Blackheads are a common type of acne that usually appears on the nose or cheeks. They look like tiny black bumps on the skin and are not red or inflamed like other types of acne.

Blackheads are formed when oil, dirt, and dead skin clog the sebaceous glands or pores on the skin. They are also called open comedones, as their upper surface is exposed to air and isn’t concealed like whiteheads. This exposed surface results in oxidation of the tip, giving blackheads their distinctive dark color.

Blackheads can be a menace as they ruin the appearance and texture of the skin. However, you can remove them easily if you follow the top skincare tips to get rid of blackheads. Here is some vital information that you need to know about them.

Why Am I Getting Blackheads?

1. Sebum Overproduction

Our skin may overproduce sebum due to stress, hormonal imbalances, or improper skincare. This excessive sebum can clog our pores that may result in blackheads. Another common reason behind excessive sebum is over-cleansing. If you wash your face too often, your skin tries to compensate for it by producing more oil. This excess oil can then lead to massive blackheads on the nose and cheeks.

2. Not Removing Makeup At Night

Not Removing Makeup At Night
One of the most common blackheads causes is not removing makeup at night. You may feel too tired to wash your face at the end of a long day, but if you leave makeup sitting on your skin, it will congest your pores and cause blackheads. Always remove your makeup fully before hitting your pillow.

3. Dead Skin

Blackheads on the face are a result of congested pores, and dead skin could be the culprit. If you do not exfoliate your skin regularly, the dead skin begins to clog the pores, resulting in blackheads over time. You must use a gentle chemical exfoliant a few times a week to get rid of any dead skin.

4. Using Comedogenic Products

Comedogenic products are skincare or makeup products that contain pore-clogging ingredients. While someone with dry and acne-free skin might get away with using these products, they can cause blackheads on oily or acne-prone skin. One of the top tips on how to prevent blackheads is to use non-comedogenic products instead.

5. Not Using Sunscreen

Sun damage can enlarge your pores, making them more prone to blackheads. You must use sunscreen daily to prevent blackheads on the face. This way, you will protect your skin from all types of sun damage and be able to maintain a healthy skin barrier.

6 Effective Ways To Prevent Blackheads

1. Wash Your Face In The Morning

If you get massive blackheads on the nose and cheeks, then you must make it a point to wash your face in the morning. Your skin may be producing too much sebum at night, and you can get rid of the excess with a gentle cleanser. Choose an SLS-free cleanser that removes excess oil without stripping your skin dry.

2. Double-Cleanse At Night

If you are wondering how to prevent blackheads, then double-cleansing at night is something you must try. First, use an oil-based makeup remover to break down all the makeup on your skin. Next, use a foaming face wash to remove the oil and dirt from your pores. This simple habit will prevent clogged pores and blackheads.

3. Use Sunscreen Every Day

use sunscreen every day
While sunscreen cannot get rid of blackheads, it can prevent new ones from popping up on your face. Sun damage results in enlarged pores that easily get clogged and lead to blackheads. Therefore, to prevent blackheads altogether, you must apply sunscreen daily on all the exposed parts of your skin.

4. Use Non-Comedogenic Products

Comedogenic products are one of the common blackheads causes. They contain ingredients like heavy plant oils that can clog the pores.

Switching to lightweight, non-comedogenic products can prevent blackheads. Stay away from products that have an oil base and choose gel-based products instead. Especially avoid products that contain coconut oil, wheatgerm oil, and avocado oil.

5. Use Topical Retinoids

Topical retinoids are a popular blackheads treatment. But retinoids can also be used as a preventative product. They encourage skin regeneration and reduce all kinds of acne, including blackheads. You can try a gentler retinoid product with a low concentration of ingredients to prevent blackheads. Top it up with a moisturizer to avoid dryness.

6. Exfoliate Regularly

Chemical exfoliation is the right answer to how to pop blackheads. Not only does it remove existing blackheads from the face, but it also prevents future breakouts. This is because exfoliants unclog the pores and dissolve dead skin and oil. They clear up the pores and nip blackheads in the bud.

15 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Blackheads

1. Salicylic Acid

According to studies[1], salicylic acid is an effective treatment for blackheads. It is a chemical exfoliant that penetrates the deeper layers of the skin to dissolve oil and dirt. It can unclog your pores effectively and reduce blackheads. You can use a salicylic acid face wash or serum, depending on how mild or severe your blackheads are.

2. AHA Toners

AHAs are a class of chemical exfoliants that are milder than Salicylic Acid. They work on the upper layers of the skin to remove dirt and dead skin. Some of the popular AHAs are Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, and Mandelic Acid. You can use an AHA toner to gently exfoliate your skin and get rid of blackheads faster.

3. Skin Brushes

Skin Brushes
If you suffer from massive blackheads on the nose and cheeks, a skin brush may help you out. These brushes exfoliate the skin and unclog the pores with their bristles, often accompanied by gentle vibrations. The safest option is a skin brush with soft bristles that do not feel abrasive on the skin.

4. Clay Mask

A good clay mask is an effective blackheads treatment. Clay sucks out the dirt and oil from the pores and clears up the skin. You can use a clay mask 1-2 times a week to remove all your blackheads. Follow it up with a hydrating toner and moisturizer to nourish your skin.

