the natural healing abilities of the skin.

Where should I go for extractions?

When searching for the right facial spa for extraction facials, there are several important factors to consider. 


With many factors to consider before extracting, it is best to place your trust (and face) with a well-trained and skilled therapist who can adapt to suit the specific needs of your skin. 


Price is a huge factor in many of our decisions. Though it is tempting to seek inexpensive options, it is vital to remember that you get what you pay for. Moreover, more than one extraction facial is likely required for your skin to reach a healthy, self-sustaining state. Thus, make sure that you look for value-for-money options that you can sustain in the long run. 

Holistic Skin Care:

Extractions are only a small part of your journey to healthier skin. If post-extraction care is lacking, the recovery process of your skin would slow down drastically. It may even impact the results of the extraction facial.  Thus, the search for spas that place a focus on providing a holistic skincare routine that provides a balance of treatments and skincare products. 

Thankfully, Porcelain has got you covered!

Grounded in our skincare philosophies of customized facial treatment, healthy skin and sustainability and methodologies to treat, balance and protect the skin. Porcelain prides itself in providing a lifelong, holistic skincare journey with the help of technology, craftsmanship and the power of natural ingredients. 

To ensure a consistent experience and quality service, each therapist undergoes over 500 hours worth of training and stringent testing.  

Don’t just take it from us – check out what our clients have to say!

Ready to give Porcelain a try? Begin your skincare journey with a Skin Discovery Analysis and allow our trained professionals to uncover your skin’s deepest secrets.

Oil cleansing has been a staple in the realm of skincare. Despite being a staple, new ways of using the same product are still discovered daily. Recently, an oil cleansing trend has resurfaced: Skin Gritting. Skin Gritting involves using an oil cleanser for 15 minutes to bring up “grit” – blackheads and sebaceous filaments. Porcelain Skin decided to break down the trend to see if this newfound way to oil cleanse is safe or a hyped-up trend with hidden dangers.


Credit: LABeautyologist – The Golden Rx

What is Oil Cleansing?

Oil cleansing uses oil-based cleansers to free the skin of makeup, SPF, dirt and other impurities that build upon the skin throughout the day. They are often used as a pre-cleanser in a nightly double cleansing routine. But this does not mean you should be reaching for the cooking oils to cleanse your skin. Not all oils are equal. Cleansing oils contain ingredients to help hydrate or soothe the skin. They also contain surfactants to help remove the oils and dirt.

We know you may be thinking: “I’m trying to remove the oils from my skin, why would I use an oil cleanser and add more oil to my skin?”

Should I Oil Cleanse?

The basic idea behind oil cleansing is that “like removes like”. With this idea, it makes sense to use oil cleansers to cleanse the skin of its excess oils and other impurities. Furthermore, many of our daily makeup products are oil-based or waterproof. This makes an oil cleanser the gentler and more effective alternative to makeup wipes. 

On top of that, oil cleansers tend to contain fewer surfactants which can be harsh on the skin – especially for sensitive, dry or acne-prone skin. Thus, if you’re facing sensitive, dry or acne-prone skin, using an oil cleanser can be less irritating to the skin. 

Much like skin, every oil cleanser is different, and thus you should look for the best oil cleanser specific to you. 

What is Skin Gritting and Does it Work?

Skin Gritting involves vigorously massaging an oil cleanser for 15 to 20 minutes to coax out blackheads and sebaceous filaments. This trend uses the idea of “like removes like” – using oil cleansers to “absorb” the blackheads and sebaceous filaments out of pores. While the idea of like removing like stands, there is still a lot of debate over whether Skin Gritting is a legitimate method of removal and if the grits are actually blackheads and sebaceous filaments. Before we jump in, let’s establish what blackheads and sebaceous filaments are.


Blackheads are blockages that occur at the top of the pore. They prevent oils from escaping the pore. When doing blackhead extraction, they often have a plug-like shape with a darker top (exposure to air causes congestion to oxidise). The best extraction facial in Singapore will make sure that this situation will not happen to your skin.


