If there's one thing we know about TikTok, it's that just about every weird and wonderful skincare hack you can imagine can be found by simply scrolling through your 'For You' page. Spend more than five seconds watching someone getting their blackheads extracted by a dermatologist wielding a kit of extraction utensils that look (concerningly) like miniature versions of garden tools and the app's algorithm will serve you similar magnified vantage points of stranger's strawberry-skinned schnozzes. Delightful.
Although this up close and personal take on skincare can be jarring amidst TikTok's slew of dance trends, the polarising aged filter, and funny videos of outspoken toddlers – it's also extremely helpful. No longer do we have to troll the many skincare-dedicated pages of Reddit. Instead, we can easily search for demonstrative tutorials, testimonials and advice from qualified clinicians using targeted hashtags.
A search term we're frequently flogging to death is #blackheadremovalhack. Look, some of said TikTok blackhead removal hacks work, but a lot of them are also just really weird. We've taken the liberty of sifting through the bullshit and finding the best of the best, but if they don't work for your skin, at the very least you'll find them incredibly entertaining. Ahead, are six of the weirdest and most wonderful TikTok blackhead removal hacks we think you should try. Enjoy!
1. Regular Face Steaming
It may sound simple, but sometimes the best thing you can do to decongest your pores is to expose them to steam on a regular basis. Why does this work? The heat from the steam helps to 'open' your pores and allows them to purge dirt, oils and excess sebum. According to this scientific study, clogged pores are what lead to whiteheads and blackheads forming in the first place. However, unlike the covered whiteheads that form under the skin, blackheads are left exposed, and turn a dark colour due to a reaction that occurs when melanin comes into contact with oxygen in the air. Regularly steaming your skin will stop this process from starting in the first place.
2. Use Vaseline
This odd hack has mixed reviews on TikTok; it recommends applying a thick layer of Vaseline to your nose, wrapping it in plastic food wrap for 15 minutes and then firmly scraping out any blackheads and sebaceous filaments with a Q-tip. Admittedly, we're not Tyra Banks-level excited about slathering Vaseline all over ourselves, which is why we'd recommend steaming your face prior to trying this hack. The steam should help to open up your pores and soften the gunk that's in them, making the removal process just a little bit easier.
3/ A Pink Clay Mask
Clay masks have been used as a skin-detoxifying treatment for decades. Their myriad properties have made them the subject of medical studies, which have successfully identified some forms of clay as antibacterial or 'healing'. However, when it comes to the treatment of blackheads, absorbent pink clay is best. Regularly steaming the face, applying a thick layer of a pink clay mask and thoroughly cleansing the skin should help to reduce the number of blackheads in about two to three weeks.
4. Use A Beta-Hydroxy Acid
Purported to be the most effective method of blackhead removal, the regular application of beta-hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid can help to gently exfoliate and break down the build-up of dirt, sebum and excess oils in the pores. If you find that you're frequently plagued by blackheads, we recommend integrating this hack into your nighttime routine on a weekly basis. However, refrain from over-exfoliating because this could potentially sensitise the skin.
5. Egg White Pore Strips
Yep, you read that correctly. According to TikTok, you can D.I.Y pore strips from the comfort of your own home using inexpensive ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Simply whisk an egg white, apply it to your nose using a face mask spatula or a makeup brush and layer a piece of kitchen roll that you've cut to size over the top of it. TikToker @creative_explained recommends applying an additional layer of the egg white mixture and kitchen roll over the top and sealing it all with a final wash of egg white. He leaves it to harden before 'stripping' it off slowly to remove the blackheads on his nose.
6. Oil Gritting
This hack is a great option for dry or sensitive skin that tends to flare up with the application of beta-hydroxy acids or pore strips. Oil gritting involves thoroughly cleansing the face with a dedicated facial oil cleanser (read: leave the olive and coconut oil in the kitchen cupboard). It's recommended to massage the skin with oil for more than five minutes to help loosen any build-up that's lodged in the pores. After massaging the face for a while, 'gritty bits' should be felt underneath the fingers. Apparently, these 'gritty bits' are sebaceous filaments and blackheads that have been effectively loosened and removed from the pores during the cleansing process. What a disgustingly satisfying hack.