When it comes to a preferred at home solution for keeping your skin and pores clean, blackhead extractor tools are a savvy purchase to make.
Whether you are dealing with pimples, whiteheads or blackheads constantly or one just happens to POP up once in a while, owning a convenient and hygienic device to effectively extract them without leaving marks and scars is definitely a necessity.
Regardless of how frequent you use Charcoal Black Masks, there will still come a time when you need the use of a blemish extractor kit.
My first contact with steel and vacuum extractors is linked to my first ever visit to a dermatologist and a cosmetician. I may not have had to deal with ruthless cystic pimples and acne throughout adolescence, but no one is immune to blackheads.
HOW TO Stop Blackheads from appearing
I learned early on that pimples, blackheads and whiteheads are various forms of acne that affect the face, chest and back region. Although they may look different, these are all symptoms of clogged pores and there are many ways to treat these various ailments with a correct skin care regimen.
But in order to treat the problem, my cosmetician used to say you must first understand the causes and what you can do to prevent them from occurring. As you may know, our skin has a natural protection barrier – sebum – that protects us from various external factors. Skin issues occur when this same substance gets mixed with dirt, bacteria, pollution, irritants and comedogenic ingredients found in some skin care and makeup products that we use.
If the sebum that protects the surface of the skin comes into contact with these environmental factors for too long and enough time has passed without cleaning your face, your pores will become clogged with a mixture of sebum and dirt.
If the pore is completely clogged and remains closed at the surface, it forms what we call a whitehead. Subsequently, a blackhead is formed when a pore is only partially clogged, allowing some of the trapped sebum to slowly drain to the surface. The black color is caused by the oxygen in the air reacting to the exposed pore.
This is why removing a blackhead is always easier than a whitehead and why it’s necessary to pierce the skin and sebum sack in order to efficiently remove a whitehead. Pimples usually develop after whiteheads or blackheads have become infected and pores become inflamed.
However, skin type is given to us genetically, and so is oil production. Those with excessive sebum have a harder time maintaining pores unclogged than those with dry skin. Regardless, every skin type is susceptible to blackheads and whiteheads, which is why I advise everyone to follow a skin cleansing routine suited to their specific needs and to use blackhead extractor tools only in need.
If you don’t treat the cause of the problem, you are particularly vulnerable to scarring and more breakouts.
Skin Care Routine for clogged pores
I’m sure there are many people who would argue that using force to get anything out of your pores is only going to cause more damage to the skin, and I hear them.
As I said before, my method of choice in trying to achieve a clear and healthy complexion is daily used cleansers, lotions and moisturizers that are suited for my skin type and can help control all the not-so-pleasant aspects of my sensitive combination skin.
I’ll soon follow up with a post on all my favourite face cleansers for oily and combination skin that cater to your every need, so stay tuned for more info on the matter and follow TinyTouchups.
Because I feel like my skin care routine essentially means juggling between an oily T zone & blackheads-prone nose and a dry, patchy skin on the rest of the face, sometimes the correct balance isn’t so easy to achieve.
One day spent at work in heavily polluted environments, an outdoor shooting in the sun all day or other such scenarios and I wake up the next day with breakouts and blackheads that are so rooted in my (thankfully?) small pores that no pore strip is ever going to help in my case. So what is a girl to do?
Mechanical force that entails pushing your fingernails into your skin is not the way to go when dealing with sensitive skin, I’ve learned that lesson the hard way growing up. My face would remain red and swollen for two days post-bloodbath, I would scar the skin around my blackheads something horrid and draw even more attention to the skin issues I was facing.
The blackheads I managed to pull out gave me immense satisfaction, while the ones I was unable to, got infected overnight and became reddish pimples the next day. That was until I learned how to use a blackhead extractor from my dermatologist.
HOW TO USE a Blackhead Extractor Tool
Blackhead Extractor tools and vacuums have loads of advantages to using your fingers for extracting comedons or pore strips.
First off, they are made out of stainless steel, which make them a lot easier to disinfect and safer to use without pushing bacteria into the pores.
Because of their shape and small size, blackhead extractor tools are easy to work around your nose and remove dirt from an angle your fingers wouldn’t be able to.
There are different types out there, but some contain two different sized loops to cater to blackheads and whiteheads situated on either your face or your body. Other contain lancets that poke the sebum sack of whiteheads and make them easy to extract completely.
Compared to pore strips, blackhead remover tools are also pretty economical, since they have repeat value and can be used over and over again, as long as you disinfect them and store them away from humid environments.
Given all that, how come many dermatologists warn against using them and preach that comedone extraction should best be left for the professionals?
It’s simple really. Just as it happens when you use your fingers to extract blackheads and whiteheads, when done badly, it will often make things worse. Think back to the story I told you about my teenage years and the 2-day healing process that I had to endure for the inflammation to subside and you’ll get the picture.
When you rip the skin, but don’t succeed in getting all the sebum out, you spread bacteria inside the pores, injure skin cells, cause infection and end up with a pimple the next day if you’re lucky or perhaps with cystic acne if your karma sucks.
Blackhead remover tools can be a better alternative to your fingers, IF you use them correctly. If not, the same things that happen when you obsess on extracting using your fingers will happen when fate bestows a pointy steel tool in your use.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with skin is resisting the temptation to be too aggressive in trying to remove debris.
