I’m not sure if there are many more satisfying things than a strip to remove blackheads or – cover your ear dermatologists! – watch as one practically jumps out of the clogged pore after a good squeeze. (If you can identify, you are my people.) While removing DIY can calm your inner “collector,” it is not recommended for professionals unless you follow the right steps. “Removing the blackheads is so satisfying, and I’m guilty of trying to do it the wrong way – pinching the skin to the bruise and causing further damage and irritation,” said Boston Plastic Surgeon Jaimie DeRosa, MD. “Fortunately, there are ways to properly remove blackheads at home.” Here’s how experts say you should remove annoying blackheads without damaging your skin.
Wash the dishes.
“When you want to remove blackheads yourself, we tell our clients to follow certain steps to avoid skin damage and inflammation, hyperpigmentation or scarring,” said Licensed Medical Aesthetics, founder of Total Glow. “You have to have clean hands first.” Even if you think they are clean, wash them again. Second, wash your face carefully. “
Dr. DeRosa recommends using a cleanser, peeling and possibly a mask that contains alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which can help exfoliate dead skin and reduce blackheads. “Look for products that contain glycolic, lactic or mandelic acid. You can also try salicylic acid cleansers, peels and masks because this BHA – beta-hydroxy acid – is soluble in oil, so it can get right into the pores and help break down blackheads. ”
As for the masks, Dr. DeRosa loves both AHA and BHA, such as Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, “which contains lactic acid, salicylic acid and fruit enzymes. If you want a great clay mask, then my goal is the Revision Skincare Pore Purifying Clay Mask. The clay works by loosening the pores, absorbing excess grease and shrinking the pores. ”
Take the temperature into account.
“Ideally, you’d like to extract after a shower, which is the best time because the heat and humidity soften the blackheads so they can be easily extracted,” he says. Absher. “While our pores don’t open and close when our skin is at normal temperature or cold, the blackheads can be pretty stubborn and the impurities are just a hard plug that we don’t want to push out through our pores by squeezing. When not in use, we try to extract blackheads when our face is cold or steamless, clogged, or debris is often a drier, denser plug that is very difficult to remove from the pores. This is especially true for people with small pores.
Use mild pressure.
“Using two index fingers wrapped in cotton gauze or a tissue, grasp and gently shake your fingers to release the blackheads from the pores,” said Tam Lamarre, a skin care nurse at SkinSpirit NYC.
Or a tool that does the work for you.
Blackheads that are deeper in the skin may need the help of a tool that encourages them to come out. “The Dermaflash Dermapore ultrasonic extractor is a good home device for removing blackheads,” he says. Absher. “Although ultrasonic extractors have caused some damage to home users, if you follow the right steps and remember to be gentle, they easily remove blackheads and dirt. If the blackheads do not come out easily, do not apply more pressure, as there is a risk of skin damage. ”
Dr. DeRosa recommends a stainless steel extractor such as Utopia Care Professional Comedone Remover. “Also, always remember to clean the instrument before and after alcohol extraction.”
Follow the right skin care products.
“After removing the blackheads, wash your face again and then use a good salicylic acid toner before applying other products,” he says. Absher. Waffle mist such as Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner or Humphreys Organic Pure Witch Hazel Toner may also be useful.
Scoop on pore strips
According to Lamarre, it does not hurt to occasionally use pore strips, but they do not provide deep cleansing. “The results are temporary because they only focus on the oxidized upper layer of the black dot.” Also be aware of possible skin irritation or allergic reactions to the adhesive on the strip. ”
Extraction in the office
Lamarre does not recommend removing your own blackheads and advises leaving it to professionals. “Improper removal of blackheads can lead to skin injuries, broken capillaries, hyperpigmentation and scarring,” he says. “But if you have to try it yourself and find yourself squeezing or digging into your skin, it’s your guide to stop and book a meeting with a professional. Skin therapists have the tools, products and other benefits of a better magnifying glass. Professional extractions are generally part of deep facial cleansing, which includes cleansing, exfoliation – with or without flow) – extraction, antiseptic mist or tonic, serum, moisturizer and SPF. ”However, blackheads can also be found on the back and other parts of the body .
Professional extractions usually range between $ 100 and $ 250, depending on the salon, clinic or doctor’s office you visit, the method used, and the number of extractions that need to be performed. “Our professional extractions don’t hurt, but sometimes they may be a little uncomfortable,” Absher notes. Redness and mild swelling may occur at the extraction sites and should disappear shortly after facial treatment. “With this type of treatment, we can also add our medical LED light therapy, depending on how deep we had to go.” adds. “You should expect to come out with incredibly clean skin, you will look more even, fresh and radiant.”
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