Deep blackheads aren’t caused by dirt, but by a tight plug of skin oils, bacteria and dead skin cells. Even if you scrub all day long with the most expensive cleanser in the store, you won’t make blackheads go away. In fact, scrubbing, poking, squeezing and pinching leads to irritation that drives the guck deeper into the pores and causes more breakouts. Deep blackheads are a real pain and, unfortunately, they aren’t going to disappear overnight, but a special extractor may help.

Step 1

Scrub your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, then wash your face gently with a mild, anti-acne cleanser and lukewarm water. Blot excess moisture with a clean, soft towel. Don’t rub.

Step 2

Bring a pan of water to a boil, then remove the pan from the burner and set it on a sturdy, heatproof surface. Drape a bath towel over your head to create a tent and lean over with your face 10 to 12 inches from the pan. Let the steam penetrate your pores for about five minutes.

Step 3

Hold a magnifying mirror in your non-dominant hand. If possible, use a mirror with a magnification of 15x, which is powerful enough for extreme close-ups and lets you accurately pinpoint the opening of the pore.

Step 4

Place the loop of the blackhead extractor over the blackhead. Press on the blackhead, using light pressure and gentle up-and-down motions until the blackhead pops out. Don’t force the blackhead to pop out. If it doesn’t come out easily with one try, leave it alone.

Step 5

Rinse the extractor quickly under running water, then move to the next blackhead and repeat.

Step 6

Wash your face to remove debris, then rinse with cool water to close your pores.

Step 7

Smooth a mild, alcohol-free toner over your face, then apply a light moisturizer to soothe your skin.