How to Use Steam for Removing Blackheads

Woman steaming her face
Steaming can help with skin problems. (Image: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Blackheads are a mix of unclean matter, dead skin cells and oil that accumulate and solidify inside the pores. Another name for a blackhead is a comedone. If not removed, a blackhead can become a pimple. Forcing a blackhead out of a pore by using the fingertips to apply pressure around the area surrounding the blackhead is the best way to remove the hardened matter, but before this can be done, steam must be directed at it to make it soft for easy removal. There are three common ways to steam blackheads.

Step 1

Use a facial steamer to soften blackheads and dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. First, cleanse the face thoroughly by applying a mild cleanser to moistened skin, and then rinse the cleanser off thoroughly with a good amount of warm water. Dry the face with a face towel, position the vaporizer approximately 18 inches away from the blackheads, and make sure the steam targets them. Steam the face for 10 minutes, but no longer. After 10 minutes have elapsed, proceed to extract the blackheads.

Step 2

Use two wet terry-cloth face towels to steam your face. Thoroughly wet one of the towels by dipping it into a bowl of water that is somewhere between warm and hot, but not hot enough to burn your skin. Squeeze as much water out of the towel as you can, and cover the face with it, leaving the lips and the nostrils exposed to allow for breathing. Get the second terrycloth face towel ready in the same manner while the first towel is on the face. After about 2 ½ minutes, remove the first towel and wrap the face in the second towel. Keep applying warm wet towels to the face for approximately 10 ½ minutes, and then remove blackheads.

Step 3

Use a medium-size bowl of water to steam blackheads. Pour very warm water in the bowl. Place a large towel over your head, lean over the bowl, holding your face about 14 to 15 inches above the water, and spread the loose ends of the towel around the outside of the bowl to form a tent. Steam your face over the bowl of water for five minutes. Make sure the water is warm enough to emit steam. Discontinue the steaming process if the steam feels too hot. Blot the face dry, and remove blackheads immediately after steaming your face.

Things You'll Need

  • Facial steamer

  • Mild facial cleanser

  • Terry-cloth face towels

  • Medium-size bowl

  • Large towel (if steaming over a bowl)


Always attempt to remove blackheads as soon as the steaming process is finished.


Always make sure the steam on your face is not hot enough to burn your skin.

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