So I told you about the lovely Lancome mascara topcoat that I procured from Sephora in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago. However, I also snuck some decidedly less fancy items into my shopping basket, like their double-ended blemish extractor. Most brands do a version of this implement with loops at either end - The Body Shop have one that's almost totally identical for about a fiver - designed to hoke blackheads and whiteheads right out of the pores they've been squatting in while doing minimal damage to skin.
Implements like these are a good idea if you're inclined to prod and poke the bejaysus out of your mush on a regular basis, because they'll satisfy your need for a squeeze in a controlled way. I've been putting it through its paces while trying to hide it from Himself (he goes mental at the merest hint of post-squeeze redness: "Will you leave your poor face alone?!"), doing battle with the bane-of-my-life areas of congestion around my nose and chin.
The good news is that, while the large size of the loops on my particular model mean it's a bit unwieldy around fiddly areas like the sides of the nose or on really weeny blemishes, it actually makes a pretty good fist of extractions. Its effectiveness can be increased by using it after a shower so that pores are wiiiide open. And provided you don't use wildly excessive pressure which would cause nearly as much damage as if you'd got stuck in with your nails, you shouldn't be left with any long-lasting tell-tale red marks.
I went to town with mine on Sunday night - first thing on Monday morning, Himself said approvingly "Your skin looks great, doesn't it? Are you going to keep leaving it alone?"
Mwah hah hah!