From using condom-wrapped beauty sponges to apply foundation to using a thread to create the perfect winged eyeliner, Instagram and YouTube are filled with new beauty hacks and tricks that everyone is jumping on. The latest one? Removing blackheads with a piece of dental floss.

A post shared by Sukhi Mann (@sukhimann_) on

This beauty hack went viral, and has more than 1 million views when we last checked. By blogger Sukhi, this hack involve cleaning out the pores on her nose using a disposable floss picks. This is what Sukhi did:

1. Soak a clean towel in hot water. Remove it and make sure that it’s not too hot for your skin. Place the towel on problem area; the heat will open up your pores. Leave it on for about five minutes.

2. Drag a disposable floss pick onto problem area in a scraping motion.

3. Rinse the area with a mild cleanser. In Sukhi’s case, she used a mouthwash.

In the video, Sukhi showed the gunk she managed to scraped off using the disposable floss pick, and says that this is a cheaper and more effective method of removing blackheads compared to using traditional comedone extractors.

The dental floss extraction method looks good, but what do dermatologists say?

“The problem with this hack is that blackheads can require a lot of pressure to remove, so pushing down unilaterally against clogged pores can tear their lining,” dermatologist Dr. Jessie Cheung tells New Beauty magazine. She also says that the method may spread bacteria, cause pimples or even scars to appear.

Dermatologist Joel Schlessinger tells New Beauty that he would recommend a tried-and-true method, rather than a DIY hack.

“There are medications that are terrific for treatment of blackhead—Retin-A and a new OTC (over-the-counter) of Differin, that are uniquely qualified to prepare the face and allow blackheads to exit naturally. With the advent of OTC treatments, there’s really no better option of considering that first,” he says.

He also recommends going to an aesthetician for treatments such as a SilkPeel or a microdermabrasion therapy if you’re suffering from aggressive blackheads.

Dr. David J. Goldberg tells Revelist that you shouldn’t try to remove blackheads by yourself if you’re not a doctor. He explains that blackheads are made of an accumulation of sebum and cell debris that have hardened, and will need a lot pressure to remove. If not done professionally, you can damage your skin and cause permanent scarring.

However, Dr. Joshua Zeichner tells Women’s Health Magazine that this method may be effective at removing blackheads that are “not too deeply rooted”. He says that the key is in the amount of pressure; he adds that it’s effective “so long as you do not push too hard”.

For a safer option, he recommends using saliclylic acid cleansers and scrubs to treat and prevent blackheads. “They help absorb excess oil and remove dead cells from the skin’s surface,” he says.

We have a round up of

  1. a few of the best salons that offer extraction facials to get rid of nasty blackheads that you can consider,
  2. as well as tips to get rid of blackheads.

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