The INSIDER Summary:
- Reddit users have started a new blackhead extraction trend.
- Photos of “grits” — blackheads and other dirt trapped in pores — on their hands are quickly going viral.
- They are getting rid of their grits by using an oil cleanser, then a clay mask, and massaging their skin thoroughly with oil cleanser again.
- INSIDER spoke to a dermatologist who warned that intense exfoliation could irritate skin.
It’s no secret that people on the internet are obsessed with watching other people remove blackheads from their bodies in curiously gross ways.
Now, a new blackhead extraction method is making the rounds on Reddit, where members of its SkincareAddiction community are posting photos of their “grits” — the blackheads and other dirt that gets lodged in your pores — on their hands.
Naturally, the disturbing photos are going viral.
Here’s what they look like:
Redditors are removing the gunk from their pores through an elaborate cleansing routine. First, they’re using an oil cleanser, then applying a clay mask, before using an oil cleanser again while massaging their skin thoroughly.
Reddit user andywhorhol, who tried the method last year, described the process in quite graphic terms in a post: “This morning I applied my PC bha liquid first, waited 20 mins and then started my mineral oil massage on a DRY face. And grits galore! Even after five minutes, they were still popping out like crazy, I had to stop myself before I went overboard with the massage!“
The “PC bha liquid” this Redditor referred to is probably Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid, a popular “pore-shrinking” exfoliator that a number of pore-obsessed members of the Reddit group talk about using. Other users use OCM (a mixture of mineral oil and castor oil) to help unclog their pores and bring out their grits.
As Refinery29 points out, there is some confusion as to what color grits actually are. User Pitta_ offers one definition: “It will never be completely, or even mostly, black. It will be a creamy yellowish white and it might have a small greyish tip on one end. Grits are also waxy. If you get one you can smoosh it flat. If you’ve ever squeezed on a blackhead or cc before and a little hard white thing comes out, that’s a grit.”
The same user pointed to this photo to show what grits really look like:
Regardless of the debate over what qualifies as a grit, people are inspired to use this invasive method to clear their pores.
But is it safe?
Dermatologist Rebecca Kleinerman thinks that people extracting their blackheads this way should do so with caution.
“I think theoretically it makes sense but I would be very careful not to abrade skin by too vigorously exfoliating, as this may disrupt the skin barrier and cause an irritant contact dermatitis,” she told INSIDER.
Kleinerman suggests other ways to get rid of blackheads that are gentler on skin. Some alternative methods include “the topical application of retinoids, chemical exfoliation, i.e., with a mild glycolic or combination cleanser, or the sporadic use of a mechanical exfoliator like a Clarisonic brush.”
Of course, the results of using a Clarisonic brush aren’t as likely to go viral, though.
FOLLOW US: INSIDER is on Facebook