Blackheads are the bane of my existence. I hate very few things, but I do hate blackheads with a fiery, burning passion. It seems impossible, but I would do just about anything to rid my pores of their congestion. Luckily, I have an answer to my life’s dilemma. (Dramatic much?)

I may be a skin care enthusiast and esthetician in training, but Refinery29 (more specifically esthetician and skin care expert Renee Rouleau) schooled me in a new technique for removing blackheads. And I couldn’t be more excited to try them.

Rouleau recommends employing plastic wrap, two washcloths, tissue and moisturizer after a hot shower (this softens hardened oil in the pores) to remove blackheads. Here’s how it works:

First, apply a generous coat of moisturizer in the areas you have blackheads. This will create a sort of “occlusive seal” which will aide in the ease of extraction.

Then cover the areas with the moisturizer with plastic wrap. On top of that, apply two hot, damp washcloths for five minutes. After removing the plastic wrap and washcloths, reapply any moisturizer where it may have been wiped away.

Now your pores and blackheads should be extremely soft and ready for extracting. Wrap each one of your pointer fingers with clean tissue and get to squeezing; you want to use gentle pressure, keep your fingers wide apart in order to really remove debris from deep in the skin and continuously reposition your fingers so that you aren’t traumatizing the same area over and over.

Renee also says to employ a “three strikes and you’re out” philosophy, meaning if you try squeezing an area three time and nothing comes out, leave it alone!!! After your extraction session, wipe over the skin with an alcohol-free toner and then apply a cooling or pore purifying mud mask.

To keep pores clear, incorporate products with AHA’s, BHA’s, salicylic acid and topical vitamin C (think about it: blackheads are oxidized oil… how do you stop an apple from oxidizing? the vitamin C in lemon juice..  you catch my drift) into your daily skincare routine. [via Refinery29]

Lovelies, how do you feel about DIY extractions? 

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