Tempted to Squeeze Those Blackheads? Here’s How to Do At-Home Extractions Safely
Not to get all Coach Carr from Mean Girls on you, but the general consensus of skin experts on at-home pore extractions, much like popping a pimple, is akin to passing out condoms to high schoolers: “We’re not encouraging it, but if they’re going to do it, let’s make it safe,” said aesthetician Candace Marino.
In all their gooey glory, excavating a blackhead can be wildly satisfying — a top guilty beauty indulgence, to be sure — but, like many tricky-to-do services, is often best left to the pros. Still, if you can’t peel yourself away from the 10x magnifying mirror any time you step into the bathroom, Marino has some best practices to DIY facial extractions safely.
The first (and oddly, the trickiest) step is to identify a blackhead from something else. Those little dots smattered across your nose, for example? You might be mistaking those for sebaceous filaments. “Blackheads will be raised, textured, truly black, thick and waxy,” she said. “The skin oils solidify, forming plugs which can dilate the pore further, leading to enlarged pores. Sebaceous filaments are the normal function of the follicle. Narrow, lighter in color under the skin — they do not fully obstruct the pore and are not meant for extractions.”
Then, Marino’s full step-by-step guide ahead. As for that black extraction extraction tool you’ve heard all about? In the words of Coach Carr: just don’t do it, OK? Promise?
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