Obsessed with pimple popping videos? That’s cool (kinda), but it doesn’t mean you should try to squeeze the junk out of your own pores at home. Believe it or not, Dr. Pimple Popper and the other people performing extractions in those videos are actual dermatologists using tools designed for professionals (even though you may be able to buy them online). The internet has beauty and skincare lovers addicted to clearing our pores by any means, but is it necessary or good for you?

First, know that it’s impossible to shrink your pores, but removing blackheads (and other gunk) will certainly make them appear smaller. And of course, your pores can become stretched over time if they’re constantly full. But, this doesn’t mean that you should go to extreme measures to get them clean.

Blackhead Extraction Tools

You’ve probably seen the metal loops and even lances that are used for extracting blackheads and pimples and if you didn’t shiver a bit in fear, you should. Never should you poke holes or break your skin and does it really seem like a good idea to drag a metal loop across your skin in hopes of squeezing out some pus? Yes, dermatologists use them but they know which direction to pull from and how to do it properly without pushing the infection further under the skin or damaging the skin.

Vacuum Devices

As we’ve already outlined in our post about microdermabrasion at home, you should really leave  exfoliating and vacuuming your pores to the pros. The facial vacuum devices for home use are just that—a tiny vacuum, without much control. Too much suction can bruise, pull and damage skin and suction alone isn’t going to pull out black heads.

Peeling Masks

Does a peeling mask that makes the wearer scream in pain as they remove it seem like a good idea to you? Any time you pull on your skin, you’re stretching it and inviting wrinkles. Now just imagine the amount of force needed to pull one of those charcoal, pore clearing masks off. Those pore strips for your nose aren’t great, either, by the way.

How to Safely Clear Your Pores

Keeping your pores clean is relatively simple. Cleanse your skin regularly. Use the right skincare products for your skin type. If your skin is always oily or always dry, you’re more likely to have clogged pores. If you need help finding the right products, consult a professional!

Exfoliate once or twice a week. This is the best way to clear your pores on your own. Exfoliating not only prevents clogged pores by sloughing off the dry and dead skin but it can help open pores and pull out some of that gunk. Finally, getting regular facials—like our signature Freeze Facial—is the most effective and safe way to empty those pores so they appear smaller. Bonus: The Freeze Facial includes diamond microdermabrasion, oxygen infusion and cold laser therapy with microcurrent for clean pores AND firmer, brighter, younger-looking skin.