Blackheads, much like cockroaches, are the worst for this very reason: Every time you squeeze one of them away, you find dozens more to tackle. (How’s that for a fun visual?) So how do you get rid of them for good?
What exactly are blackheads, anyway? Blackheads are just an oxidized mix of oil and dead skin cells that are sitting in pores — the exposure to air is what causes them to oxidize and turn black. Having them is not a sign that you’re too dirty, so don’t cause more damage by being rough with your skin and scrubbing really hard.
Leave a salicylic acid gel on your blackheads
Salicylic acid is a great option for dissolving those blackheads away, and it can be found in over-the-counter products. 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.
You may also use retinoid
Retinoids are a great treatment for blackheads, and while many people with sensitive skin are loath to try them, there are low-strength retinoids which are often more tolerable.
Use an enzymatic exfoliator at least twice a week
Use facial masks that have papaya, charcoal, pineapple extract, or clay to debride — or wash away — surface skin cells.
Try using a cleaning brush
Just be sure not to overdo it because irritation from the cleansing brush could flare up other acne. One to two times a week should be sufficient.
Consider taking acne medicine
Prescription medicines like oral contraceptive pills and spironolactone can reduce oil production and prevent your pores from being blocked. They will get rid of blackheads and prevent new ones from showing up in the future. But these medicines are reserved for people with more than just the occasional blackhead; they are more for people with moderate to severe acne.
Go for a micro-needling treatment
If you can afford it and have money to splurge, Low-energy, low-density, non-ablative lasers will literally heat the under-surface of the skin without damaging the top layer, so there is zero downtime.
Don’t forget to moisturize
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. It’s important to maintain the right balance in the skin, and moisturizing will allow you to continue using exfoliating products without any issues. If a retinoid is too drying, try applying it over moisturizer (or even between layers of moisturizer). Also, choose non-comedogenic moisturizers only so they won’t clog the pores