How to Get Rid of Blackheads

Want to get rid of blackheads? We have the secret! Our tips for getting rid of blackheads will clear up those black dots on your nose for good.

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Girl with clear skin

Blackheads are one of the biggest skin problems that most college-age women face. I’ve gotten quite a few emails asking about how to get rid of blackheads, and I have to say, I used to struggle with them myself!

I have an embarrassing story about how I found out I had blackheads in the first place. I guess you could say I was in “blackhead denial.”

It started out innocently enough – I was hanging out with my boyfriend one weekend, goofing around. All of a sudden, he stared at my face with a scrutinizing look.  Pressing his finger up against my nose, he said “by the way, how do you get rid of those things?” I think you can guess what he meant.

Yes, he was pointing at blackheads. Skin flaws that even I, Ms. Perfectionist, hadn’t thought about before! I knew I didn’t have flawless skin, but couldn’t believe something so tiny would be noticeable. I was so upset and embarrassed that I not only chewed my boyfriend out for pointing them out, but became completely self conscious about my “blackhead problem.” From then on, I developed a complex (and an intimate relationship with my magnifying mirror) and became obsessed with getting rid of them.

Since that fateful day, I’ve done tons of research, learning what those little black dots on your nose are and how to get rid of them!  Although my boyfriend’s comment partially traumatized me, on the plus side, my skin is looking a lot better now and blackheads are no longer an issue.

If you want to get rid of blackheads yourself, or just want to know how to keep them away, read on!

Tips for Getting Rid of Blackheads

Check your makeup

The truth is, what you put on to cover blackheads up might actually be causing more of them!  If you wear lots of heavy foundation or use thick face creams, you could be contributing to the problem with your products!  In general, if you have a problem with greasy skin and clogged pores, consider using as few products as you can.  The fewer layers of stuff that you put on your face, the better.

Lots of water and healthy eating

Cliche’, maybe, but it’s so true.  What you put into your body shows on the outside.  Simple as that.  If you eat lots of greasy crap, your skin is not going to look as good as it would if you ate more veggies and drank more water.

Use BHA for blackheads

BHA stands for Beta Hydroxy Acid, which is an exfoliant that removes the dead layer of skin from your face.  If you’ve ever seen a skincare product that contains salicylic acid, that’s BHA.  BHA is important for getting rid of blackheads because it goes into your pores to clean out the excess oil and dead skin cells that make up blackheads.

A great BHA product that I use is Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Anti Blemish Daily Moisturizer.  I put it on at night after washing my face, and when I wake up, my skin always looks better and better.  I have less blackheads, and as a bonus, my skin is clearer and softer than it was before!

Do a clay mask once a week

This is only for those of you with oily or combination skin.  Dry skin, obviously, needs all the oil it can get.  Blackheads are partially caused by excess oil on your face, so if you have greasy skin, a good quality clay mask will help sop up some of the grease and keep your pores clearer.  Using it once a week is enough – you don’t want to over-dry your skin, because this could lead to even more problems!

Don’t bother with a pore strip

First of all, they’re basically useless for getting rid of anything that’s stuck deep in your pores.  Second of all, they can actually damage your skin!  I know these things look like miracle products, but save your money because they aren’t really going to help.

Squeeze, but do it carefully! 

This is one situation where picking your face may actually help instead of making things worse.  Don’t take this as permission to pick at your face all you want!  There is a right and a wrong way to squeeze blackheads and it’s really important that you do it the right way.

First, wash your face with a gentle cleanser. (I like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.)  Next, cover your face with a warm, wet cloth for 10 to 15 minutes.  Pat your face dry, then wrap tissues around your fingers to prevent slippage.  Use GENTLE pressure to press down then up around the sides of the blackhead.  If nothing happens after one or two tries, stop.  That means the blackhead isn’t ready to come out yet.  Whatever you do, don’t pinch, use your nails or press too hard.  This can damage your skin and might even lead to scars!

See a dermatologist

If all else fails, a derm can really help you out.  They can prescribe things like Retin-A, antibiotics or Accutane, which can all help with blackheads.  Procedures like microdermabrasion are also said to be effective, but I recommend trying the above steps first because the problem can usually clear itself up without these extreme treatments.

At the end of the day, blackheads are kind of an ongoing battle.  For those of us who are prone to them, light makeup, gentle cleansers and BHA treatments are necessary to get rid of them and keep them away.  There isn’t any magical cure that will rid you of them forever, but taking good care of you skin on an ongoing basis will work wonders.

