How to Properly Extract Blackheads

January 21, 2019

Hey there! I haven't mentioned this on my blog before but I am a trained esthetician and have been for over a year now. I'm loving my job and today I wanted to share some tips on how to properly get rid of those pesky blackheads.

Disclaimer: It is always recommended to go to a professional regarding any extractions, but if you really have the itch to clear out clogged pores yourself I recommend following these steps to minimize the risk of scarring or damaging the skin.

Step 1: Cleanse
Make sure you cleanse your skin thoroughly to get rid of any makeup, dirt, or excess oil that could enter the open pore after extraction. I do a "mini facial" on myself including extractions every 2 weeks and always start with a double cleanse. The first cleanse is to remove the excess makeup, dirt and oil that may be left on the skin and the second cleanse is to actually clean the skin.

I am currently using the Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly cleanser, it gives me a squeaky clean feeling without leaving the skin dry and stripping it of its natural oils.

Step 2: Exfoliate
I am HUGE on exfoliating especially before extractions to remove any dead skin cells on the surface of our skin. Removing the dead skin will make extractions easier and also help products sink into the skin better.

My skin can be quite sensitive to manual exfoliates (abrasive/scrub) so I tend to use them only during my mini facials or once a week. I regularly use a chemical exfoliant but when I need instant results I use my Aveda Radiant Skin Refiner manual exfoliant.

Step 3: Steam
Steaming before extractions is the most important step of them all, the heat from the steam opens the pores to aid in easy extractions. I like to steam for about 5-7 minutes using my facial steamer from Amazon, it was really cheap and works great! If you don't have a steamer, boil some water and pour it into a large bowl, next lean your face over the bowl (not too close, don't burn yourself) and cover yourself in a towel to trap in the steam.

If you want to amp up the steaming process, you can DIY your own desincrustation solution (an alkaline solution that helps to open the pores) using sodium bicarbonate (AKA baking soda). Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with one cup of distilled water, apply the solution onto clogged pores and steam. I would recommend steaming without the solution for 3 minutes then apply the solution and steam for another 2-5 minutes. The solution should dissolve into the skin so there is no need to remove.
Step 4: Finally, the Extractions
There are a couple different methods to actually extract blackheads, the first is using the Q-tip method. Grab 2 Q-tips and gently apply pressure on either side of the clogged pore while trying to push under forcing the debris out. Use new clean Q-tips for each blackhead to ensure there is no contamination of other areas.
Another method is using tissue wrapped around your fingers to gently apply the same downward pressure to either side of the pore to release the debris.
Lastly my favourite way to extract is using an extractor, it is a metal tool specifically made for extractions. One end has a large loop for larger impactions such as a white head while the smaller end is for blackheads. With an extractor it is very important to be gentle while using it, if nothing is coming out with a slight push... stop. Don't force anything out, this is how scarring can happen to the skin. If a black head is still not coming out after all the prep we have gone through, it is best to wait until your next "mini facial" to give it time to release.
Step 5: Mask
Its can be very satisfying extracting blackheads but also quite irritating, that is why I like to do a face mask after extractions. Depending on how clogged my pores are, I will either use something soothing such as a hydrating mask or a clay mask if I still feel like my pores need a deeper clean. When I need a DEEP clean I will use my 100% bentonite clay to pull out excess oils in the skin. This mask is INTENSE so I would recommend your first try to only leave it on for 5 minutes to see how your skin reacts. It comes in a powder and is super easy to mix up, just combine one part powder to one part water or apple cider vinegar to maintain the skins natural pH balance while you mask. You will defiantly feel your face pulsate like the mask claims, and if left on too long your skin can be left red with a clear sign of where the mask was applied.... So I wouldn't recommend using this one right before a date.

And finally, tone and moisturize. Toner will help close the pores back up and restore the skins pH. Moisturizer is very important because exfoliating and steaming can be quite drying and we want to maintain the skins natural moisture balance.

Thank you for reading, I would love to hear feedback and also what your "mini facial" routine is :)

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  1. These are great tips!! I need to try this!! Lately, I've been getting these white black heads (only way I know how to describe it) on the side of my noise and they won't go away.

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    1. Those are white heads and they are closer to the surface than black heads so these methods will work out well for them!!

  2. Learned a lot from your post. I'm looking forward to trying this.

    Ngumabi xxo |

    1. Thank you so much! And thank you for pinning this post on your Pinterest, I really appreciate it ❤️

  3. Well that was amazing! I also have most of these products too which makes it easier! I love the facial steamer!

  4. Awesome tips, that steamer looks very handy!


  5. Ohhh, this sounds so complicated, haha. I might give it a go, tho. Thank you for sharing this routine! x

    - Leta | The Nerdy Me

  6. These are great products, especially the Indian Healing clay. Thanks for sharing this regimen dear.

    Jessica |

  7. Thank you for all these tips! i always get black heads around my nose but i've never tried to remove them by myself . i need to try these steps!