Blackheads! Possibly the most annoying skin condition there is based on sheer stubborn-ness!
Squeezing blackheads can be a good step in helping to eliminate yours, if it's done right.
It may be a temporary solution but it can help to 'kick start' the process of getting clear skin by getting rid of really stubborn ones...
Once they're gone, you can concentrate on refining the pores and preventing them from filling up again. For details on how to do that - and the only way to really start getting rid of those little plugs - see this page.
Keep reading below for the process used in professional facials to ensure clean removal of blackheads without damaging your skin.
Some blackheads really do benefit from a good squeeze. The ones to concentrate on are the old ones - extra 'black' and stubborn.
Squeezing them is a way to get rid of them instantly, and if/when that pore fills up again it will be softer and much easier to treat.
Because you'll be dissolving them with the right exfoliation, this will help the process along.
It's like pushing the reset button on the plug - it's always going to be easier to treat one that's soft and newly formed, rather than one that's been around for a while and really 'settled' in.
However, don't be tempted to squeeze every blackhead you see.
Some will be too small and partially covered by the pore's opening, so squeezing will just damage the surrounding skin...
Start by only targeting the most open, obvious pores - the darkest and most stubborn.
Remember: if it doesn't come out easily, leave it.
Too much will cause damage to the skin and do absolutely nothing to get rid of the blockage.
If you are extracting in a fairly large area, try to spread the squeezing out a bit to avoid irritating the same area of skin.
The nose deserves it's own section as this can be a tricky area. If you're having trouble extracting blackheads on the nose:
1. Use the thumb of one hand to 'brace' on the opposite side of your nose
2. Place the index finger of the same hand on one side of the blackhead
3. Use the other finger to do the rolling squeeze action, pushing down against the thumb
Often a blackhead extractor tool is the easiest thing to use on the nose.
These little stainless steel tools are used a lot in a professional facial. They allow a specific, targeted pressure to be applied which can extract a blackhead much easier.
This will either remove the whole plug, or loosen the blockage significantly and let you finish with a light squeeze.
To use one is to place the hole over the blackhead, and put most of the pressure on one side - almost a scraping motion. This pushes the plug out a lot easier than simply pressing down.
More details: Using A Blackhead Extractor.
Often after squeezing blackheads you can see the pores you've just cleared - little open holes in your skin.
Pores can't be 'closed', but the following steps will help them reduce back to their normal size and keep them healthy. They are also important to reduce any redness or irritation from the squeezing....
Do the following:
Squeezing blackheads is oddly satisfying, and also tempting to keep going and squeeze as many as you can! Keep in mind too much squeezing will aggravate your skin, so just target the 'loose' ones.
Make sure you see this page about the best way to really get rid of them. Combined with the odd squeeze, this may finally give you the confidence to be able to look closely at your nose in the mirror again :)