Credit: Medical News Today

Sebaceous Filaments

Sebaceous filaments are a thin, hair-like structure that resides within the pore and helps the transport oil to the surface of the skin. On the skin, they have a grey, yellow or clear colour to them.

Credit: Medical News Today

While the method seems to bring up grits, according to Women’s Health interview of New York City Dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D., it is likely that the grits are dead skin from your face and hands. These grits are like the grains of dead skin you would get from exfoliating with gel exfoliators. Additionally, the grits in the viral images are much larger than regular blackheads and sebaceous filaments. Moreover, blackheads and sebaceous filaments do not share the same appearance characteristics as grits seen in photos. Blackheads tend to be dark only at the top of the plug and sebaceous filaments tend to be thin like hair and less dark.

Sebaceous Filaments

Credit: Reddit

With all these factors considered, it is safe to say that Skin Gritting does not remove blackheads and sebaceous filaments. Apart from it being ineffective at removing congestion, the vigorous 15-minute massage can irritate the skin, over-exfoliate skin and cause broken capillaries. That’s not all – rubbing the tiny grits into your skin creates micro-tears. These tears can lead to inflammation and infections that can result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (like post-acne marks).

Alternatives to Skin Gritting

While we have debunked Skin Gritting, there are many safer ways that you can minimise blackheads on your skin without the pain and danger of extractions!

#1: Balance your pH

Many skincare issues arise from an imbalance skin pH. Your skin’s pH determines the strength of its natural barrier. Our barrier thrives when there is an optimal balance of oil and water content in the skin. Any imbalances would be revealed through the skin’s type and symptoms. For example, oily skin types have an imbalance in their pH thanks to the over-production of sebum caused by a lack of hydration. Sebum is your skin’s way of retaining moisture and hydration. When there is a lack of hydration, the skin produces more oils to prevent further loss of hydration.

 Not sure which skin type you have? Grab a tissue and find out here.

Once you have discovered your skin type, it is time to work on rebalancing your skin pH.

Here are some simple principles you can use to help rebalance your skin’s pH.

  • Oily skin lacks hydration and produces too much oil to compensate. Thus, hydrate it sufficiently and invest in products that help to control oil production.
  • Dry skin lacks hydration and produces insufficient oil to moisturise the skin. Thus, focus on replenishing much-needed hydration and moisture. 

Combination skin’s needs vary based on the combination of skin types, but the same principles above apply. 

#2: Tackle the Root Cause

Blackheads, like any other form of acne, are a result of excess oil buildup and dead skin cell accumulation. Thus, cleansing and exfoliation are vital in keeping these blemishes at bay. 

Double cleansing does an impeccable job of removing excess oil buildup daily. The initial cleanse aids in removing the dirt, impurities and excess oil. This allows the second, deep pore cleanse to penetrate deeper for a better cleanse. Start your double cleansing routine with the Double Cleansing Set.

Regular exfoliation removes the buildup of dead skin cells and stimulates skin renewal. Plus, proper exfoliation leaves behind brighter and softer skin too! Need a non-abrasive exfoliator for the job? Try the Natural Skin Refiner

On top of regular exfoliations, you can add acids (like AHAs and BHAs) into your skincare routines. AHAs help to remove dead skin cells. BHAs penetrate deeper into the skin to dissolve the mix of sebum and dead skin cells within the pores. While these acids may seem perfect, it is important to use acids carefully. Generally, acids should be below 3% in concentration to be safe for daily use. Want our suggestion? Give the Glycolic Toner a shot – a perfectly balanced toner to exfoliate and hydrate the skin. Plus, it’s safe for daily use!

Along with blackheads, you may be looking to remove your sebaceous filaments. However, they are a necessary part of the skin as they help transport oil to the skin’s surface, keeping it moisturised. While it is possible to remove them with professional help, they will regrow every 28-30 days (the duration of our skin cycle).

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