DIY: How To Remove Blackheads
I know I know. We're constantly saying do not pick at your blemishes, but there's always an exception to the rule… if done correctly.
Here's everything you need to know to clear clogged pores and blackheads from the privacy of your own bathroom.
You can never completely get rid of them for good, but that doesn't mean you can't do anything about reducing them.
This action plan will teach you just how to keep blackheads away for longer.
How Do Blackheads Form
A blackhead results from blockage of the oil gland by sloughed-off skin cells. When you have a blackhead, it means that the hair follicle is open. It is not a speck of dirt inside the hole.
The air from the outside has seeped into the open pore and darkened the oil. You're actually looking at a tiny spot of discolored oil.
Conversely, if you have a whitehead, it means that your pore is closed. The oil hasn't been exposed to the outside air, and it hasn't been discolored.
But underneath that closed pore is a buildup of oil pressing against the surface of the skin.
How To Remove Blackheads
Extractions are extremely beneficial for clearing pores and facilitating clear skin. While extractions should be left to a skin care professional, it is helpful to know a safe way to perform them at home, in case of emergencies.
Gather the following items:
- a steamer pot with water,
- sterile gloves,
- hydrogen peroxide,
- alcohol (or Tonic Active),
- cotton rounds, and
- sulfur clarifying creme, which doubles as an antiseptic mask.
You can also use an egg white whipped with peroxide if you don't have a mask. If you have an extraction tool, feel free to gather that as well.
Thoroughly cleanse your hands and face, put on gloves (or wrap plastic wrap around your fingers), and then wipe your face with the cotton round doused with tonic active.
Heat the water in a pot until it begins to steam. Transfer to a bowl and cover your head and bowl as if you were making a tent. Then steam your face for 5 to 10 minutes until it begins perspiring.
Dampen your face with hydrogen peroxide to avoid drying and place the cotton round pads – doused with tonic active - on the ends of your index fingers and hold them in place with your thumbs.
Gently press the two index fingers together around the outside perimeter of the extraction target.
The pore will open in the blackhead or whitehead will exit. Continually change the cotton rounds to avoid spreading bacteria.
You should begin with your nose, move to your forehead and cheeks, and end with your chin.
If you are using an extraction tool, use the smallest circle and gently press down. You should not attempt to use the larger loop or the sharp end for lancing as these tools should be left for professionals.
If the blackhead or whitehead does not release, you should not force it. At this point, you will want to apply topical treatment to soften the comedone for future release.
Do not scrape the skin or use excessive force. Unsightly bruising and other irritations can occur.
Cleanse your face one final time with tonic active to remove excess sebum. Apply the sulfur clarifying cream and honey mask combination and allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
Wash your face with cold water and moisturize.
Remember to be safe and gentle and take your time. The goal is to create clarity and not cause further irritation to the skin.