September 22, 2016
Gentlemen let’s be clear, our skin care deserves just as much care as a fresh clean line-up. At least once in our lives, taking the plunge and undergoing the extractor tool to rid our pores of dirt, oil and grime is essential. I took it upon myself, being a Modern Man and all, to experience a deep cleaning, complete with extractions. I know this sounds torturous, maybe a bit uncomfortable. But the key is finding a venue that gives off a good vibe, and that can ease any hidden nerves.
Enter Todd Bernard, an 18-year grooming veteran, owner of ICutPro in Mount Vernon, NY. Most known for being, “The King of Extractions,” his services are part educational, part visual portfolio. An Instagram grooming star, Bernard’s unorthodox method of carefully introducing spa-like services into the traditional barbershop setting has caught the attention of thousands of viewers, mostly men, who normally would not step foot inside a salon. Fellas, the privilege was all mine as I embarked on this pilgrimage to healthy skin.
STEP 1 – ANALYSIS/PREP + CLEANSE
As soon as I walked in the shop, I knew I was in good hands. Clean, inviting music and a relaxed vibe eased any anxiety. Sinking into the leather chair, Todd slid on a pair of white gloves, then began a thorough and careful assessment of my face. Starting from the T-Zone, nose, cheeks, followed by the chin area, my combination skin was cleaned with an in-house formula made of essential oil and good-for-you type ingredients.
The process lasted 5-10 minutes, and included a facial massage to help stimulate blood circulation and aid in opening up pores. After the deep cleaning, the steam machine made an intro to soften up the plug of sebum and dead skin cells housed inside pores.
Tip: Always make sure your esthetician, or in this case barber, wears gloves to lessen infection, prevent damage to skin and have several towels handy to keep the skin clean at all times.
STEP 2 – EXTRACTION
What happened next could only be described as heaven on Earth. As Todd started extracting, he explained the importance of deep pore cleansing. “The body builds up toxins and that build up can take a toll on your complexion. To have a more radiant complexion, make sure you scrub away the dead skin to help skin heal as well as regenerate new cells.”
Using professional tools, bursts of steam and drops of calming essentials oils, he attacked open comedones, enlarged pores and areas of dullness to ensure each part of the face is thoroughly cleansed. Truth is, you may feel slight pressure, but that’s expected as some comedones may be deeper than others.
Tip: Using steam, which causes you to perspire, helps loosen the sebum plug. And when you can, avoid alcohol- based products throughout the process.
STEP 3 – TONE + MOISTURE
After completing the extractions and rinsing off the face completely, Todd re-assessed the skin for any spots he may have missed. Applying an alcohol-free toner, I was asked about a moisturizer. At first I hesitated [my face felt hydrated] but Todd wanted to protect my face so he applied a generous amount of Aloe Vera Gel which left my skin soft and evened out my complexion.
Tip: Before applying a toner and moisturizer, use a cool towel to close any open clean pores and soothe irritated skin.
The results were immediate! My complexion looked 100% better, noticeably less oily with, shrunken pores and the official glow-up made a comeback. Remember, hair and skin are both connected, so my advice is to make sure your face is as nicely ‘faded’ as your haircut and treat yourself to facial every few months for a glowing and clean complexion.