5. Charcoal Mask

A charcoal mask is another great way to treat blackheads on the face. It sucks out all the dirt and impurities from the pores and helps with oil control, too. You can use it bi-weekly to get clearer, healthy and glowing skin. You can also look for a charcoal and clay mask to reap the benefits of both ingredients.

6. Topical Retinoids

According to studies[2], topical retinoids are the golden standard for acne treatment because they control sebum production, reduce pore congestion, and prevent blackheads.

If you suffer from blackheads, topical retinoids might be an effective solution. You can use mild over-the-counter retinoids or get a prescription for stronger retinoids if your blackheads are severe.

7. Non-Comedogenic Products

Switching up your skincare and makeup regimen to non-comedogenic products can make a massive difference to your skin. The oils in comedogenic products can clog your pores and worsen the blackheads on the face. So, switch to lightweight, water-based, gel products instead of heavy oil-based creams or facial oils.

8. Chemical Peels

Instead of figuring out how to pop blackheads at home, you can visit a dermatologist for a chemical peel. These peels contain a high concentration of chemical exfoliants, making them unsafe for home use. However, under the guidance of an expert, chemical peels are effective at dissolving blackheads and smoothening the skin.

9. Cleansing Oils

Using a cleansing oil is one of the best tips on how to prevent blackheads. It is a lightweight oil blend that dissolves the excess sebum in the pores. Cleansing oils emulsify when splashed with water and remove the build-up from the pores when rinsed off. Hence, they help in removing blackheads quickly.

10. Gel Moisturizer

Gel Moisturizer
As you can see, an effective blackheads treatment often contains a drying substance or exfoliant. To maintain a healthy balance on your skin, you should follow up these treatments with a lightweight moisturizer. A gel moisturizer will ensure that your skin is amply hydrated and does not overproduce sebum. It can prevent new blackheads too.

11. Steaming

Facial steaming is a first step for many methods on how to pop blackheads. Steaming your face before using a face mask or exfoliant will enlarge your pores, allowing the treatment to clean out the pores better. After the treatment, you can use a toner to soothe and shrink the pores.

12. Milk And Honey Treatment

If you are looking for a home remedy to get rid of blackheads, you can try a milk and honey mask. Milk contains lactic acid which is a gentle exfoliant. On the other hand, honey has exfoliating and anti-inflammatory properties. Simply mix a teaspoon of organic milk in a tablespoon of honey and use it as a 5-minute mask for clearer skin.

13. Oatmeal Scrub

If you prefer a physical scrub over chemical exfoliants, then you can make one at home! Simply grind some oatmeal to a rough powder and add some organic honey to make a paste. Gently massage this paste on your skin for a couple of minutes, and then rinse it off with water. Do this 2-3 times a week to remove your blackheads.

14. In-Office Extractions

Instead of using blackhead removal tools or suction devices at home, visit a dermatologist for an in-office extraction. They will safely use the right tools to suck out your blackheads. You can also ask your dermatologist for the right ways to treat your blackheads causes.

15. Oral Medications

If every topical blackheads treatment doesn’t help you, you may need oral medication to clear up your skin. Visit a dermatologist to get a prescription for the same. These medications can control hormonal imbalances that may cause severe acne or blackheads. They can heal your skin from the inside out.

Don’t Try These Dangerous Methods To Remove Blackheads

Dangerous Methods To Remove Blackheads

  • Suction Devices – At-home blackhead removal tools and suction devices can injure or sensitize your skin. Visit a dermatologist for extraction instead.
  • Pore Strips – Pore strips are the first products to show up when your search for how to pop blackheads. However, they tug at the skin and can cause injuries and irritation.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide – Benzoyl Peroxide is not dangerous but may not be effective against blackheads. It is more suitable for red and inflamed acne.
  • Gritty Physical Scrubs – Gritty physical scrubs can cause micro-tears and inflammation on the skin. Instead, use chemical exfoliants or scrubs with round particles.

FAQs About Blackheads

Blackheads can come back if you do not follow the tips on how to prevent blackheads. Even after your skin has healed and your blackheads have been removed, you must continue to follow the preventive measures. Cleanse your skin well twice a day, wear lightweight sunscreen and moisturizer, and exfoliate at least once a week to prevent your blackheads from reappearing.

The quickest way to remove blackheads is to visit a dermatologist for an extraction. They have medically-proven tools that can remove all your blackheads, including massive blackheads on the nose. A chemical peel may also give you instant results.

At-home treatments for blackheads include salicylic acid cleansers, AHA toners, clay masks, and charcoal masks. These treatments tackle blackheads causes and dissolve dirt and oil to unclog the pores. You should see a reduction in blackheads within a few weeks.


Blackheads are a common form of acne that many of us have to deal with. They destroy the smooth appearance of the skin and are prominent due to their dark color. Moreover, they are a sign of congested skin and need to be tackled to avoid inflamed acne and infections. If you suffer from acne and clogged skin, you must try out these effective treatments to get rid of blackheads.

While blackheads look quite stubborn, removing them is simple with the right at-home or in-salon treatments. Furthermore, with an appropriate skincare regimen by skin type, you can prevent new blackheads from popping up. So, try these proven skincare tips to get smooth and blackhead-free skin!