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Squeezing Blackheads – How to do it the Right Way!

Blackheads! Possibly the most annoying skin condition based on stubborn-ness!

Squeezing blackheads can be a good step in helping to eliminate yours – if it’s done right… Find out how on this page:

Squeezing blackheads in a mirror

It may be a temporary solution but squeezing blackheads can help to ‘kick start’ the process of getting clear skin by getting rid of the extra stubborn ones…

Once they’re gone, you can concentrate on refining the pores and preventing them from filling up again.

(See more details about blackhead removal here)

Keep reading below for the process used in professional facials to ensure clean removal of blackheads – without damaging your skin:

What Blackheads Should You Be Squeezing?

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 will always be easier to treat one that’s soft and newly formed, rather than an “oldie” that is 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.

Ready? Here’s how to do it step by step!

Squeezing Blackheads Step By Step:

Step by step words

  • Cleanse skin with a mild cleanser (anything too harsh will strip your skin and make it too sensitive to squeeze)
  • Steam will help ‘open’ the pores and soften the plug – hold your head over a bowl of hot water, have a nice hot shower, or place a warm washcloth over the area for a few minutes
  • Wrap a tissue around each index finger and place one on each side of the targeted blackhead
  • Push down gently, and squeeze as if you are ‘rolling up’ from underneath
  • After one or two squeezes like this, move you fingers around so you aren’t pushing on the same area of skin
  • If a blackhead is ready to come out, it will do so fairly easily and as one ‘plug’
  • Sometimes you can squeeze a few quickly then dust them off with a tissue!
  • See below for important after care to make sure your skin stays calm, and help ‘refine’ those pores you’ve just unclogged
  • 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.


How To Squeeze Nose Blackheads

How to squeeze a blackhead
The nose deserves its 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.


How To Use A Blackhead Extractor Tool

Picture of a blackhead extractor tool
These little stainless steel tools* are often used in professional facials.

They allow a specific, targeted pressure, which can extract a blackhead much easier.

This will either remove the whole plug, or loosen the blockage significantly so you can finish with a light squeeze.

Best way to use one – 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: How To Use A Blackhead Extractor


How To Take Care Of Your Skin After Squeezing Blackheads

Popping blackheads
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:

  • If you have a toner, wet a cotton pad and dab this over the area
  • Apply a clay mask to the area – this will reduce inflammation and refine pores immediately 
  • A good old fashioned splash of cold water is fine if you don’t have the above – the area can feel heated so this is a good way to cool it down
  • The best way to minimize pores is to use a consistent application of salicylic acid, which is able to penetrate deep into pores and keep them clear. When pores are clear, they can ‘shrink’ back to their normal size

Squeezing blackheads is oddly satisfying… and 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.

And see this page about the best way to really get rid of them. Combined with the odd squeeze, it may finally give you the confidence to look closely at your nose in the mirror again 🙂

11 Comments

  • Hi, i just had my blackheads removed and it’s sore and red. I have some big ones.. is it safe to put toner on it directly the next day and sunblock? It looks swollen. Please help! I hope it won’t scar. I get scars easily. Thanks

  • All of your comments and answers two requests you have been very helpful. My 16 year old son would not let me squeeze out the blackheads when they were very visible last year now this year he has started squeezing them and has caused lots of damage in my opinion they are now looking like huge pimples or mumps on his nose we have been reading your suggestions and they have been very helpful thank you for posting this information

    • Thank you for your comment! I’m sorry to hear about the damage caused. This sort of damage usually turns up a bit later, so while squeezing it can be hard to realize what is happening! I’m really glad the suggestions are helpful. I also might suggest that for a male blackheads can be extra tough as wearing make up to cover them isn’t usually considered. However, I’m a big believer in using a little powder or one of those “pore minimizer” products (Benefit has a good one) if that helps him to feel more confident, which may take away the temptation to squeeze too much. 🙂

  • Whenever I squeeze a blackhead I end up with an actual pimple the next day. What could be the reason to this? And is there anything I can do to prevent it from happening?

    Also, I have many comedones on my face (little white bumps that are the same colour of my skin), whenever I squeeze them I also get a pimple the next day.

    • It could be a result of the squeezing – be extra careful about cleansing your face beforehand, using tissue to cover your fingers, and you could try applying a thin layer of rubbing alcohol after to disinfect and dry out the pore (rubbing alcohol on skin can be great!!). It could also be a reaction to the action of squeezing that causes inflammation, in that case I would not squeeze any more or do so VERY gently and only those that are “ready” and come out easily. Try using an exfoliant such as salicylic acid regularly instead, the results aren’t as immediate as squeezing but your skin sounds like it may really benefit from it.
      The little white bumps sound like milia, these are difficult to squeeze and it may be again a result of inflammation after doing so. Salicylic acid will help with these too. Because they are sort of “closed in” squeezing can be difficult, I would concentrate on using skin care to help clear up your skin and see a professional if you need them extracted.

      • please help me. after i prick my blackheads ..remove my blackheads using tool (i forget whats that name) Some red ones came out is that normal? it will be remove? (sorry for the bad english)

  • Although I only get out huge whiteheads and the occasional large blackhead nowadays, my husband says years of squeezing spots out of his nose has left him with an enlarged red nose (I can’t see it) with broken, bleeding capillaries that need laser treatment. He will ‘let’ me squeeze a huge, over-ripe whitehead out but that’s it. He says he is worried about his nose but refuses to see his GP for a referral to a dermatologist. At the moment we are barely speaking due to his shouting at me. Any advice?

    • Laser treatment can indeed help that problem, however it will be hard if refuses to see a doctor about it. I might suggest no longer bringing it up, even if he complains about it just nod and move on… this may make him make the decision himself to go see someone (some people will refuse to do something when someone else suggests it!) I’m sorry to hear about the shouting, that I have no advice for 🙁

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