One of the most discreet yet common types of acne, blackheads are often prominent on those with oily skin but in truth, anyone can have them. Clogged pores are the main cause so when they have a combination of oil and dead skin, blackheads form. Although you may have seen some people pinch them out from under the surface, this is not the best practice. Not only will this be time-consuming but it can leave scarring. Because of this, the following advice will serve you better so you can enjoy blackhead free skin.

What Are Blackheads?

A form of acne that is the result of sebum (oil) building up in a blocked hair follicle with dead skin cells. This combination oxidizes in the open air which gives it the black appearance. Genes can contribute to how susceptible a person is to blackheads but having them does not mean the person is dirty in any way.

So, what are some of the common methods for treating blackheads?

Swerve Benzoyl Peroxide

Although this is a common acne treatment available over the counter, it is not as effective when it comes to blackheads so it can be a waste of time. You’ll find that it reduces swelling which is not an issue that is associated with blackheads. Because bacteria do not cause blackheads, the main benefits of using benzoyl peroxide are lost when it comes to blackhead removal.

Use A Salicylic Acid Scrub For Mild Blackheads

Not everyone has such severe blackheads to deal with. When this is the case, a product with salicylic acid helps to remove oils that are one of the main causes of blackheads. The scrub will exfoliate the surface helping to lift the dead cells to remove them and keep skin clean.

Because sensitive skin should not be treated with such products too often, try using them once a week if this is something you experience. For most people, using a scrub should be something you do every other day as a maximum.

Pore Strips

Blackheads are a common sight around the nose and can be difficult to remove. If this is the case, using quality pore strips can help to remove dirt and grime. Also, they pull dead cells leaving the user with clear skin.

When combined with additional ingredients such as witch hazel they can also offer antibacterial properties and tighten pores so they are not easily clogged again.

Retinoid Cream

If you have a particularly stubborn bout of blackheads, then a retinoid cream can help. They work against the stickiness and are available over the counter and usually available as a gel or cream. A retinoid cream will speed up the rate that skin regenerates and slow the buildup of dead cells.

Use A Skin Brush

Dead skin cells need a little encouragement or they can stick around for a while. In the same way that a face scrub can help to exfoliate and remove impurities, these brushes are effective. However, they should only be used once a week and not on the days that you are using a scrub. Choose between an electric brush or a simple handheld product, there isn’t a lot between them.

Consult Your Doctor For Severe Cases

After trying other approaches, sometimes there is a need to speak to a skin expert. Your doctor might prescribe oral acne medicine to slow oil production. There are other ways these medicines can prevent blackheads but will vary depending on what type is recommended. These are better saved for anyone with severe cases and can even come in the form of birth control.


Although some types of moisturizers might seem as though they will make skin oily which would be detrimental, it is important to have the right balance. A lot of the methods for removing blackheads can dry the skin which is where adding moisture can help.

This is particularly beneficial when using exfoliating products or a skin brush.

Try A Charcoal Mask

Charcoal mask is the in vogue beauty ingredient at the moment so it is hardly surprising to see that it has benefits for removing blackheads. These masks help to cleanse the skin and lift oil among other impurities. Such a method should be used on days that you are not exfoliating or using other methods and kept to once a week.

Remove Makeup Before Bed

One of the main ways that blackheads can form is down to not removing makeup. When you sleep with it on, you risk clogging your pores for longer. Some types of makeup can cause irritation when worn for too long and can lead to other types of acne forming. Remove makeup using cleansing wipes or wash to properly cleanse before you sleep.

Wash Your Face Daily

We mentioned that a scrub might not be suitable every day but when you are taking a day off from these products, it is important to adhere to a self-care routine. Use a cleanser to wash impurities away and stop them from collating on your skin and clogging pores that lead to blackheads.

What Causes Blackheads?

By understanding some of the main reasons they tend to form, you can work towards prevention after you have treated them. Some of the most common causes include your age. This is why a lot of teenagers get blackheads as fluctuating hormone levels from puberty can contribute.

Later in life, anything from pregnancy to birth control can result in more blackheads than usual. Some of the other ways that leave skin prone to blackheads include excessive sweating from exercise or otherwise, high humidity levels, and stress.

Are Blackheads Sign Of An Infection?

Because they are non-inflammatory, blackheads are not part of any or caused by an infection. This means there should be no discomfort experienced as a result and removal are often easy and not painful.

They are only slightly raised and not to the point of the likes of pimples. Although they can affect someone’s appearance, most of the time it is very subtle and only noticeable when close up. If you are embarrassed by the formation of blackheads then don’t be, they are highly common and when using the above methods, can be removed easily, and quickly.