This blackhead removal hack is going viral, but a skin care expert tells us why it’s not a good idea
Ah, the viral beauty trend. Sometimes it means oddly soothing videos of makeup being destroyed and repurposed. Other times, it means McDonald’s Arches brows. Today’s story, unfortunately, is closer to the latter, as we’ve gotten another viral blackhead removal hack. Fei Yang, a Korean beauty YouTuber, shared her secret hack to getting rid of blackheads overnight — and it involves plastic wrap and Vaseline. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
“I know there’s an ongoing debate about whether or not vaseline is good for your face or not, just like coconut oil. As much as I think it’s okay for my face, everyone reacts differently,” she says in the caption of her video. “Please keep that in mind as some of you might be a bit more sensitive lol.”
In the video, she applies a layer of Vaseline over her entire face. Then, she layers plastic wrap over her nose and cheeks. In the morning, she removs the plastic wrap and uses cotton swabs to press out the gunk from her pores. She claims this method “melts out blackheads instantly.”
Watch the video for yourself, below.
Naturally, we had questions. So we asked Kerry Benjamin, founder of Stacked Skincare, to give us her expert advice on this viral video.
“There are a couple of issues with this,” she says. “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 can cause more damage to your skin and can make the problem worse.
"If you are squeezing, poking, and rubbing the blocked pore, it adds more hand oils, dirt, and unwelcome physical pressure — making it worse, which may make your pores stretch out more."
“I think the Saran wrap is creating a similar effect to steaming,” she says. “I don’t think you would need to use Vaseline to make this work.” The reason you steam your skin is not to “open your pores,” but to warm up the oil so that it’s easier to extract, she notes. “Pores don’t open and close like most people think.”
“If you are going to do extractions at home you need to be super careful,” she cautions. “You can damage your skin, create larger pores, and if you don’t immediately cleanse your skin after, you have all that bacteria sitting on your face that will cause even bigger problems.”
Her recommendation: Skip the Vaseline and Saran wrap (which is, as even Yang notes in the video, very uncomfortable) and instead, exfoliate and use other topical treatments at home. Leave the extractions to the professionals.