Learn how to clear and prevent blackheads without damaging your skin.
- Exfoliate, masque and control bacteria to help clear and prevent blackheads.
- Masques and moisturizers help soften existing blackheads to facilitate clearing, but the most effective way to remove existing blackheads is to have them extracted by a professional.
When it comes to clearing blackheads, prevention is key. Blackheads form when excess sebum (oil), dead skin cells and breakout-causing bacteria collect and form a “plug” in your follicles. This plug still lets a bit of air in, which is why this mixture turns black – like what happens to an apple that is cut open.
5 ways to prevent blackheads
Untreated blackheads can become breakouts, so it’s important to keep pores clear with these tips:
After Double Cleansing, clear away excess dead skin cells with a powder exfoliant, scrub or leave-on exfoliant that contains ingredients like Salicylic Acid.
Once or twice a week, apply a masque designed to help soften and clear blackheads. Look for ingredients like Kaolin Clay or Activated Binchotan Charcoal, which can help draw out excess oil and impurities, and Sulfur, which can help remove dead skin cells.
3. Control bacteria
Apply an antibacterial booster or serum daily to help kill breakout-causing bacteria. Look for ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Azelaic Acid, and Thymol with Terpineol.
Wear a moisturizer every day, even if you have oily skin. When your skin’s moisture levels are imbalanced, your skin produces excess oil to compensate. A moisturizer helps regulate sebum production to prevent excess oil from clogging your follicles.
5. Wear non-comedogenic products
Make-up, some sunscreens and hair products are among those that can clog pores, especially if they are left on the skin overnight. Choose products labeled “non-comedogenic” to help keep pores clear, and always Double Cleanse your skin before bed.
How to clear existing blackheads fast
Existing blackheads are hard to clear at home. Squeezing them with your fingernails not only damages your skin but spreads breakout-causing bacteria, which can lead to more intense forms of acne.
To quickly clear existing blackheads, see a professional skin therapist for blackhead extractions. Ask if they offer express treatments, which can be more convenient and affordable than full facials.
Pro tip! Dehydration makes blackheads harder to extract, so drink lots of water and moisturize before you get extractions.