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Annoyed and Tired of Blackheads? Here’s How To Remove Them

Medically reviewed by Martha Juco, MD · Aesthetics

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Feb 24, 2023

    Annoyed and Tired of Blackheads? Here’s How To Remove Them

    It is true that how you wake up in the morning determines how you go through your day. But, what do you do when you look in the mirror to find breakouts and black plugs? Can it actually make or break your whole day? This article introduces you to a few tips and tricks on how to remove blackheads and power through the day right. 

    While people commonly associate every breakout to a nasty zit on the face, whiteheads and blackheads are a close second in terms of type and frequency. 

    Differentiating Blackheads vs. Whiteheads

    how to remove blackheads

    Blackheads and whiteheads are skin-colored, tiny bumps (papules) which are referred to as comedones or comedonal acne. They form when the cells that make up the sebaceous duct grow (cornify) and sebum production increases. They are caused by material that obstructs the sebaceous duct and hair follicles. 

    A whitehead refers to a closed comedone that has a thin covering of skin on top that can occasionally build up enough to be classified as inflammatory acne.

    Whereas blackheads, on the other hand, refers to the open comedone. The debris (i.e., dirt, oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, and cosmetics) that becomes trapped inside the pore causes it to turn black. Because of air exposure, the pores oxidize and turn a brown-to-black tint which people can easily spot and recognize.

    Both whiteheads and blackheads can appear anywhere on the body. However, blackheads, in particular, prefer to grow in oily places, such as the face and around the nose area (T-zone). People with oily skin are also more likely to acquire blackheads.

    Different Methods of Blackhead Removal

    Despite wanting to look their best selves every minute of the day, it is mostly the teens who suffer from these kinds of breakouts. They are the ones who often ask the question of how to remove blackheads. It may be tempting to pick out the black plug, but there are other ways to get rid of them, one tip at a time.

    How To Remove Blackheads Tip#1: Use Facial Cleansers With AHA and/or BHA

    Alpha and beta hydroxy acids, often known as AHAs and BHAs, are well-known classes of chemicals that provide some skin-caring properties. 

    Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) may aid in the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, age spots, as well as the reduction of enlarged pores.

    Meanwhile, the job of beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) is to help enhance the skin’s texture and color by removing dead skin. It enters the oil-laden hair follicle openings and therefore aids acne treatment. 

    Salicylic acid is the most common form of BHA while there are a few more kinds for AHA which are as follows:

    • Glycolic acid
    • Lactic acid
    • Citric acid
    • Tartaric acid

    Washing your face with these types of formulations can help address different skin concerns. But, if you have sensitive skin and these may be too harsh, you may also opt for regular soap and water for cleansing. 

    How To Remove Blackheads Tip#2: Exfoliate Weekly

    Regular exfoliation is an essential component of any skincare regimen as it can help eliminate dead skin cells that are affecting the skin with blackheads. However, some people may tend to go overboard.

    Exfoliating your face on an alternating schedule (two to three times a week) with the same ingredients  — AHAs and BHAs — can help you unleash the glow your skin deserves.

    There are also wash-off and peel-off packs that can aid in exfoliation. 

    How To Remove Blackheads Tip#3: Try Topical Retinoids

    Retinoids are useful for ensuring that dead skin cells do not accumulate inside the pores by removing excess sebum. It also aids in the prevention of acne breakouts and the reduction of acne scarring.

    How To Remove Blackheads Tip#4: Consider Mechanical Extraction

    Mechanical extraction is a treatment that involves using a comedone extractor to remove blackheads. Alongside it, dermatologists frequently use topical acne medicines such as tretinoin or adapalene prior to extraction to prevent the development of new blackheads.

    Apart from these, you can also try some home remedies on how to remove blackheads. It mainly points to such ingredients that you can find at home. 

    • Apple cider vinegar
    • Baking soda
    • Cinnamon
    • Egg whites
    • Green tea
    • Lemon
    • Raw Honey  (can be mixed with other ingredients)

    Key Takeaways

    Before anything else, it is important to use makeup, sunscreen, and skincare products that suit your skin type well. Some people go above and beyond following what’s the trend, but it may not be something that your skin really needs. 
    You have to watch what you put in your face and how it reacts. Oily and heavy products have a great potential to clog and later end up causing breakouts of different kinds. It’s better to choose non-comedogenic cosmetics and skincare products as they can avoid pore-clogging, as well as reduce the development of blackheads.

    Learn more about acne here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Martha Juco, MD


    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Feb 24, 2023

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