I think, the year 2016 was the year of Hell Pore. If you are a relatively new to the Korean beauty products, I am sure Elizabecca’s Hell Pore may probably be the first Korean product you have seen. Elizavecca’s promotional video in social media features the extracted blackheads on the black film, which as weirdly satisfying to be honest (or maybe it can be gross for some people,) and it quickly went viral.
The blackhead extraction is a very controversial issue in beauty industry. Some experts say it is a necessary procedure for preventing enlarging pores and some experts point out the harms of the extraction, since it is considerably irritating for some people.
My opinion is somewhat neutral. I think it depends what kind of skin type you have. If you have pre-existing blackheads, it’s better to do the extraction than going on to the preventive care. If you have sensitive skin, you should take the alternative path rather than extraction to prevent scar, redness and irritation.
So, the answer is very simple. It is triple-mixture of sebum, keratin (dead skin), and dirt. Generally, the sebum is easily built up around the hair follicle. Most of the time, the sebum glands exist around the hair follicle (pore) and it releases the sebum on the skin. If the sebum is released through the pores in the right amount at right time, it can lock up the moisture and protect your skin from bacteria, viruses, and other harmful impurities.
However, our skin don’t work in order always. When the keratin layer is thick, or the sebum glands release excessive amount of oil, because of hormonal or other environmental factors, the sebum can be built up. If it is built up under the skin without contacting the external environment, it is less solidified, and it becomes whiteheads. If the “mixture” is exposed to the air, it is oxidized, solidified and mixed with dirt, then it becomes blackhead. Whiteheads accompany inflammation sometimes, then they become acne. Blackheads are not desirable but since it is exposed to the air and they exist as dense solid, it is less likely to accompany inflammation (but they are definitely harder to remove.)