Girl Smarts Everyone on Instagram is obsessed with this blackhead-removal technique

If blackheads don’t come out, don’t pick, increase pressure, or use something sharp (your nails), which can injure, inflame, and potentially scar skin.

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dental floss blackhead removal play

dental floss blackhead removal

(Photograph by Getty Images)
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The creative tricks people come up with to clear their skin never cease to amaze. The latest: extracting blackheads with dental floss.

Instagrammer Sukhi Mann (@sukhimann_) is known for being a beauty guinea pig, mixing DIY lip plumpers out of wasabi and whipping up acne masks with aspirin. One of her most popular tricks has gotten over a million views: using two disposable floss picks to scrape out blackheads.

Here’s her method: Use a hot towel on skin for five minutes to open pores. Drag the floss pick over skin, then cleanse with a mild cleanser. Finish with toner (which can even include mouthwash!) and moisturizer.

And she’s not the first to hack the hack—on YouTube, SkinCareLuver gives a tutorial using traditional floss, and Jennifer Chui’s video on pore unclogging tricks, including using a floss pick, has more than five million views.

So the question we have to ask: Is this safe? “The dental-floss method may be effective at removing blockages that are not deeply rooted, so long as you do not push too hard,” says New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. The name of the game is gentle, even pressure.

If blackheads don’t come out, don’t pick, increase pressure, or use something sharp (your nails), which can injure, inflame, and potentially scar skin.

But just because it could be effective doesn't mean it's necessarily worth trying. Instead, Zeichner recommends saliclylic acid cleansers and scrubs as the go-to for treating and preventing blackheads. “They help absorb excess oil and remove dead cells from the skin's surface,” he says. Now go use that floss on your teeth.

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