Why You Should Never Try the Blackhead Removal Hack That Is Going Viral
Experts weigh in on this "blackhead-melting" trick.
Korean beauty YouTube star Fei Yang just shared her secret to clearing blackheads: Vaseline and plastic wrap. In the now-viral video, Yang said it "melted" away her acne. She made sure to warn viewers, however, that they could experience different results because of the controversial combination.
"I know there's an ongoing debate about whether or not Vaseline is good for your face or not, just like coconut oil,” she captioned the video, which garnered nearly 250,000 views in just two days. "As much as I think it's okay for my face, everyone reacts differently. Please keep that in mind as some of you might be a bit more sensitive lol.”
In the video, Yang first applied a layer of Vaseline all over her face. Then, she placed a few layers of plastic wrap over her nose and cheeks. She left it on overnight and removed it in the morning. With two cotton swabs and her fingers, she removed oil and debris from her pores.
We were curious about this Vaseline-plastic wrap solution, so we reached out to dermatologists to get their thoughts.
"I would never recommend this method to any patient,” San Francisco-based dermatologist William Kwan, MD, tells Health. "Vaseline can clog pores and applying plastic wrap is physically occluding the pores. This could cause acne." He also points out that applying plastic wrap so close to your nose while you sleep could be unsafe. Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist in New York City, also agreed that Yang's hack could aggravate acne-prone skin.
Another thing to consider is that not all clogged pores are blackheads. Yang’s might actually be sebum, or oily secretions from the sebaceous glands in skin, says Dr. Kwan.
"In the video, the blackheads she's pointing out truly aren't acne lesions," he says. "This is normal sebum found in an oilier skin type. These can be easily extracted while in a warm shower by just using gentle pressure from your fingernails."
If you’re experiencing similar skin problems, Kwan recommends using an exfoliating cleanser or gentle scrub to help with this accumulation. We like Clinique Exfoliating Scrub ($22; amazon.com), which can help slough away dead skin cells without irritating sensitive skin.