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Banish Blackheads With an Extractor

Everybody has some sort of embarrassing obsession, and mine is pore purging. Whenever I'm stressed, pushing blackheads out of my pores always calms me. (Sick, I know.) Since the bacteria on fingers can exacerbate acne, I bought Sephora's double loop extractor ($16) to help me get the gunk out cleanly.

The double-ended, stainless steel, made-in-Germany tool is meant to help with both blackheads and whiteheads. The thin, narrow loop is for oozing whiteheads, while the wider one is for digging out blackheads. For at least 30 minutes last night, I alternated between the two, giddily cleaning out my pores. This sucker helps you declog everything, and with a little help from a magnifying mirror, I was even able to get rid of blackheads on my earlobes. Delightfully gross. For instructions on doing this at home,


If you are similarly afflicted with this need to purge, here's what to do. Extract the blackheads after a shower, or prepare the comedones by placing a damp, warm washcloth on your skin. Then, apply gentle pressure on the clogged pores; don't force it, or you can cause redness and/or scarring. And don't even think about trying this with cystic acne, as it won't work. Clean the tool with alcohol after each use, and wipe skin with an alcohol-free toner or witch hazel when you're through. With regular use, you'll be able to improve the look of your pores — but be warned, doing so can lead to a mildly pathetic quasiaddiction.

acyl acyl 8 years
OH yeah, there's nothing more satisfying than pushing out a real big one! :D
swati05 swati05 8 years
Lovelie I will so try your method of getting rid off blackheads
CityStyleLife CityStyleLife 8 years
i have one I have to find it because I never knew the correct way to use it. Now that I do I really hope I find it!
yeahimkristin yeahimkristin 8 years
This little tool has been a friend of mine for about 3 years now, I found one at Sally's and have been using it once every week since. I've always used an alcohol swab on the pores after I've used it but never thought of using witch hazel!
watermeloncandy watermeloncandy 8 years
For the pore strip commentor, the best time to use them is right after the shower, BUT, peel the plastic off the back and lay them on the bathroom sink (sticky side up) then take your steamy hot shower, and apply them when you get out. The steam helps activate the strip and sticks to your face better. Wait exactly 10 minutes then peel off. You get a lot more blackheads removed this way!
sham28 sham28 8 years
It's definitely the lesser of two evils as opposed to fingernails. I pick too and usually drive some of the whatever back under my skin.
ImmaDiva ImmaDiva 8 years
hahaha o wow... yeah it definitely "hurts so good", good way to put it haha it provides a sense of accomplishment when you finally get those hard to reach ones on the side of the nose.. hahaha
lilCROAT03 lilCROAT03 8 years
ok, once, i started at midnight like 'just the ones that gunk up around the sides of the nose', yeah right i ended up going nuts with this thing and went to sleep at 3 am. the next day i was so red and raw. i over did it but it hurt so good.
ImmaDiva ImmaDiva 8 years
Bella! hahaha This story made my day haha I am OBSESSED with degunking my blackheads on my nose.. I sit for 30 minutes at a time looking for pores to "clean" out haha and it's so grossly satisfying when I'm done hahaha I feel so much better knowing i'm not alone.. and I never thought about the bacteria on my fingers so I will def pick up one of these tools!! Thanks for the info on how to use :)
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
I seriously grabbed one of these, plus some :p, at Sephora today. Bella you have started a serious addiction...
shazzam shazzam 8 years
hm. i just use tweezers for my blackheads, squeeze the clogged pore with tweezers and the blackhead gunk will come out like how piss does when you pop a pimple.
Xandara Xandara 8 years
I have one of these and totally love it. Although I find my skin breaks out less if I pick at it less, including using this doohickey. But for those times you can't stand NOT to get the gunk out, this tool is totally worth the money.
jessssx0 jessssx0 8 years
oh my goodness, they used that on me when i went to the dermatologist yesterday plus some other stuff. it was called 'acne surgery', it hurt so bad, i was kinda tearing up. but i definitely would like to buy one (: after all, beauty is pain.
bkwithlove bkwithlove 8 years
i think it's so weird and great to read all these comments and to find out that so so many ladies tweeze and pick- like, a Lot. i'm not an underarm tweezer, but just below my belly button, yes. my eyebrows are impeccable because i can't handle even one little tiny bit of hair. and i am going to walmart straight from work to get one of these things- if there's one thing i want, its a radically clean, small-pored complexion!
thelorax thelorax 8 years
OK, I seriously stopped by Sephora on my way home from work (ended up with much more in my shopping bag than I'd intended :-)) and got one of these -- and THANK GOODNESS. I showed my husband my treasures when I got home, and he said oh, I just use your bobby pins. EW!!!
nancita nancita 8 years
This is one of my favorite bizarre beauty rituals.
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
I use a hairpin for this (the smaller, flexible kind - not the hard ones) - I don't get big blackheads on my face anymore, but when I do it is so satisfying to clear them out. Sometimes I get them on my back and then my husband gets to "mash it" - he LOVES it. But he has perfect skin so he never has any blackheads, darn him. My 2 cents about whiteheads - when they're on the large side, I find that piercing them does more than squeezing. Sterilize a straight pin (I dip it in rubbing alcohol) and just poke a hole in the "head." Then the gunk can get out and the inflammation goes down faster.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I have one of these and I am so obsessed with it. Nothing is better than cleaning out my pores. *sigh* Just be sure you don't use excess pressure and make sure you clean it with alcohol everytime you use it. Also, make sure your face and hands are clean. Makes a big difference.
foudini foudini 8 years
So, I've never used this method because the curved sections are rigid. I mean, what if your thing doesn't cooperate with the sizing? Too big or small? Anyway, if you have really precise tweezers, it's possible to grab the plug with the pointy tips and pull the whole thing out. It does no pore or skin damage. What's crazy is you can feel the length of the plug as it's removed. Yeah, weird. It's probably best left to plugs that are super ready to go, I wouldn't recommend trying to coax one out that isn't ready. Like so many of us who find joy in picking at ourselves, I even pluck my underarm hair. weird.
lotuslight lotuslight 8 years
I LOVE this, I have used it for years. I have the sephora one, and a cheap one from WalMart. I hate to say this, but the one from WalMart is actually much better, in my book. I prefer it. I use this on my nose, and on whiteheads that look "ready." It really speeds up their healing process. It is important to not be too rough with it, or get carried away, because it can scar (learned the hard way). One of my favorite things is when my husband lets me extract the blackheads on his nose. Heaven! (So romantic, too!:))
mochi26 mochi26 8 years
WARNING people!! I too was sucked into the addiction of the extractor. I was so happily grossed out to push all the gunk out of the pores on my nose. HOWEVER...I regret ever using it. My nose is now scarred with deep looking pores. Before, my pores were clogged but invisible. Now, they are huge and still clogged. The extractor should really only be used by a trained professional. I really regret ever using this thing. I never used to be self conscious about my pores or nose, now it's a struggle to even cover them up.
Coquiteen Coquiteen 8 years
I have one and its great
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
omg! this and a lighted magnified mirror - its on like donkey kong! seriously one of my most treasured tools!
glampop20 glampop20 8 years
Lol... I really thought I was alone. I'm obsessed with de-gunking my pores. If I stay at my boyfriend's house I go crazy because I can't exfoliate! I love this tool... genius!
wtf-kas wtf-kas 8 years
thanks so so much bella! i am ordering one now :)
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