Here are some pointers for you:
- Start off with washing your hands with warm water and soap
- Wash your face using a cleanser in order to remove any dirt and bacteria sitting on your skin
- Follow with a hot, wet towel over your face for 2-3 minutes or a face steam to open up pores and make the blackheads easier to extract with minimal pressure. For those of you who haven’t tried face steaming before, the procedure is quite soothing and enjoyable.
Warm up 500ml of water in a pot over the stove and let it come to a boiling point. Add some chamomile herb, rose water or whatever soothing ingredient comes to mind and let the water sit for a few minutes to cool off. When you think the water reached a withstanding temperature, place the pot on a table and hold your face over the steaming water.
Drape a towel over your head in order to maximize the steam flow directly to your face. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, keeping your face over the steam for about 10 minutes.
Avoid getting to close to the hot water, as this will cause inflammation if exposure is too high. I usually start with quite a distance from the bowl and gradually lower my head closer to the steam, as the water cools off a bit.
- After your pores will have opened up from the steam, it’s the proper time to use your comedone tool to get rid of blackheads. Start by disinfecting your extractor tool using a cotton ball with some alcohol.
- Center the small loop of your extractor tool over the blackhead or the pimple you want to remove and rock the tool gently from side to side by applying soft pressure. If the pores are open, the blackhead will come out easily, no fuss.
The key is to not put too much pressure on the skin by dragging the tool across the entire surface of the skin, like with a rake. If the blackhead or whitehead doesn’t budge, don’t force it, or this can lead to infection and scarring.
Use a product with retinol or salicylic acid to help loosen it or see a dermatologist if you have severe blackhead issues, so they can recommend an alternative.
- If you’re wondering how to use a blackhead extractor tool on your nose, the mechanism is pretty much the same. The small loop will allow you to reach and clear the crevice around your nostrils, as well as softer and tougher areas of your nose. Remember to be gentle and remove only the blackheads that come out easily, with a simple nudge. Deal with the stubborn ones another day.
- After the extraction is complete, follow up with a face toner to clean the entire face or a gentle exfoliator to help close pores.
- Some redness and inflammation is normal if your skin is sensitive. You can soothe it by putting on some honey & egg yolk mask on your face. If you don’t have the time, you can just apply a nurturing face moisturizer.
Best Blackhead Extractor Tools – how to choose & where to buy them from
The most important thing to keep in mind when buying a blackhead remover tool is to make sure it’s made out of quality stainless steel. Choose a renowned brand like the Tweezerman Blackhead Extractor Tool that has angled loops on either end. It will offer you the best results and last you for quite some time.
Good customer reviews are also a plus when choosing the best tools to extract blackheads and whiteheads, so simplify the process and read them carefully. The product you decide upon should be easy to clean and use, it should provide a steady and firm grip, but flexible and sturdy loops.
If your skin issues involve whiteheads as well, you should focus your attention on professional 5 piece sets that make an acne and blackhead remover kit complete. Those contain different sized looped tools as well as a sharp needle tool that is meant to tear the whitehead at the surface of the skin and eliminate it completely.
If using one of these tools seems too difficult, you can always invest in a blackhead vacuum extractor. The Microdermabrasion machines offer strong but gentle suction pressure. I’ll tell you more about these below.
Tweezerman No-Slip Skin Care Tool
Everybody loves Tweezerman products, whether they are lash curlers, blackheads extractors or their trademark tweezers. That’s because they are always made with good quality, solid stainless steel that is durable. This tool is no exception.
Because of the thickness of the metal, it does not bend when you apply pressure, like it sometimes happens when you purchase unheard of brands. It features a thin angled loop to gently roll out whiteheads and a flat side to press out blackheads. It does not leave marks on your skin after use, it’s very effective at clearing pores and it will extend the time between your facials considerably.
Petunia Professional 5 Piece Blackhead and Acne Remover Kit
Like I said before, if you want to effectively remove whiteheads, as well as blackheads and pimples, your best shot is with the help of a sharp, needle, that is used to pierce through the pore opening on the surface of your skin.
This pouch contains everything you need to remove hard-to-reach blemishes, blackheads and whiteheads safely, without piercing through your skin and causing more harm than good. These tools are comfortable to use, have a non-slip grip and are made out of premium-grade stainless steel. Also, if you need further reading on the best ways to extract comedones, this set contains a booklet that is highly appreciated.
Bestope Blackhead Remover Kit
Keeping your face clean of blackheads, whiteheads, blemishes and pimples has a lot to do with the right tools. This kit offers multiple sized tools as well as a professional electroplated needle that is ultra-sharpened to ensure no damage on the skin or pores.
Each stainless steel tool has its own purpose. The one with two loops on each side is used for squeezing stubborn acne, blackhead and whiteheads, pimples and fat granules.
The wide loop is intended for large or inflamed breakouts, whilst the thin tip for cleaning smaller pores or extracting blemishes, as well as reaching the areas around your nose. The gem of this kit is the sharp needle that not many other brands provide.
So what do you think about the whitehead/blackhead remover tools out there? Would you consider trying one out?