As a seasoned beauty writer, I know that the cardinal rule of skincare is to not pick, or really, even put your hands on your face. But let's be realistic — that is a far-fetched goal for many of us. If you are going to go to town on your blackheads, it's best to do it with a sterile tool to avoid spreading the germs from your hands onto your face, which can create or exacerbate breakouts.
Using your fingers to remove a blackhead can, in my experience, do more harm than good. Digging into your face with your fingers can leave marks or your nails can break the skin surrounding the blemish and spread oil or bacteria — only making things worse. According to Amazon customers, there are three pore extraction tools that save the day.
Shop The Blackhead Removers
Gugug Skin Scrubber Spatula, $24 with coupon (Originally $25)
Utopia Care Professional Blackhead and Blemish Remover
Shop now: $6; amazon.com
When in doubt, reach for a classic, no-fuss, double-sided extraction tool. There are a ton of these types of products online, but this one from Utopia Care is only $6 and it has over 1,700 five-star reviews. People praise its simplicity, ease of use, and effectiveness. "This device helps me remove whiteheads that may be difficult to remove manually. It keeps me from excessive picking and I think helps reduce damage done," one shopper said.
Gugug Skin Scrubber Spatula
Shop now: $24 with coupon (Originally $25); amazon.com
If you're tackling a large surface that is riddled with blackheads, a spatula is more efficient than the previous double-sided remover. When the Skin Scrubber Spatula is turned on and set onto pore extraction mode, it vibrates lightly. Make sure your face is moist (most reviewers recommend water instead of a cream or wash), you angle the product, pull the skin taut, and slowly move it across the blackhead-riddled areas. One reviewer shared that even though they consider themselves to have a good skincare routine, this spatula still managed to unearth a hefty amount of gunk lurking deep inside the pores. With over 10,000 five-star reviews and a modest price tag, this is an easy solution to deep-seated blemishes.
Freeshow Blackhead Remover Pore Vacuum
Shop now: $32; amazon.com
Pore vacuums are the most controversial product type in this category since improper use can lead to bruising or discoloration. Dr. Ife Rodney, board-certified dermatologist, previously told InStyle that when shopping for pore vacuums, the more settings the better. "Look for devices with more than three adjustable suction levels and different replacement suction heads," she said. "That means they will have milder settings and you can gradually work your way up to the right balance of suction."
Freeshow's pore remover has five suction levels that many of the 6,000 five-star reviewers praise. An Amazon shopper shared that she got this tool during Covid because she missed getting facials. "The vacuum blackhead remover was very gentle, it has several different speeds, and it works great," the reviewer said, adding that after using it, 90 percent of her blackheads were gone.