Admit it: There’s something oddly satisfying about removing a blackhead—even when it's not your own. Thanks to YouTube, watching people extract blemishes can practically be considered a pastime (just take Dr. Sandra Lee’s mesmerizing videos, for example, which have more than 3 million views).
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Visiting a dermatologist or hitting the spa for a facial is always the safest way to clear your complexion, as picking and squeezing (no matter how tempting) can lead to the spread of bacteria, scarring, and more breakouts. So how do you properly remove a blackhead in a pinch? We asked Zara Mohsin, resident skincare expert at Wink Brow Bar in N.Y.C., who broke it down for us in five steps:
1. Apply some Vaseline on the blackhead and steam for 2 minutes (e.g. in the shower or wash your face with hot water).
2. Take a toothbrush and gently rub in a circular motion to exfoliate.
3. Take a blackhead remover tool (try Sephora's Double-Ended Blemish Extractor, $17; sephora.com) and gently press over the blackhead to remove it (fingers have a high chance of breaking blood vessels).
4. Wash the area with water then dab with toner to close the pore.
5. Dab on some Visine to prevent redness.