Blackheads are so annoying. I hate them mostly because they’re flat out unsightly, but also because no matter how hard I try to rid my skin of them for good, they ultimately sneak right back up. Recently I researched several hacks to rid your face of blackheads and, for those who can relate to my seemingly lifelong struggle with these gross-looking marks, I couldn’t be more excited to start trying these immediately.
What is a blackhead, exactly? According to Healthline, a blackhead forms when a “clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles in your skin.” Basically, dead skin cells and oils collect in the follicle and cause a bump called a comedone. When the skin over the comedone is exposed to air it turns black — thus a blackhead, Healthline explained.
Likely the first thing you think of when you consider ways to clear your skin from a breakout of blackheads is a pore strip. While pore strips can without-a-doubt work as a great quick fix —sucking those blackheads right out! — often the pores fill right back up with gunk if the skin isn’t treated properly afterwards. This would explain why if you’re someone prone to blackheads you might end up going through a box of pore strips faster than you can say “clear pores.” That said, let’s talk about some ways to regularly treat your skin to eliminate the appearance of blackheads and keep them from coming back again and again.
Here are six hacks that can help you rid your skin of blackheads once and for all:
1. Choose The Right Cleanser
This seems like sort of a no-brainer, but listen up — if you’re looking to rid your face of blackheads don’t just putz around the face cleanser aisle at the pharmacy without knowing what you’re really looking for. Pay attention to what’s in the cleanser if you want to really tackle the problem. According to dermatologist Dr. Zoe Draelos who spoke to Cosmopolitan, “The wax plug that's stuck inside of your pore is very sticky, so you have to unstick it first in order for it to work its way out. One way to do that is to use a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide. The ingredient breaks apart the wax plug, loosening it so that it can break free from the pore.” To make things very simple for you, here are a bunch of cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide.
2. Use Baking Soda To Exfoliate
I always feel like exfoliating is such a boring waste of time — but it’s not! This is especially true for this with blackheads problems. Dermatologist Dr. Alicia Zalka told Huffington Post, “Exfoliating is one of the only variables we do have control of when it comes to minimizing the appearance of blackheads.” What’s the best ingredient to do so with? Baking soda, according to Dr. Zalka. She noted baking soda can help minimize blackheads when regularly as an exfoliant. Mix it with some water until it creates a gentle paste, then get to scrubbing.
3. One Word: Retinoids
As we discussed, pore strips are great for a quick fix, but if you don’t do any work to prevent it they’ll reappear without fail. A great thing to practice in the interim is regularly applying a facial cream that contains retinoids. According to LIVESTRONG, retinoids slow facial oil production and help unclog pores. In order to dry up the oils that already exist in your pores, apply the cream daily and be patient, LIVESTRONG suggested. The outlet noted after a while you’ll begin to notice the old blackheads are gone and new ones will stop forming in their place. Allure rounded up some great retinoids under $30 that can be found here.
4. Try A Clay Mask
Again, a major key in eliminating and preventing blackheads is being able to manage the amount of oil on our skin. To further help control oil, dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe told Marie Claire that readers should try clay purifying masks. Dr. Bowe also suggested using an exfoliating mask like Dr. Brant Skincare's pore's no more vacuum cleaner.
5. Use An Oil-Free Moisturizer
Very important piece of the puzzle — keeping your skin moisturized without causing it to get very oily! According to Glamour UK, to keep your skin soft and to hydrate without re-blocking your pores, use an oil-free moisturizer. The outlet suggested Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer.
6. Bring In A Professional
If you’re one to use a magnifying mirror to zoom in on your blackheads and try to squeeze them out of your pores… stop! According to TotalBeauty.com, you could be doing more harm than good. The outlet noted this causes inflammation and can cross-contaminate other surrounding areas of the skin. For extraction, rely on a professional, they suggested. They’ll know how to prep the skin correctly, extract correctly, and treat the skin correctly after treatment. While with a professional — like your dermatologist or someone at your local spa — TotalBeauty.com also suggested trying a chemical peel, as it can increase cell turnover, prevent blocked pores, and leave the skin clear.
Anyone who’s been cursed with reoccurring blackheads can attest to how brutal they can be, but with some of these hacks we can help manage their appearance and help rid them for good. Remember to give these treatments some time to start working, and within a few weeks you can start noticing some really positive changes.