Everything You Need To Know To Get Rid Of Blackheads


Screen Shot 2018-10-04 at 2.19.17 PMSource: RomarioIen/Shutterstock

There are so many amazing things in life, but blackheads are not one of them, in fact, they’re annoying AF. Plus, every time you think you’ve gotten rid of the little sucker, it usually comes back. And because we’re constantly getting asked about how to get rid of blackheads, we thought we’d do a roundup of all the tips, tricks, and hacks as well as our hero products that keep blackheads at bay. The first thing to remember is that literally everyone has them, and no one really notices them besides yourself – getting rid of them is just for you. So, here’s everything you need to know…

What causes blackheads?

A blackhead is a pore that’s blocked with oil, dead skin, and debris. This blocks the pore and prevents the gland from secreting the debris, which then causes the wax plug to be pushed toward the surface of the skin. This then oxidizes causing the contents of the pore to turn black – et voila, you have a blackhead!

However, sometimes what looks like a blackhead is, in fact, a tiny hair or sebaceous filament, which are a combination of sebum and skin cells. So be careful, because that one ‘blackhead’ you’ve been trying to squeeze all week could be a hair. This is why you should avoid squeezing your blackheads (we know it’s tempting) as you’ll only bruise the skin, and it could even trigger a breakout.

How to get rid of blackheads

blackheadsSource: Barks/ Shutterstock

Use blackhead-busting ingredients:

When it comes to getting rid of blackheads, these skin saviors will kick ass:

Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid is your secret weapon when it comes to keeping blackheads at bay. It’s super effective as it’s able to penetrate deep into the skin, dissolving the ‘glue’ that binds the debris together, and exfoliating the inside walls of your pores. We love The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, $9, as it’s amazing for unclogging pores and removing impurities. Use it on days when you don’t exfoliate before your moisturizer in the evening. You can also just apply it to the areas that are most blackhead-prone, like your nose, chin, and forehead.

Retinol: We know the prospect of using a retinol may seem a bit much, but basically all derms we talk to suggest incorporating a retinol-based cream into your routine from your 20s. If you’re not familiar with retinol, it’s a vitamin A derivative that boosts skin cell renewal. Retinol also helps decrease oil production, which helps tighten pores and keep blackheads at bay. If you’re concerned about using a retinoid, there are some great low-strength retinols like the Kate Somerville RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream, $85, or you can try The Inkey List’s 1% Retinol Serum, $13, which is perfect, if like us, you’re tackling blackheads on a budget! Read more about why retinol is amazing here.

Clay: Clay is an amazing purifying and detoxifying ingredient, which makes a clay mask ideal for combatting blackheads. Clay helps extract excess oil and purify pores while gently exfoliating the skin. We’re obsessed with the L’Oreal Clay masks; they have different masks to cater to different skin concerns, but with all of them, you can literally see the oil being extracted from your skin – totally gross but also super satisfying (read our full review here.)

via Giphy

Tools and DIYs

Pore vacuums: Pore vacuums are a divisive tool as some derms say they can stretch pores if overused while many experts love them for their effective way of literally sucking out blackheads from your skin. Before you decide to try one, check out our review of the best pore vacuum we ever tried.

Steam: A gentle steam can do amazing things for your skin. Most importantly it’ll hydrate your skin and can even help to drain pores so they’re more receptive to other topical products that you apply. We like to do a quick steam and then apply The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, $9. We then finish it off by applying hyaluronic acid (our fav is Yeouth’s Pure Hyaluronic Acid, $15), to maximize hydration without blocking pores. Check out why facial steaming is amazing here.

Silk Cocoons: Silk cocoons are a super easy way to exfoliate your skin, leaving your skin feeling soft but more importantly free of dirt, oil, and bacteria! They feel like cardboard when dry, but the silk balls contain sericin, a protein that is hailed for having anti-aging properties as well as great exfoliation power. All you do is run the ball underneath some warm water or soak it for a couple of minutes to soften it, then pop it on your finger, and using small circular motions, gently pass it over your skin. Do it twice a week to keep blackheads at bay. You can buy a pack of them here, $7.

Let us know if there are any other skin concerns you need help with, in the comments below.