Blackheads are quite the nightmare and they become even more dreadful when you can’t get them out from under the surface. It seems like they’re magical or something, especially when they’re almost impossible to get out. The feeling you get when picking at it is grossing anyone out and your pores can’t take it forever either.

Getting them out seems like the right thing to do, but you don’t want to end up with a red skin or some broken capillaries. Therefore, you also need to do it right.

One of the celebrity facialists out there is Ildi Pekar (she works with Miranda Kerr) and she’s quite the expert when it comes to removing right a blackhead.

This is what she says: “Blackheads are born ready to extract. They’re made of sebum stuck in your pore or follicle, and when it is exposed to oxygen, it starts to oxidize and turn black.” The explanation continues: “I wouldn’t recommend using a tool if you’re extracting on your own because when you apply the incorrect position and pressure, it is harder to judge what is happening.” She’s advising us to use the fingers and not the nails. This way, you’re going to have a better feel on the pressure you’re using for that area. There’s always a slight chance for the nails to still mark your skin, so it’s a good idea to wrap your fingers in some tissue paper, for protecting your skin.

Here are the right steps to take:

  • Begin with a good cleanse and exfoliation of your skin. You also want the blackhead to loose somehow so steaming the area is a good idea too.
  • Make sure that your fingers are really clean and start applying even pressure to either side of the blackhead, until you notice some movement and the sebum begins to come out. Your fingers should have enough space between them so that you’re able to get rid of all the gunk under the surface. You need to always re-position them as you’re working your way around.
  • When you’re working around your nose, you should always be very careful as this area is particularly sensitive.

Pekar is giving one last tip: “Once your skin tone in the area of extracting is even, you’ll know there isn’t any sebum left in the pore, and that it appears clean.”

Once you’re done with the removal, you should clean your skin with a toner as it’s important to close up the pore.

This article was originally published on InStyle.