OK, this info comes straight from my facialist friend, and I have tried/ tested it out on myself, so I know it works. One question we get ALL THE TIME is: “How do I get rid of blackheads?” “How do I remove blackheads naturally?” and so on.
First: What Is a Blackhead? What Causes Them?
You’ve probably noticed that getting rid of blackheads isn’t quite as easy as just squeezing them out (though believe me, I have tried and tried). A “blackhead” is technically some old dried-up oil that is stuck in one of your pores, so it’s not going to go away on its own. The reason you don’t want to just squeeze them out with your fingernails is simple: your nails have bacteria on and in them, and if you use them to squeeze your zits, you are eventually going to up with an infection (if you haven’t already). With that in mind, here are my best tips for removing blackheads from anywhere (including your face, thighs, chest, breasts, back, chin, and nose). You just need a simple setup, and then you can do this quickly in the privacy of your own home. Also, before you ask, yes, I have totally tried the pore strips, which I found disappointing at best and only about 50% effective.
First, you need a super-simple tool. This is the best blackhead removal tool that I have found (and believe me, I have tried alot of them):
This is the Tweezerman No-Slip Skin Care Tool. It’s basically an extractor with a metal loop at each end. You can also use it for popping your whiteheads, and it works really well for hard to reach places, like your nose or back, or if you have blackheads in your ears, which I promise you, everybody does. It’s about $10, which is actually on the high-end side, but after trying a bunch of different kinds, I like this one because it keeps its sharpness and always does the job. Blackhead removal goes much more quickly when you have the proper equipment.
So, first get the tool. These are also available at drugstores. I feel like this kind of tool works much better than the vacuum or suction, and is way cheaper anyway, so try it!
When it arrives, wash your hands. Do not skip this step! Even though you’re not going to be using your fingernails to pop the blackhead, you are still going to end up touching your face at some point in this process, so make sure they are good and clean (pretend you’re a surgeon if you have to). If you do not do this, I can almost guarantee that overnight, you are going to develop some red, swollen, possibly infected open pores where the blackheads were. You do not want that, trust me!
The Treatment Method (and Related Products):
Next, use steam to make sure your pores open up. You can do this by taking a shower, or by boiling some water on the stove and putting your face (or wherever you have the black heads) over it. The steaming is really important for the large or deep pimples and blackheads.
Or you can get one of these, which I also have:
That’s the Coanir Facial Sauna System with Timer. It’s like $20, so if you get alot of blackheads, I would definitely recommend it.
Once you have steamed your pores open, it should be really fast and easy to just pull the tool across your nose/ cheek/ wherever you have the blackheads, and they should just pop right out. Wipe the tool off with a Kleenex in between pulls to get the stuff off.
When you’re done, it’s good to put something on your face to make sure your pores close up and the bacteria you’ve just extracted doesn’t spread. My facialist friend recommended a toner, but it had too much alcohol in it, so not only did it sting like hell when I put it in, put it dried out and irritated my face. So, if you can find a toner that doesn’t have alcohol but says it kills bacteria, try that. I personally use tea tree oil, which I dab on my face with a cotton ball. Tea tree oil is also one of my favorite remedies to prevent new outbreaks of pimples (and blackheads), so that’s always nice.
That’s Tea Tree (Melaleuca) 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil- 10 ml. It’s $3 or $4, and it works great on acne.
Also, you’re going to want to make sure to use a good cleanser to try to discourage the over-production of sebum (oil) so you don’t keep getting blackheads and having to do this. This program is what I use— after over 20 years of struggling with acne (cystic, hormonal, blackheads, you name it), I can honestly say that my skin has never looked better. You should seriously try it. You do not want to be popping your zits and blackheads forever.
Here’s all the official word from Wikipedia on what a black head is. Who knew they were also known as “comodo”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comedo. I guess that’s short for comedones? How very British.