What’s the best way to remove blackheads? Is it by squeezing, poking with a sharp object, or packing on a mud mask in layers like a cake? The rise in popularity of pimple-popping videos tells us there’s something secretly satisfying about watching all that gunk squirm out of the pores. But is it really that easy?
Blackheads are one of the most common skin problems and one of the easiest to treat. They’re usually found on your nose but they also make occasional appearances on the forehead, chin, ears, scalp and even on your back and shoulders. Since the skin is the largest organ of the human body, theoretically you can get blackheads just about wherever there’s skin.
What Are Blackheads?
Sebum is the natural oil secreted by the skin. The recipe for blackheads includes sebum, keratin (dead skin cells) and bacteria accumulating in an open comedone or hair follicle. Once exposed to air, the sebum turns black due to oxidation, and you have a blackhead! Whiteheads form when all that sebum and debris block the comedone that then leads to the formation of pimples.
For a more thorough examination and removal, especially in hard-to-reach areas like the nape and back, or for deeply embedded blackheads, a visit to an aesthetician or a dermatologist may solve the problem. But for the ones sitting in plain sight on your nose, here are several of the best ways to remove blackheads.
Nose Pore Strips
Nose strips, pore strips or nose patches are the easiest blackhead solutions available. Using the simple principle of adhesion, the strips only need a few minutes of waiting and patience on your part. There are also 3-step kits that include treatments to soften the sebum beforehand and to shrink the pores afterward. Holika Holika’s Pig Nose Clear Blackhead 3-Step Kit is a YesStyle customer favorite for its cute packaging and proven effectiveness when it comes to keeping your nose clean and clear.
Blackhead Peel-Off Masks
Another way of getting rid of blackheads for larger surface areas like the cheeks and forehead is to use a blackhead peel-off mask. These usually come in liquid form to be applied in layers on targeted areas. Active ingredients like activated carbon, volcanic clay, BHA or betaine salicylate are included to treat and clear up blackheads while also preventing sebum build-up. When the peel-off mask is completely dry, remove carefully to see the source of all your pore troubles. Ciracle’s Blackhead Off Sheets are another blackhead treatment product that melts the exposed sebum using round sheets soaked in a treatment essence. You can then use a peel-off mask or nose strip to finish the job!
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, there are other options including blackhead cleansing sticks, which are also called blackhead remover sticks or exfoliating sticks. More textured solid than liquid, the sticks usually come in a twist-up tube container and formulated with gentle yet powerful ingredients such as charcoal powder, volcanic scoria, aloe vera, and fruit and herbal extracts to treat and soothe blemished skin in one go. RiRe’s All Kill Blackhead Remover Stick works by lifting embedded debris to the surface through gentle rubbing motions. This makes the excess sebum, dead skin cells and makeup easier to rinse off.
Portable Blackhead Removers
To make sure that your skin looks smooth and poreless anywhere you go – even on holiday or at work – these small but handy blackhead eraser tools can do the trick. Their pocket-size, even finger-friendly dimensions mean you can put them in tiny makeup pouches, evening purses, or even in your jeans. If you want a natural, organic way of removing your blackheads, the COSRX Blackhead Silk Finger Balls are silkworm cocoons that lightly exfoliate the skin. The softness of the material means less irritation and you can pop a ball on one finger and massage away.
By supplementing your regular skin care routine with these blackhead treatment products, and using blemish-fighting treatments like AHA, BHA and tea tree oil, you’ll see fewer blackheads and whiteheads occurring. It’s a worthy investment of time, money and labor to achieve smooth, blackhead-free skin!