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. None of this works for me. I am OLD too! in my late 40’s! I have had these blackheads on my nose FOREVER! I did all that you said to do and all that squeezes out is white pus and the blackhead remains. Yes I have gone to dermatologists, yes I use a clay mask, etc etc

  2. Clinique 3-step treatment definately makes your face look and feel amazing. They help find your skin type and chose th eright skin scare treatment for your skin. the trick is trying to remember to use it morning and night, and not just the facial soap either, the clarifying stuff and the moistureizer, i always forget the last two.. They also have oil free foundation that you can mix with your moisturizer.. it looks amazing. I’m trying to wash my face more regularly and i can definatly see a difference. Blackheads suck! but i’m starting to find that when i use all three of the steps that my skin looks healthier and th epores look smaller (because they arent as full of oil and grease). anyway thats my tip.

  3. Yeah I just started to get blackheads a few months ago, and they really bug me! They’re small, but I hate them. This advice helped me because I had nooo idea what to do about them. I realize blackheads are normal for teens, but I just want flawless skin. Right now…I kind of have a long way to go lol. Hopefully this will help.

  4. I find using cornflour on your face? a thin llayer with a clean foundation brush is good.

    It gets rid of the oil without drying your skin out?

    It works well for spots and black heads, i am sixteen so obs have issues with my skin?

    going on the pill has really helped out my skin as well.

    I have to use clearasil now? as if i dont even for a day i break out like mad? but it really isnt helping, but i cant handle another breakout mentally so it’s just not good, does anyone have any reccomendations for that issue?

  5. i would not use retina A, as i was prescribed it and it completly dried out my skin skin on like day 3 of using it it took 2 week for my skin to return to normal (with me slathering hydating serums, tuns of cream and galllons of water), even now i notice my skin dries out where i had put the Retina A on.

  6. Awesome advice my mom and me just spent over like 2 and half hours trying to get a black head in my ear out. Do you know how painfull it is to have a black head in your ear?! IT HURTS, and the sad thing about this was we still didnt get it out. I will try that clay mask thing because my skin is super super oily.

  7. Wow.
    i thought i was the only one experiencing this problem!
    I never get to notice anyone who has it, or atleast not as bad as mine that it actually become noticeable.
    My friends kept teasing me just because the ‘black dots’ in mi nose 🙁
    Anyway, thanks for the post! I really like this site. So awesome.

  8. Thank you for the advice. I’ve always been asking around on how to get rid of blackheads but always the same answer; eat well, wash your face with soap and water but all of that didnt seem to work but now I know the cure to my blackhead nightmare. Thanks alot.

  9. I needed something to get deep into my pores for blackheads, which seemed to never go away, also to control excess oil. The Citrus Clear Pore Mask did the trick! I was advised by a dermatologist that the mask does a wonderful job clearing blemishes. It helps control oil and shine even after going all day with a full face of foundation and concealers. I have combination skin and this mask doesn’t dry my skin out at all. It’s great for spot treatments too.

  10. I’ve been using a mixture of Apple cider vinegar and water after I wash my face with Cetaphil & it has really helped my skin! My scientist friend told me that it’s a “chemical exfoliant that balances your pH so your skin doesn’t produce more oil than it needs”


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