How to Remove Blackheads At Home, According to a Facialist

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Not to get all Coach Carr from “Mean Girls” on you, but the general consensus of skin experts on at-home pore extractions, much like popping a pimple, is akin to passing out condoms to high schoolers: “We’re not encouraging it, but if they’re going to do it, let’s make it safe,” aesthetician Candace Marino tells POPSUGAR.

In all their gooey glory, excavating a blackhead can be wildly satisfying — a top guilty beauty indulgence, to be sure — but, like many tricky-to-do services, is often best left to the pros. Still, if you can’t peel yourself away from the 10x magnifying mirror any time you step into the bathroom, Marino has some best practices to DIY facial extractions safely.

The first (and oddly, the trickiest) step is to identify the type of acne you have, as those little black dots on your nose may be blackheads or something else entirely. You might be mistaking them for sebaceous filaments. “Blackheads will be raised, textured, truly black, thick and waxy,” she says. “The skin oils solidify, forming plugs which can dilate the pore further, leading to enlarged pores. Sebaceous filaments are the normal function of the follicle. Narrow, lighter in color under the skin — they do not fully obstruct the pore and are not meant for extractions.”

For more tips, you can find Marino’s full step-by-step guide ahead. As for that black extraction tool you’ve heard all about? In the words of Coach Carr: just don’t do it, OK? Promise?

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