Acne: Blackheads

skin quench

Blackheads

Whiteheads are probably the easiest type of pimple to get rid of, but blackheads can be a little trickier. Blackheads are non-inflammatory, open comedones. The open pore allows air to get in. The air oxidizes all the dirt and oils trapped in your pore, therefore creating that black appearance.

Blackheads are a little more difficult to spot, unless you are up close and personal. Just because they are hard to see, doesn’t mean they should be messed with. Picking at a blackhead is the worst thing you could do! Not only will it hurt, but you will cause serious deep pitted scarring. Because the dirt is so deep in the pore, it’s not that simple to remove.

As always, the best way to get any type of acne extracted is by an esthetician or dermatologist. A professional like this is not always accessible, but there are at-home ways that you can extract blackheads too. Here are the best ways to get rid of blackheads, that have worked for me:

Hanskin, Cleansing Oil & Blackhead [PHA]

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$25

I’ve mentioned this oil cleanser before, and it really shows results when it comes to demolishing blackheads. Oil cleansers are especially helpful because they are working to remove dirt and excess sebum anyway. This liquid cleansing oil glides across the skin so nicely and has a lovely citrus scent. It contains jojoba oil, green tea seed oil, grape seed oil, tea tree oil, olive oil, aloe, and PHAs (polyhydroxy acids). Its main focus is preventing breakouts and keeping blackheads and dead skin away.

PHAs are gentle acids that can be used everyday, even on sensitive skin. They are working to remove those dead skin cells. I always have insanely smooth, hydrated skin after using this cleansing oil. The price point for over 10 fl. oz. of product is a great deal too. It lasts forever! Check this out on Soko Glam.

Klairs, Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

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$23

I’ve discussed this oil cleanser multiple times now, so you already know how good it is! The black in the name doesn’t just mean it’s great at getting rid of blackheads. It contains black bean oil, black current seed oil, black sesame oil, and jojoba oil. This product really provides clearer, softer skin the next day. It was the first oil cleanser that showed me physical results of dirt being washed away. It helps keep any breakouts from getting worse as well.

While there isn’t a ton of product, it’s still magic. The pump dispenser can be a turn off, especially if you’re someone who travels. Luckily, this bottle comes with a stopper you can take on and off. It’s definitely saved me some oil stained clothes when going on trips. You can find this product on Soko Glam.

Neogen, Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine

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Photo: sokoglam.com

$27

Here’s another blast from the past. This product is the first chemical exfoliant I’ve ever tried, and I found it to be a great introduction. These peeling pads are both physically and chemically exfoliating. First, you use the textured side to slough off dead skin. Next, you use the other side to swipe it away and rinse your face with water. I remember using this for the first time and being amazed that my skin was significantly brighter, smoother, and clearer the next morning.

The pads are soaked in a liquid with wine. Wine contains resveratrol, which is a naturally occurring AHA. Not to mention the wine smells luxurious. Other key ingredients are blackberry and raspberry extract (antioxidants), and glycolic acid. It comes with 30 pads, which last a good while since you only use them 2 or 3 times a week. I purchased these on Soko Glam.

Drunk Elephant, T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

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$28-$80

I tested this trial size of Babyfacial and loved what it did for my skin. While this product is costly, and the Drunk Elephant brand is questionable at the moment, I totally understand why. This peeling facial contains an AHA cocktail of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric acids. There is also BHA salicylic acid, chick pea flour, matcha, milk thistle, apple extract, pumpkin ferment extract, pomegranate extract, cactus extract, and niacinamide. These ingredients work together to nourish, exfoliate, and reveal baby skin!

This product is meant to sit on dry skin for 20 minutes. Once you wash it off your skin will feel so incredibly soft. The next morning results in a pore-less complexion. The price for this peel is steep, but if you can get your hands on it I’d say it’s so worth a try. I purchased this trial size at Sephora. You can also find the full size there or on Drunk Elephant’s site.

