The right way to use a blackhead removal tool
We’ve all been there. You’ve got an important event coming up–job interview, date, dinner with your SO’s family–when lo and behold, a pesky pimple pops up! (Try saying that five times fast.)
What to do?
There isn’t enough time to wait for your anti-acne skincare routine to do its magic. Popping the pimple seems the only viable option.
Be warned, popping zits improperly can cause scarring. According to dermatologists, when you pop a pimple, the sebum (the oily, waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands inside your pores), combined with the gunk that’s made of dead skin cells and bacteria inside, will spill out to the area surrounding the pimple. This can potentially irritate the skin and cause more pimples to spread to other areas of the face.
If you must do the deed, get yourself a blackhead removal tool.
A blackhead removal tool (also referred to as a blackhead extractor or comedome extractor) is a tool that helps you extract a pimple hygienically and efficiently–the way dermatologists would do it. Here are some great options:
This 6-piece CSS stainless steel blackhead removal extraction kit is only $7 but looks professional enough to start up a beautician side gig with. (Is that a thing? Professional pimple popper? Alright, I’ll stop with the alliteration.)
The Skin Miso Comedo Remover. Also stainless steel, this blackhead extractor has a travel case and comes with 10 weeks’ worth of nose packs. Great pick for the minimalist who doesn’t want a whole toolkit.
Here’s the proper way to use a blackhead removal tool to get rid of those pesky pimples:
- Make sure that the pimple is ready to burst. If you have blackheads (open comedones), they are usually open and ripe. Don’t try to pop whiteheads (closed comedones) which have sebum buried much deeper in the pore, and you’ll more likely to end up with deeper, worse scarring.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This is extremely important! If your hands are dirty, you’ll end up spreading bacteria to the wound and make it even worse.
- Sterilize the extraction tool with rubbing alcohol. The best way to do it is to wet a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and give the blackhead extractor a good wipe.
- Wash your face with a cleanser and water. (If you’re wearing makeup, use an oil cleanser or makeup remover if necessary). Dab dry with a clean face towel.
- Put on a nose pack (you can try the Skin Miso Pore beauty nose pack that comes with the kit listed above) to soften the skin and open pores. Biore strips also work well. Wait a few minutes for the strips to get to work.
- Use the blackhead extraction tool with the smallest loop possible to minimize scarring and gently squeeze the blackhead. Keep applying gentle but steady pressure until you see the white gunk come out. If it’s not coming out, don’t force it. Use a sterilized needle or a lancet from your toolkit to make a tiny incision on top of the blackhead and try squeezing again.
- After you’re done, slap on a CosRX pimple patch and go on your merry way. These patches are our no. 1 go-to when it comes to dealing with blackheads and whiteheads. If you don’t have a patch on hand, use a Q-tip or your finger to dab Neosporin on the wound. This also helps prevent scarring and promote faster healing.
Know your zits:
For many of us, acne is the bane of our existence. But do you know what really causes it?
Acne happens when excess oil (sebum) mixes with bacteria and dead skin cells, causing your pores to clog. There are two types of acne: non-inflammatory and inflammatory.
Whiteheads (closed comedones): This is a clogged pore with the sebum and skin cells still trapped, making a white bump.
Blackheads (open comedones): This is a clogged pore with the trapped sebum and skin cells exposed to the air, which then becomes oxidized, giving it a black appearance.
Papule: is a raised, circumscribed bump with no visible fluid, often red and swelling from inflammation
Pustule: is a raised and inflamed bump that contains cloudy liquid or pus, larger than a papule.
Nodule: large red bump that is centered deeper than a papule, can be painful to touch
Cyst: a highly inflamed nodule that may contain liquid, semi solid, or solid material.
We have several comprehensive guides on dealing with various kinds of acne coming soon, so stay tuned!