beauty

What a dermatologist wants you to know about the latest blackhead-removing beauty hack.

Anyone who lives with blackheads knows how frustratingly difficult they can be to remove.

Which is probably why we’ve seen beauty bloggers and internet forum users come up with dozens of weird and wonderful ways to get rid them.

The latest method comes from beauty YouTuber Fei, who uses Vaseline and plastic wrap to “melt” her blackheads overnight.

Watch Fei wrap her nose in plastic wrap:

Video via Fei

In a video on her channel Hey It’s Feiii, she shows her followers how she coats her nose and cheeks in a thick layer of plain ol’ $4-a-jar petroleum jelly.

And then she covers her face in plastic wrap. And more plastic wrap. And then another layer just to be sure – being careful to leave a gap for her nostrils to, you know, breathe.

After going to bed and sleeping overnight with the jelly on her face, she starts the process of removing the blackheads.

remove blackheads
Before and after the Vaseline treatment. Image: YouTube.

Running two cotton buds over her nose repeatedly, she squeezes out the blackheads from her nose.

And, according to Fei, it actually works.

"Pores are extremely clear of dirt and debris after extraction," she concludes, saying it's one of the best methods she's tried.

You can watch Fei full tutorial here:

It may have worked for Fei, but Dr Deshan Sebaratnam from Dermatology North Sydney tells Mamamia that may have just been because of the squeezing action.

"Anytime you squeeze either side of a comedone (blackhead) it will come out. Whether or not marinating it in Vaseline beforehand makes a difference, I'm not sure," he says.

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"There's no evidence for it, certainly. I don't think it's achieving much."

Dr Sebaratnam also says that he doesn't think the plastic wrap serves any purpose, as it couldn't generate enough heat to open up the pores like might happen in a steam room.

Having said that, he says the method was "unlikely to cause harm" because the cotton buds would be unlikely to cause the kind of rupture that leads to scarring. But it was still a possibility.

Which is why Dr Sebaratnam, Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, recommends that people dealing with blackheads instead focus on prevention-based treatments.

blackheads
Dr Deshan Sebaratnam says extraction can cause scarring if not performed by someone who knows what they're doing. Image: Getty.

He recommends either using over-the-counter acne treatment benzoyl peroxide, or chemical exfoliants like alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) to help prevent the pores from becoming clogged.

For those with more serious acne, they can talk to their doctor about retinoid treatments or isotretinoin (Accutane), Dr Sebaratnam says.

Mamamia's executive editor Leigh Campbell, who has 15 years of beauty editing experience, shared her favourite method for treating blackheads on Mamamia's YouBeauty podcast.

"I soak a cotton pad [with a chemical exfoliant] and hold it on my nose for a good two or three minutes when I’ve got blackheads," she said.

What method do you use to remove blackheads?

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