Getting rid of blackheads is one of those skin care areas where doing too much is sure to backfire. Korean beauty is known for its skin-focused philosophy, so it's no surprise that the best Korean skin care products for treating blackheads work by addressing the source of the problem, and tackling it gently.
The first step to treating blackheads is understanding how they form in the first place. Every pore on your face contains a hair (that's why we have peach fuzz) and a sebaceous gland that produces oil. When larger pores on your t-zone get clogged with excess oil, dead skin, or makeup residue, oxygen causes the clogs to turn black.
So there you have it, blackheads are nothing more than exceptionally stubborn clogged pores! Which means, the right way to get rid of blackheads is by thoroughly cleansing the skin, gently removing any dead skin that could block the pores, and using a light moisturizer that won't build up or throw off your skin's natural oil production levels.
If you'd like to create a Korean skin routine for blackheads, or even just add a few amazing Korean beauty products to your existing routine, I recommend starting with the basics: a thorough double-cleanse, first using a noncomedogenic oil or balm cleanser to remove makeup, sunscreen, and excess oil, and then cleansing a second time with a low-foaming cleanser to remove anything left over. Beyond cleansing, you'll need to use a treatment product — like a toner, essence, serum — that contains chemical exfoliants such as BHA and AHA on a daily basis to help break up blackheads in the pores and slough off dead skin cells that will otherwise become blackheads. I also recommend exfoliating with a peeling gel or sugar scrub once or twice a week, and applying a wash-off mask weekly to the areas where your blackheads tend to pop up.
The key to any skin care routine is consistency, so choose a few great products to incorporate into your regimen, use them religiously, and evaluate the results after about four weeks!
1This Powerful Targeted Treatment Cream
If you've got blackheads that just won't seem to budge, you'll love this powerful targeted treatment cream. The BHA Blackhead Power Cream contains 4 percent BHA to penetrate the pores, along with natural oils and calming ingredients to prevent the BHA from drying out your skin. Because the BHA is buffered with gentler ingredients, this is a great option for sensitive skin types.
Apply this cream once a day after cleansing and toning, only to the places where you're getting blackheads or acne.
2Use This Volcanic Clay Mask Weekly To Draw Blackheads Out Of Your Pores
Give your skin a deeper cleanser once a week with the Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask. The formula is designed to draw dirt, oil, and blackheads out of the skin while it dries, and can be applied to your t-zone or your entire face. This mask is a favorite among K-beauty lovers with oily or acne-prone skin.
3This Essence Contains Nature's Favorite Blackhead Remedy
Tea tree oil is one of the most popular natural remedies for blackheads and acne. The LJH TeaTree 90 Essence contains 90 percent tea tree oil, to dry out and dissolve blackheads. While you could make your own tea tree oil mixture, the essential oil can dry and irritate the skin if it's not properly diluted. This essence contains soothing and hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, to nourish and protect your skin while the tea tree oil gets to work.
Apply a few drops after cleansing and toning the skin.
4This Exfoliating Toner With AHA & BHA
This toner from Mizon contains two chemical exfoliants — AHA and BHA — which work in two totally different ways to bust blackheads and keep skin clear. BHA is able to dive deep into the pore to break up your blackheads from the inside out, while AHA sloughs dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, keeping pores free from obstructions.
After cleansing, soak a cotton pad with toner and carefully sweep it across your face, making sure not to apply too much pressure or tug on the skin.
5Remove Dirt, Oil, And Makeup With This Noncomedogenic Balm Cleanser
Thorough cleansing is your first line of defense against blackheads, so I always recommend doing a double cleanse in the evening. Banila Co. Clean It Zero Purity is the perfect first-cleanser for skin that's sensitive or prone to acne and blackheads because it's free of mineral oil and doesn't leave any oily residue on the skin. I love this balm cleanser because it removes all of my makeup and sunscreen from the day without drying out my skin.
Massage this cleanser into dry skin as the first step to your skin care routine.
6Cleanse Without Stripping Your Skin With This Low pH Second Cleanser Made With Tea Tree Oil
COSRX's Good Morning Gel Cleanser is a gentle, low-foaming cleanser that prevents your skin's pH from being disrupted — which can happen when you wash your face. It's formulated with tea tree oil, to help keep pores clear.
7Clear Pores And Hydrate With This Two-Step Rubber Mask
This rubber mask from Dr. Jart is a two-step solution for clearer skin. The duo comes with a super concentrated ampoule chock full of ingredients that clear pores and soothe the skin. After applying the ampoule, place the rubber mask on your face to prevent the ampoule from evaporating. Because the rubber mask stays moist, you can leave it on for up to 40 minutes.
8Exfoliate And Reduce Inflammation With This Green Tea Peeling Gauze
In case I haven't stressed it enough, exfoliating is everything when it comes to fighting blackheads. This gentle peeling gauze is the perfect marriage between chemical and physical exfoliators. The pads' patented three layer technology buffs grab onto and buffs away dead skin, while a blend of gentle acids and soothing ingredients help the process along.
Use these on your face and neck two or three times a week after cleansing and patting dry. Each package contains 30 single-use pads.
9Hydrate Without Clogging Pores With This Cult Favorite Gel-Cream
Moisturizing your skin is an essential step, regardless of your skin type, but if you're prone to blackheads it's important to use a light moisturizer that won't clog your pores. IOPE's Bio Hydro Cream is one of the best moisturizers I've tried — and I've tried about a thousand. The gel formula helps to balance the skin's oil production, and absorbs quickly, leaving a thin, protective hydrating barrier. This is a great year-round moisturizer for combination or oily skin types, and works well for drier skin types in the warmer months.
10Regulate Skin's Oil Production With This Egg White Wash-Off Mask
The egg whites in this Skinfood pore mask help to regulate how much oil your skin produces, and over-production of oil is a major contributor to the formation of blackheads. This mask also contains lactic acid, an AHA that gently removes dead skin cells.
11Remove Dead Skin Cells Gently With This Satisfying Peeling Gel
A gentle exfoliator is a must when it comes to preventing and getting rid of blackheads. Dr. G's peeling gel exfoliates the skin without the irritation that harsh scrubs can cause. This gommage-style exfoliator will leave you feeling super satisfied as you watch your dead skin ball up in the gel and rinse them away. It's a bit gross, but also incredibly effective.
Use this exfoliator once or twice a week after cleansing the skin.
12This Three Step Nose Strip For Maximum Blackhead Removal
This three step pore strip set has slid its way into the K-beauty hall of fame, and with good reason! The first pore strip in the set is thoroughly soaked with a toner that loosens up your blackheads, the second is the kind of dry pore strip you're used to seeing, and the third is soaked with a toner that helps to tighten pores to prevent them from clogging back up again.
Apply these strips no more than twice a week, after cleansing and toning.
13This Gentle Black Sugar Scrub Is Perfect For People Who Prefer Physical Exfoliators
Skinfood's Black Sugar Mask Wash Off is a gentle scrub and a hydrating mask all in one. Unlike other scrubs, this one won't damage skin because the sugar crystals dissolve as you massage them into your skin — instead of fighting against it.
Lightly massage your face with this scrub after cleansing, and leave on for 10 minutes.
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