6 Ways to Get Rid of Blackheads, According to Derms


Let’s face it, blackheads can be a real obstacle to achieving your perfect complexion. Whether they’re a sign of oily skin, hormones, or stress, they can be a real confidence-killer. “Blackheads are just an oxidized mix of oil and dead skin cells that are sitting in pores, [and] the exposure to air is what causes them to oxidize and turn black,” explains Rachel Nazarian, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.

Having [blackheads] is not a sign that you’re too dirty

Dr. Nazarian

And although there are many products that promise to clear them away, sometimes nothing really seems to work. But don’t fret – there are still ways to get rid of those pesky blackheads without having to resort to harsh chemicals. Here are six tried-and-true methods that can help you restore your skin’s smooth and blemish-free look.

Clear Out Pores

A clay mask is a great way to get rid of blackheads. Its unique combination of natural ingredients helps clear out pores and keep your skin looking healthy and glowing. With a clay mask, you can give your skin a deep cleanse that removes dirt, oil, and build-up from the surface. Your skin will be left with a refreshed, younger-looking appearance and you’ll be able to tackle blackheads in no time! Plus, clay masks are gentle enough to use on all skin types, so everyone can enjoy the amazing benefits of a deep cleansed face.

Keep Pores Clear with Salicylic Acid Products

Salicylic acid products are a great way to keep your pores clear and get rid of blackheads. This powerful ingredient helps dissolve away dead skin cells, dirt, and oil that can build up in your pores. “If you have blackheads, your go-to ingredient should be salicylic acid,” explains Joshua Zeichner, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “This beta hydroxy acid helps remove excess oil and exfoliate the cells from the surface of the skin.”

Shrink Pores with Retinoids

Retinoids are a great treatment for blackheads because they help to reduce the size of pores, promoting tighter skin and a smoother complexion. “Retinoids can help treat blackheads and clogged pores by reducing the stickiness of the cells that clog pores, as well as speeding up the rate at which the skin turns over and regenerates,” Shari Marchbein, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University.

topical retinoids are my first-line recommendation” for clearing up blackheads

Sejal Shah, M.D

Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliating your skin on a regular basis is an essential part of any skincare routine. Physical scrubs are one of the best ways to get rid of blackheads and reveal a fresher, brighter complexion. The exfoliating action of physical scrubs sloughs away debris and dead skin cells to help unclog pores and get rid of pesky blackheads. Plus, physical scrubs can also help boost circulation and encourage cell renewal for a smoother, more even complexion.

“The combination of physical exfoliation from the scrub, along with chemical exfoliation from the salicylic acid, can help keep the pores clear,” Dr. Zeichner says.

Use Non-Comedogenic SPF

A non-comedogenic SP provides a strong protective barrier over the skin, keeping out dirt and impurities while still allowing it to breathe. With its unique formulation, it helps to reduce the buildup of oil and debris that can cause blackheads, leaving you with clear, healthy skin. Plus, it’s gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types, so you can be sure of a safe and effective defense against blackheads.

Prevent Blackheads with Antioxidant-Rich Products

By replenishing the skin with powerful antioxidants, these products can help to protect the skin from environmental damage while also helping to prevent blackheads. Plus, the antioxidants also work to help protect against premature aging.