Have you ever had a problem with blackheads? How do you get rid of blackheads? Do you recommend any products to help with the problem?  Let me know in the comments!

93 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Blackheads”

  1. hii , i would like to know, to make your own pores strips , does it matter if the Jello powder is NOT unflavoured . . ?

  2. My mom thougth me this amazing at home sugar facial that works like a charm.
    Things you will need:
    1) sugar
    2) bar soap (perferbly non scented)
    3) and one half of a lime or lemon.

    So the first thing you do is wash your face with the bar of soap, after doing that dont wash the soap off yet instead scrup some sugar all over your face especially in problem areas. Let the sugar mask on your face for a minute or 2. Once you feel the mask getting hard wash your face off and after you dry it off pat some of the lemon/lime juice all over your face (it will sting a bit). And finally your done and left with a clean smooth face =-)

  3. Good advice. Only thing I didn’t like is the cleaner, cetaphil cleaner. My derm. doctor told me to try it. I tried it but it burns. I like to use clean and clear cleaner. I had this problem since when I was 14. I’m 28 now and still fighting it. 🙁

  4. I’ve had asne and blackhead problems for as long as I can remember. My sister has beautiful skin but I was the chosen one to receive this curse. My mother makes fun of me for it and it really tears me down. I go through so many tubes of concealer to try and cover them up. It helps but I wish I didn’t have to in the first place. You see all of these beautiful women on tv that appear flawless and it just makes me feel worse about myself. I definately will try this and hope that it works. Thank you for taking the time to do this, it means a lot.

  5. I don’t have time to read all the comments, so if someone else put this sorry for the repeat…but here’s a great recipe to get rid of black heads!!!

    1/2 Teaspoon Knox unflavored gelatin (should be available in the Jello aisle most likely sold on the top shelf above the flavored gelatins)
    1 Teaspoon of milk
    Stir together and microwave for 10 seconds to warm. Using a clean cosmetic brush (I use my foundation brush) apply the mixture somewhat heavily to your nose and chin avoiding your eyes. Wash out your brush right away so that it doesn’t harden and ruin the bristles. Let it dry for approximately 20 minutes to completely harden. Once its completely dry simply peel off the strip and voila…clean pores at next to NO cost at all!

    that is from

  6. thanks, i have had blackheads for a long long long time, and i have tried everything. when i do the mask, they seem to pop up again in the morning, sometimes they are gone but they come back again. it is so annoying and so embarrasing. i am going to try the heated face thing, and the popping, aha, that sounds gross, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

  7. DO NOT popp the black or white heads on your face, expecially nose!!! NEVER!!!
    I used to do that all the time when I was younger. It would help for a while but black heads would always come back anyway.
    But the worst thing is now, after years of doing all that popping, I damaged the skin on my nose and now it is covered with hippible RED thread veins and there is big RED spot (broken cappilaries). I hate myself for all that popping, it was stupiest thing to do. Tomorrow I am going to dermatologist for laser treatment !
    Everybody should be extremly gentle with your skin. Also need to be careful if your wear glasses and sunglasses, they must not be too tight on your nose, it will cause broken thread veins or broken cappelaries.

  8. I’m glad I found this. I’ve had horrible blackheads on my nose for the longest time, but I had no idea how to get rid of them. Like Zephyr said, those pore strips aren’t worth buying because they don’t work! I will have to try the Cetaphyl though, because I have been looking for a mild face wash since I also have rosacea on my cheeks. (I was using things like Sea Breeze and witch hazel but found out I shouldn’t use those because they’re bad for rosacea.) I will have to try Zephyr’s suggestions and see if they help!

  9. hey im going to try all of those steps because i hate when people look at me and i know my self it looks gross. black heads are the most horrible thing and yes i am a self concious about them all the time. so hopefully these things will help

  10. younger and everything but like my blackheads are horrible. I use Sea Breeze and all it does is burns. Maybe this advice will help.

  11. Yeah.
    I always scratch the blackheads on my nose, and it causes skin to kind of stick straigh up. Then I take tweezers and grab and pull out as many as I can.
    I immediately clean with a Q-tip covered in Blackhead Remover stuff by Clean n’ Clear I think. It’s in a purple bottle.
    It’s kinda cool to see the giant hole in your nose that was filled with the black and yellow stuff. Sometimes it gets rid of the black head, sometimes more come. It just really depends.

    I don’t know, it’s probably not very good for your skin.


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