Blackheads are visually annoying, so we understand why it's really hard for some people to resist the urge to pick at them. If you find yourself with blackheads that you feel you NEED to remove, here are some tips on how to extract blackheads yourself safely and effectively + prevent new ones from forming.
- When to extract blackheads: Always extract blackheads after a warm shower or bath. The warm water will soften your skin and steam will help open pores to make extraction easier and less traumatic to your skin.
- How to extract blackheads:
- Metal Extractors: Never, ever use metal comedone extractor. Using these “devices” is very dangerous will lead to scars, possible infection, and even broken capillaries in the skin. Not good at all. These devices might look helpful and they can be when used in the trained hands of a dermatologist or aesthetician but can be a recipe for disaster when used improperly at home.
- Blackheads Strips: The best and safest way to extract blackheads is with pore cleansing strips such as the blackhead removal strips from MDacne. You can buy these at most drug stores.
- Hands: If you don't have access to an aesthetician or blackheads strips and are in dire need to extract blackheads, you can (very carefully!) use your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap. Dry them and wrap a clean tissue or piece of toilet paper around each index finger. Gently push down with each fingers on the sides of the target blackhead and squeeze with a rolling motion. If it doesn't come out within 3 tries...stop! Don't force it or you will cause bigger issues down the line.
Once you’ve gotten rid of any existing blackheads, you want to prevent new ones from forming.
- Skincare: One of the keys to preventing blackheads is to keep your pores open. The best way to support this topically is by using cleansers and treatment creams with Salicylic Acid (2% recommended), such as those from MDacne Exfoliating scrubs or masks with Salicylic Acid can also help but should never be used more than once a week. Over-exfoliation can dry and irritate the skin and make blackheads and inflammatory acne worse. You always want to be gentle with your skin!
- Makeup & Sunscreen: Make sure to always use only products labeled non-comedogenic. Non-comedogenic means the products were tested and found to NOT clog pores.