Blackheads are disgusting, right? Disgusting and completely intriguing. We’ve all pressed our faces up against a mirror to see those annoying clogged pores. Other people might not see them, but we certainly do, and we want them gone.
Blackheads are pimples that aren’t covered by skin. Because they’re exposed to the air, the junk in your pores oxidizes—which is why they’re called blackheads. You don’t have to squeeze them away like you would a pimple. If your skin is oily and you’re prone to these nasty little guys, chances are that you’ll deal with them your whole life. The good news, however, is that the oilier your skin, the longer it will take for your skin to wrinkle because your skin is a pro at replenishing oils.
If you’ve seen any of the hundreds of viral blackhead videos, you know that removing them is both satisfying and totally gross. If you’re not a fan of seeing your blackheads on a pore strip, try a natural remedy instead.
“Exfoliating is one of the only variables we do have control of when it comes to minimizing the appearance of blackheads,” Alicia Zalka, dermatologist and found of Surface Deep told Huffington Post. “Baking soda is an ingredient that is often used in microdermabrasion which as a method of exfoliating, can aid in minimizing blackheads when done regularly.”
Zalka advises against using any sharp tools on the skin, like blackhead extractors, saying that the worst approach to cleaner skin is squeezing the blackheads away.
“This can make the skin inflamed, infected and even cause scarring,” Zalka said.
DO: Use salicylic acid.
"Salicylic acid is a great option for dissolving those blackheads away, and it can be found in over-the-counter products,” NYC dermatologist Rachel Nazarian told Allure. “Ideally, you'd use a leave-on product rather than a cleanser or soap, since the longer the exposure to the active ingredient, the better it'll work. After using a salicylic acid product for several weeks, many of the blackheads will resolve, but others will just loosen."
DON’T: Forget to moisturize.
Many blackhead removal methods can strip your skin of oils, so moisturizing and keeping your skin soft can do wonders to maintain the balance of oil in your skin.
"All of these methods may strip oils from the skin and be drying, so you might be surprised to learn that you need to moisturize to treat their blackheads,” Jeremy Fenton of Schweiger Dermatology Group said. “It's important to maintain the right balance in the skin, and moisturizing will allow you to continue using exfoliating products without any issues.”
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DO: Use pore strips.
The ultra satisfying unsung heroes of the blackhead world. Simply wet the area you wish to treat (nose, chin, etc), apply the strip, wait and then riiiiiiiip. If you’re looking to de-clog fast, pore strips are about to be your best friends. Try the Dr. Jart+ Pore Master Patch, or the PUR Dirty Girl Detoxifying Mudd Masque. Make sure you moisturize afterwards!
DON’T: Use a magnifying mirror too often.
Staring at your skin too often can often prompt people to over-treat their faces.
“If you have a magnifying mirror at home to look at your blackheads, then my best recommendation is to throw the magnifier away!” Joshua Zeichner, a NYC based dermatologist told Glamour. “Everyone has blackheads on their noses and often on their chin since these areas have the highest concentration of oil glands in the body.”