Fascination with clean pores is at an all-time high, which means that even if blackhead busting and pimple popping weren’t must-do steps in your nightly beauty routine, you’ve probably developed at least a curiosity with trying it now. This means extractions are no longer just the unpleasant part of a facial, but rather a technique that’s spawned thousands of DIY hacks. The latest one to go viral (1 million views and counting) shows blogger Sukhi Mann using disposable floss picks and mouthwash to clean out her nose pores. The result? A floss full of extracted blackheads that we have to admit, does look pretty satisfying. Furthermore, Mann insists that this is a cheaper and better method than using metal comedone extractors.
But when we showed the technique to a couple of dermatologists, they were less than enthusiastic about the method. “This is a beauty hack with a great intention—my patients hate blackheads in their pores,” says Willowbrook, IL, dermatologist Jessie Cheung, MD. “The problem with this hack is that blackheads can require a lot of pressure to remove, so pushing down unilaterally against clogged pores can tear their lining, spread bacteria and cause pimples and even possibly scars.”
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“There are so many DIY hacks that end up in more woe than benefit,” says Omaha, NE, dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD. “For one, the thought of putting Listerine on your face is too painful even to consider. I don’t think encouraging people to strip their skin with a product like Listerine, which is very high in alcohol and meant for the inside the mouth, is a great idea.”
“When it comes to blackhead extraction, I would always recommend a tried-and-true method to a DIY hack,” Dr. Schlessinger continues. “And it doesn’t have to be painful. There are medications that are terrific for treatment of blackhead—Retin-A and a new OTC of Differin, that are uniquely qualified to prepare the face and allow blackheads to exit naturally. With the advent of OTC treatments, there’s really no better option of considering that first. If you’re concerned about more aggressive blackheads, going to an aesthetician for a treatment for a SilkPeel or some kind of microderm option is a great idea.”
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