An Asian woman touching her cheeks with two hands

Blackheads are one of the most common types of acne, a skin condition where your pores become clogged with oil or sebum and dead skin cells. If you’ve ever gotten a facial or tried to extract some of these pesky black bumps yourself, you would know that it’s not an easy task. When the extraction is not done properly, the skin can get traumatized and develop scars, or you could push bacteria further into the skin, leading to more breakouts. This is why extracting is best left to the experts.

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering how to remove blackheads or at least avoid them, it’s important to note that your best defense is keeping your pores clear of debris. Read on to find out how.

What Causes Blackheads?

Blackheads are also known as open comedones, which are tiny bumps commonly found on the nose, forehead, and chin of people who have acne. When a comedo is open, the dead skin and sebum inside the pore are oxidized, making the surface of the bump black. This leads to rough bumps that make your pores appear as if they are plugged with something black. It’s important to note that blackheads aren’t caused by trapped dirt.

According to Medical News Today, developing blackheads is not related to hygiene or the cleanliness of the skin. However, they can be triggered by comedogenic products, excessive sweating, stress, rapid cell turnover, hormones, and certain medications. 

How to Get Rid of Blackheads: The Dos and Don’ts

Getting rid of blackheads requires a two-fold effort: on the one hand, you’ll need to treat existing blackheads, and on the other hand, minimize the occurrence of blackheads in the future. If you have severe acne and blackheads, consult with a dermatologist, and do not pick them! Meanwhile, here are some dos and don’ts for dealing with blackheads at home.

Do cleanse your face gently. 

Washing your face with an effective product helps prevent blackheads.

Your best defense against both existing and potential comedones is a cleanser that fights sebum while exfoliating the skin to keep your pores clear. POND’S Clear Solutions Antibacterial Facial Scrub contains salicylic acid to wash away 99% of pimple-causing bacteria while removing excess oil and sloughing away dead skin cells. A non-scrub alternative is POND’S Anti-Acne Facial Wash with Active Thymo-T Essence, which works in 3 days and eliminates acne at the root. Both products eliminate the cause of blackheads, preventing future breakouts.

Don’t squeeze or pick on your blackheads. 

The urge to pick and poke will be strong — resist it! Picking at your blackheads with your fingers can traumatize your skin. Even metal blackhead removers are a no-no since they can also irritate the skin if not used properly. If you can help it, leave the extractions to the experts. Blackheads eventually go away on their own, but it can sometimes take weeks or even months. You can try massaging a non-comedogenic oil or balm to loosen it.

POND’S Cleansing Balm works effectively at cleansing the skin and removing makeup, but it also does a great job at unclogging pores of debris. Take a small amount of the balm and massage in circular motions over the affected area for a few minutes. This should loosen the blackhead from the pore and keep it from overstaying on your skin. 

Do avoid products and triggers that can clog your pores.

Check the labels of your products or consult a dermatologist about them first.

While you’re on the road to recovery with your newfound anti-blackhead regimen, help your skin out by staying away from products that can clog your pores. Most makeup contains oils that can be clogging, so be sure to always check the label. Apart from products, specific environmental triggers can cause you to break out – for example, hot and humid weather can make your glands produce more sebum and lead to breakouts.

Make sure to shower or wash your face immediately after exercising, as excessive sweat and a buildup of oil, dirt, and bacteria on the skin can also lead to acne. If you are getting blackheads on your body, avoid snug clothes that don’t let the skin breathe because friction and moisture from sweat can cause pimples. 

Now that you know how to remove blackheads, say goodbye to those pesky bumps with your new regimen!