skin spatula image

Pores are pretty much a fact of life: no matter how on-point your skincare regime, you’ll probably experience enlarged or clogged pores in your lifetime. And since you can never get rid of your pores (they’re actually tiny hair follicles, and the size is determined by hormones and genetics) we’re always on the lookout for new pore-minimizing tools and techniques – we have so many blackheads, so if this is the answer, we want to know more!

So, as you can imagine, we were pretty stoked when we heard about a new wave of skin spatulas that promise to unclog your pores, remove excess oil and get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. All of which, sounds unbelievable; literally unbelievable, so we thought we’d run it past a dermatologist (aka a skincare goddess) Jessica Wu M.D., Los Angeles dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face for her opinion on the new beauty tool,(we have so many blackheads, and if this is the answer, we want to know more). Here’s what she had to say…

How it works

Dr. Jessica Wu says that “skin spatulas can be used to apply skincare products or to unclog pores.” Although aestheticians and facialists have used skin spatulas for years, Jessica notes that “the newest tools are combined with ultrasound vibrations, which help loosen makeup, oil, and dirt from pores, while the spatula component scrapes away debris and dead skin.” These type of skin spatulas, according to Jessica “are typically made of silicone, rubber, or stainless steel that you push across your skin to remove dead skin and debris, which the ultrasound has loosened.” Jessica says the main goal of a skin spatula “is to minimize blackheads, deep cleanse the skin, and potentially reduce breakouts.”

Who are skin spatulas good for?

As with all skincare tools and products, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ with beauty and that’s definitely the case with a skin spatula (find out your skin type read here). According to Dr. Jessica Wu, if you’re blackhead prone, it could work for you. She also adds that it’s “less abrasive than microdermabrasion and can be an option if you’re sensitive to alpha or beta hydroxyl acids and other acne ingredients.”

However, if you have sensitive or delicate skin, Dr. Jessica Wu doesn’t recommend using a skin spatula, especially if “you are using a retinoid, it could give you an abrasion or worsen any redness or rosacea”. She also, recommends “avoiding using it on areas with scabs and whiteheads, which can be ripped off, as it could potentially lead to scars.” Equally, if you have acne or cystic acne you shouldn’t use a skin spatula as you could end up aggravating your acne and spreading bacteria, which could lead to more breakouts.

A post shared by Juliana (@beauty.by.je) on

How To Use A Skin Spatula:

Dr. Jessica Wu advises any first-time users to consult with a professional before using this beauty tool. Although Jessica admits she doesn’t know “of any dermatologists who use this technique,” she would “recommend finding an experienced aesthetician” who is familiar with the dos and dont’s, “at least for your first time, so you get accustomed to the amount of pressure to apply.”

Once you’ve experienced using the skin spatula with a trained expert, you can use it at home. Although you shouldn’t use it on your skin more than once or twice a week as daily usage could end up over-exfoliating your skin and damaging its protective layer. You must also make sure your skin is damp for the tool to work properly, so make sure you cleanse first and then keep the skin wet with an alcohol-free toner or warm water. Shop the Trophy Skin Labelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula here, $150.

The alternative:

Although from the videos, skin spatulas seem very effective, it’s still worth noting that this could do more damage to your skin than is necessary. If you struggle with clogged pores and blackheads (who doesn’t?!) then you could also consider using salicylic acid, AHAs, and retinoids to keep your pores free from dead skin and sebum. Exfoliating once or twice weekly will also help to prevent blackheads from building up.

Let us know if would be tempted to buy a skin spatula in the comments below!