I'm 24 and have had a massive problem with blackheads ever since I can remember-my skin is really greasy which probably causes the blackheads to keep returning (the grease is visible in little pools in my pores even after about 15mins of washing my face). I am, therefore, always sceptical of products and tools that claim to be amazingly effective at removing or reducing blackheads because the standard facial scrubs/pore strips/face peels have little effect on me. So after reading many reviews and looking at videos on youtube of how this tool works, I decided to try it for myself seeing as there is mostly positive feedback.
As many reviewers have said, the tool doesn't come with instructions but I found this video of a similar tool that might give you some pointers first of all:
[...] (This girl doesn't have many blackheads but you can see the technique)
1. I would use the tool after a bath or shower, or steam your face well (about 15/20mins) because the more thoroughly you do this, the less you need to press down with the tool and so you won't leave as many marks on yourself. (If doing this using a bowl of hot water with a towel over your head, don't put you face too close to the water because apparently a too high heat can cause those burst little thread veins at the sides of your nose, or you might just burn your skin!)
2. Wash the tool with soapy water then you could wipe or dip it into a liquid antiseptic like Dettol or Savlon (the Savlon liquid antiseptic's scent doesn't linger like Dettol's!). You could also wipe your face with a liquid antiseptic on cotton wool before starting, too. Dry your skin.
3. Many people have complained about the tool leaving a 'horsehoe' imprint, but I found you can limit this by dragging the longer metal hoop on its side horizontally where possible rather than dragging it down vertically (i.e. so the blackheads collect on the length of the loop rather than in the hoop end). It quickly pops out and scrapes away the blackheads with each drag along the skin so it usually removes them all in one movement.
Advantages of the tool over using your fingers:
a) It's harder to sterilize your fingers/fingernails than it is to sterilize the tool so it's more likely you'll have breakouts after squeezing your spots with your fingers (unless you have rubber gloves). This used to happen to me a lot when I would use my fingers so it was a vicious cycle of removing blackheads and causing hard red spots to appear through spreading the germs.
b) I was impressed with how easily the tool removed blackheads from awkward places such as around the nose, beneath the nostrils, and at the sides of the nose on the cheek areas.
c) While both finger-squeezing and this tool leave marks on your face after use (which is why i'm giving it 4 stars and not 5), I found the reddness left by the tool was more even than nail or finger marks so it faded to an even skin tone rather than with the blotchy red blemishes i'm left with after using my fingers. For me, the marks were still slightly visible after about 10hours but easily covered with make up, and after 24 hours there were little to no marks left. The tool does leave very noticable reddness on your skin immediately after use, so do it when you don't need to leave the house or before bed.
d) You need to use less pressure to remove the spot using the tool rather than your fingers(whether it's a black or whitehead-the smaller hoop was also very effective at removing whiteheads with minimal pressure). You're more likely to bruise your skin or leave fingernail marks using your fingers even if you wrap tissue around your fingers.
After I finished removing the blackheads, I washed my face gently with soap then I wiped on a liquid antiseptic again. Then I used a tea tree and peppermint face mask (the Superdrug Tea Tree range) because of it's antiseptic and cooling properties. I would imagine anything with a cooling effect would be good too, say if you ran a clean flannel under ice cold water and put it on your face for a while to reduce any swelling and redness.
I will definitely be using this tool from now on, hope this review helps.