Neogen, Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser

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Photo: sokoglam.com

$27

This clay mask by Neogen has stolen my heart over the past few months. I listed in my Best 18 of 2018 post, so let me remind you why. It’s perfect for pulling out blackheads and resurfacing the skin. This is one of those masks that works immediately. Key ingredients include Canadian colloidal clay, kaolin clay, and centella asiatica extract.

The directions indicate to let this mask sit for 5 minutes. Then comes the fun part; the mask starts to bubble into a foam once you massage it in. This means it’s working! I’ve even noticed dead skin or healing acne scabs slough off afterwards. The mask comes with a plastic lid inside which keeps it moist, and stops oxygen from getting in. This product is so worth the price for how effective it is, not to mention it lasts for months because a little goes a long way. If you are struggling with blackheads or any type of acne, definitely check this out on Soko Glam.

COSRX, BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

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Photo: theskincareedit.com

$22

Here’s another great product I’ve mentioned before. This product isn’t called a power liquid for nothing! I have never seen blackheads disappear so fast. I usually apply this liquid after my essence and before my serum at night. The betaine salicylate is what makes blackheads magically disappear. I also love that there are few ingredients in this product.

Key ingredients are willow bark water, niacinamide, and sodium hyaluronate. I found this exfoliant to be gentle enough for everyday use, because it is also moisturizing. It lasts a long time and is definitely worth it for the price. Check it out at Ulta.

COSRX, Acne Pimple Master Patch

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Photo: sokoglam.com

$5

This classic pimple patch packet comes with 24 patches of different sizes. These patches are perfect for blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples that have been popped. The hydrocolloid patches not only keep you from touching the infected area, but they also pull out the bacteria. Any gunk removed from your pores is noticeable on the patch the next morning. It’s gross, but satisfying. These patches are all over the place now but I usually purchase them from Amazon or Soko Glam.

Comedone Extractor

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Photo: sephora.com

$17

A comedone extractor is THE tool specifically made for removing blackheads and whiteheads. I saved this one for last because there is a right way to use it, and a wrong way. The right way will easily remove your blackheads, and the wrong way will leave you with severe scarring and hyperpigmentation…Been there, done that.

There are plenty of YouTube tutorials you can look up to see the correct way to use one of these, but I will try to explain it in words. It’s important to use this tool after it’s been sterilized with rubbing alcohol, on a clean face. A magnifying mirror might be helpful for you to find these blackheads too. After you’ve oil cleansed, steam your skin with either a warm (not hot) damp rag or over a bowl of steaming water. This will help to open the pores and make the process easier. Next, you’ll want to pat your face dry and begin with the extractor.

This tool requires VERY LITTLE pressure. DO NOT press too hard or you’ll regret it! Again, been there, done that. Lightly press down with the clogged pore centered in the opening of the tool. You may have to wiggle the blackhead out a bit, but do so gently. It may come out easily this way, or you may need to give it an extra nudge with your finger tips. Just make sure they are clean and you avoid using your fingernails, as that can cause scarring. DO NOT scrape the extractor across your skin either, this was my mistake and what caused my hyperpigmentation. Simply press down, and without pressure, swipe away the bacteria extracted.

Once you get the blackhead out, there may be some swelling or a little blood. That’s normal. The best thing to do is follow up with your water cleanser, and a clay mask like the Neogen Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser. This will pull out any remaining bacteria and prevent further breakouts. You can also use an icepack wrapped in a clean paper towel to bring down any swelling, for 20 to 30 second intervals.

I don’t regularly use a comedone extractor at the moment because when I first had one, I didn’t know how to use it properly, ergo my precautions earlier. With my new found knowledge, I’m thinking of checking out the different ones that Sephora has to offer. They aren’t expensive, and you should only have to purchase them one time.

Blackheads are very frustrating, but if you have the right tools and products, you should be able to zap those buggers in no time. I know that there are great products out there like the Troiareuke, Acsen Pore Control Mask or more modern, gentle pore strips I’d like to try. What products have you guys found that help destroy blackheads?

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