Blackheads are one of those things that we can never seem to get rid of, no matter how many facials we go for or pore packs we use on ourselves.
This is especially true for those pesky ones on the nose, which can get particularly unsightly when it shows up as bumps underneath our makeup!
So we can see why this hack by Korean-American YouTuber Fei Yang went viral and made its rounds on the Internet and social media:
In the video, Fei Yang shows us the way she “melts” her blackheads overnight, and wakes up to cleaner-looking pores on her nose and cheeks in the morning.
Indeed, her before and after photos are certainly tempting!
While the pores in themselves didn’t physically shrink in size, they look noticeably cleaner and free of gunk, which creates the illusion that they are smaller from afar too.
This is how Fei did it:
- Apply a layer of Vaseline on the nose and, if you want, the cheek area next to the nose as well.
- Use some cling wrap and stick it to your nose and cheek areas, folding them so that they form multiple layers and stick securely to your face. (Make sure the wrap doesn’t block your nostrils!)
- Leave the cling wrap on your face for at least a few hours, or you can just go ahead and sleep with it on overnight.
- After taking the cling wrap pack off, take two cotton buds and start rolling them over your nose in squeezing motions.
- You may have to manually squeeze a few out with your fingers
According to Fei, the gunk in your nose slides right out easily. They may be coated in green residue from the petroleum jelly, but otherwise, your nose should be left looking clean and clear by the time you’re done.
But is this hack worth it?
Soon after beauty media outlets began reporting about this hack, there also came a huge reaction against Fei’s method of blackhead removal.
Many online publications interviewed dermatologists and skin doctors, and most of them strongly discouraged the general public from following this hack.
Health.com approached San Francisco-based dermatologist William Kwan, MD. “I would never recommend this method to any patient,” Kwan told Health. “Vaseline can clog pores and applying plastic wrap is physically occluding the pores. This could cause acne.”
Kwan also felt that this extraction method could, in fact, aggravate Fei’s acne-prone skin. Furthermore, what she is shown to be extracting in the video probably aren’t even acne-causing blackheads to begin with. Plus, using cling wrap wrapped tightly around the nose could inadvertently cause suffocation if things shift around while you’re asleep.
“This is normal sebum found in an oilier skin type. These can be easily extracted while in a warm shower by just using gentle pressure from your fingernails,” he was reported as saying.
If you’re getting regular sebum accumulation because of your oily skin, Health reports Kwan as recommending using a facial cleanser that is also able to exfoliate the skin, or a mild scrub that is gentle to the skin.
“There are a couple of issues with this,” Benjamin tells Hello Giggles. “Pores extends downward through several layers of skin, and if you are extracting yourself, you don’t have the right angle like a professional does.”
This could be the reason why it was mentioned that this extraction method might be aggravating Fei’s skin in the long term, rather than solving her acne issues.
“I think the [cling] wrap is creating a similar effect to steaming,” says Benjamin, who then reminds us of an important skincare concept. “Pores don’t open and close like most people think.”
In fact, the reason why steaming is done during facials is so that the heat can warm up the sebum in the pores, making it softer and easier to extract.
Doing your own extractions at home is generally never recommended by most skin experts, since you could be damaging your pores, enlarging them, or even creating acne scars that would have been otherwise preventable.
Furthermore, pressing out all those bacteria along with the excess sebum may mean encouraging more zits around the face even if you manage to quell that one spot that you squeezed.
UK print and digital publication The Daily Mail also caught on to the story and talked to board-certified UK dermatologist Dr. Kenneth Mark, who called the hack “a terrible idea”.
In her video, Fei had claimed that Vaseline was “100% non-comodogenic”, which means that it was unlikely to clog pores. Dr. Mark refuted this immediately, “Vaseline totally is occlusive to pores. Blackheads are clogged pores by definition plus the [cling] wrap only serves to increase the occlusion mechanically.”
This means that instead of unclogging your pores, which is essentially what blackhead removal is all about, Vaseline could end up clogging them up even more, and the cling wrap only makes things worse.
Benjamin recommends leaving these ‘hacks’ well alone, and leaving extraction up to trained professionals who have a better idea of what they’re doing than we do – and we at Daily Vanity can fully get behind that.