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The skin-care routine is difficult, how to get rid of blackheads is a challenge. You can try to dig them out, but you risk traumatizing your skin in a way that makes the blackhead you removed seem like NBD (think scarring or hyperpigmentation). Fortunately, there’s some middle ground in both removing and preventing blackheads. We called in the experts to get the scoop.


First, it helps to know what causes blackheads. (As Sun Tzu says, know your enemy.) “Blackheads form when the opening of a pore on your skin becomes clogged with sebum. Dead skin cells and oils collect in the pore. And if the pore isn’t covered by skin, exposure to air causes it to turn black as it oxidizes.

Learning how to get rid of blackheads can be a game changer, since they can stick around when left unchecked. “Some blackheads can persist for days, weeks, or even months if not extracted, while your body usually clears small whiteheads within a week to 10 days. These tweaks to your skin-care routine can help.

1.Wash with a gentle cleanser.

Resist the temptation to launch a scrubby assault on your blackheads. In fact, your best bet is to use a mild cleanser. “It will not overly strip your skin of moisture, which actually can trigger the overproduction of sebum and further exacerbate the problem. Try an option like Q-ACNE DETERSION which act as humectants and helps your skin retain moisture.

2.Steam your face. 

Before you attempt an extraction at home, it’s crucial to loosen up and soften the debris trapped in your pores with some heat. A face steamer is a great way to do this, but if you don’t have one, start by taking a shower or washing your face, and then apply a thin layer of the heaviest moisturizer you own to the area you’re extracting. Moisturizer will create a temporary occlusive seal to keep the heat trapped in your skin, which makes extractions more seamless.

Then cover the area with plastic wrap, and apply a hot, damp washcloth, and layer another one on top. Layering the washcloths will ensure that the heat is retained in your skin. For safe extractions and the easiest removal, it’s important to have your skin as soft as possible. After a few minutes, remove the cloths and the plastic, and add another layer of moisturizer to keep your skin moist before going into your extractions. 

3.If you must squeeze, never use your nails.

If you’re extracting with your fingers, “the key is to be gentle,”.

Here’s a primer: Start with completely clean hands and remember not to place your fingers too close to the blackhead. Widen them out a bit so that the blackhead will be extracted more easily from a deeper level within your skin, relocate your fingers to make it easier and to avoid creating marks.

4.Use a pore strip.

An oldie but a goodie, these help get rid of blackheads in the most basic way: by plucking it out. It’s essentially putting a Band-Aid on your nose. So if your skin has been adequately prepped with warm water and the pore is open, the suction from removing the strip will lift the trapped debris to the surface.That said, they’re not really treating the blackheads; they’re just removing the uppermost (and visible) portion.

5.Try some gadgets.

There are also pore vacuums, which literally suck the debris out of your skin. But it’s worth doing some research before using one, since sometimes they can be too strong and do more harm than good.

6.Use vitamin C.

Sure, ingredients like beta hydroxy acids and benzoyl peroxide work great on acne and clogged pores. But your favorite brightening ingredient, vitamin C, can actually be incredibly powerful for clearing blackheads. A blackhead is simply oil that has come to the surface and oxidized because of contact with the open air. This oxidation is what causes blackheads to turn black. To fight this process and keep the oil from oxidizing so quickly, use an antioxidant like vitamin C.

She notes that it’s crucial to use a stable form of vitamin C, since unstable forms can oxidize quickly and cause even more blackheads.

7.Learn when to let go of a stubborn blackhead.

You should really only be targeting the darkest, more obvious blackheads from the start. But if one of those dark blackheads doesn’t pop, take a deep breath and let it be. If it doesn’t come out after three tries, don’t do it any longer or you’ll risk damaging your skin or potentially breaking a capillary. If it’s not coming out, that means it’s not the time to remove it. You can just come back to it another day. It’s better than causing damage.

There’s also, of course, the chance that what you think is a blackhead might not actually be a blackhead at all. Geraghty points out that deep cysts or milia can masquerade as blackheads, and both necessitate a visit to the dermatologist since both require more than a simple extraction.

8.See a pro.

Sometimes it’s best to let a pro handle it. If it’s a struggle to get blackheads out and you’re not getting results, then definitely see a pro. 

It’s safest to see a well-trained aesthetician or dermatologist who can perform in-office extractions or microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a gentle exfoliating treatment that often involves a little pen or wand that acts like a mini sandblaster and vacuum cleaner in one.


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