These Hard-Working Cleansers Are A Gentler Way To Clear Blackheads

Pore strips and dangerous extraction tools get a lot of buzz when it comes to removing blackheads, but a lot of people don't realize that choosing the right face wash is an incredibly important part of getting rid of and preventing blackheads. The best face washes for blackheads use ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, clay, and physical exfoliants to loosen dirt, debris and dead skin, balance oil, and smooth the skin's surface.

To understand why these ingredients work, first you need to understand why we get blackheads in the first place. Essentially, blackheads occur when our hair follicles (any of the five million on our bodies) get plugged with a mixture of dead skin cells and sebum. Exposure to the air then turns these clogs black. This is why oily skin types —and areas of the face where we produce excess oil — are more prone to blackheads.

So the best way to get rid of blackheads really isn't to force them out once they've formed — it's far more effective to fight them while they're forming. And that's where your cleanser comes in. So stop using your fingers to get rid of blackheads, and pick up one of the six highly-rated blackhead-clearing face washes listed below.


A Daily Deep Cleanser With Clay To Absorb Excess Oil

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay, $20, Amazon

First Aid Beauty’s bright red foaming cleanser Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser, contains red clay — a natural ingredient that absorbs excess oil and sebum and rosemary leaf oil to gently unclog pores and tone skin. Although it offers a deep clean and potent treatment, it’s gently enough for everyday use.


A Low-pH Cleanser With Tea Tree Oil That Minimizes Bacteria On The Skin

Cosrx Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser, $10, Amazon

A low-pH cleanser like Cosrx Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is essential for fighting blackheads because it balances out the high pH of tap water and, in turn, reduces the presence of bacteria on the skin – a major factor in the development of clogs. With the addition of tea tree oil, which also helps keep skin clear with major anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, the cleanser is a smart choice for blackhead prevention for all skin types.


An Exfoliating Cleanser That Smooths & Primes The Skin

Dr. Brandt PoreDermabrasion, $30, Amazon

Suitable for all skin types, Dr. Brandt’s PoreDermabrasion cleanser is a professional-grade physical and chemical exfoliator that unclogs pores and mattifies. With a boost of salicylic acid to remove pore congestion, caviar lime extract to brighten skin and lentil seed extract as a primer, this wash leaves you with smooth, matte skin.


A Skin-Clearing Everyday Cleanser With Salicylic Acid

Paula's Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser, $12, Amazon

With the most effective blackhead clearing treatment, salicylic acid, as it’s star active ingredient Paula's Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser is a clear choice for blackhead removal. Salicylic acid is the preferred treatment for blackheads because, even at low concentrations, it can break down the excess oil and dead skin cells that cause comedones in the first place. As a bonus, this highly effective cleansing gel is gentle enough for every day, twice a day use with no flaking or irritation.


A Creamy Polishing Cleanser With Exfoliating Micro-Beads

Murad Pore Rescue Skin Smoothing Polish, $30, Amazon

Murad’s creamy, non-drying Pore Rescue Skin Smoothing Polish not only contains micro-beads to physically exfoliate and reduce clogged pores and blackheads but also uses witch hazel and cinnamon extract to balance oily, acne-prone skin. It's best used as a once-weekly exfoliator.


A Powerful Resurfacing Wash With Glycolic Acid

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash, $27, Amazon

Formulated with 18 percent glycolic acid NeoStrata's Foaming Glycolic Wash is a popular and potent foaming face wash that deeply cleanses without irritating or drying the skin. Glycolic acid, which is an AHA derived from sugar cane, is a powerful exfoliator that encourages skin cell turnover. In short, it reduces and prevents acne and loosens existing clogged pores.

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