💥How to Get Rid of Blackheads: 5 Ingredients to Effectively Fight Them

Jun. 18, 2020
Blackheads suck—we know. One of the most common skincare issues, blackheads, or “open comedones”, affect over 50 million people in the US. If you’re one of the many searching for a way to banish the blemishes for good, we are now sharing how to do it and what ingredients to include in your routine. 
While some enjoy popping pimples and others are repulsed by it, one thing is true—blackheads are stubborn, annoying, and they almost always come back like that annoying ex. If you’re just about ready to give up on these bothersome bumps, don’t! We went to work to find the safest and most effective methods to get rid of them for good, without squeezing or popping anything. But first, in order to pulverize your pustules, you need to understand what they are and what causes them.   
What Are Blackheads and What Causes Them?
Blackheads appear as small bumps, usually on the nose, that are dark in color. Caused by clogged hair follicles, they turn black once the mixture of oil and dead skin cells is exposed to air. The technical term is open comedone, literally meaning an open acne lesion. The opening refers to the hair follicle that contains one hair and a sebaceous gland. Once the mixture of bacteria, oil and dead skin sits in that opening and oxidizes, it produces a tiny bump called a comedo. Gross, we know. Despite their color, blackheads have nothing to do with dirt or being dirty. 
How to Treat Blackheads?
Treating blackheads isn’t that bad when you have the correct tools in your medicine cabinet. Blackhead fighting ingredients to look for in your daily skincare products should include:
  • Salicylic acid - for anyone suffering with blackheads, your go to skincare product should always include salicylic acid. This acne-prone skincare hero is known for its ability to effectively unclog pores. Dermatologists suggest that if you have sensitive skin, look for a targeted treatment as it can be drying. 
  • Benzoyl peroxide - another blackhead busting staple, this antibacterial ingredient works to break down and loosen the gunk that's built up in your pores. Not only that, it can kill the very bacteria that leads to a bad breakout. 
  • Glycolic acid - an AHA, (alpha hydroxy acid) glycolic acid is another great pore cleanser. It immediately goes to work exfoliating the top layer of the skin and removing bacteria and oil deep down in your pores. Bonus: it also increases collagen production! 
  • Retinoids - retinoids are powerful, vitamin A compounds that increase cell turnover and regeneration, meaning they can fight blackheads (and wrinkles!). 
  • Azelaic acid - not as well-known as the other ingredients, but just as powerful, this acid works to effectively target blackheads as well as improve hyperpigmentation and UV damages. 
How to Safely Remove Blackheads
If these blemish busting ingredients aren’t working for your skin, fear not! Cherie has a few other tricks up our sleeves! When all else fails, you can try:
  • Over-the-counter spot treatments - widely available in drug stores without the need for a prescription, many OTC blackhead treatments contain all the goods like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and resorcinol. These are available in cleansing pads, creams and gels and work to kill the bacteria on your skin, while drying excess oil. 
  • Speaking with your dermatologist - your dermatologist may suggest taking a prescription medication to help with the flare ups. Oral medications, including birth control or spironolactone work with your hormones to decrease oil production and prevent new pimples from popping up. 
  • Manual removal - your dermatologist is stocked with tons of devices to remove pesky blackheads. An instrument called a round loop extractor can effectively remove the plug that is causing the bacteria filled blackhead.
  • Skin treatments - microdermabrasion’s and chemical peels remove dead skin and any clogs within your pores. During a microdermabrasion, your dermatologist uses a special instrument to gently sand the thicker, outer layers of your skin. During a chemical peel, your dermatologist will use a strong solution that over time will “peel off” the top layer of your skin. 
  • Laser or light therapy - done by a skincare professional, each method uses intense beams of light to decrease oil production and kill bacteria. These methods work below the top layer of your skin so it’s not damaged.
It’s important to remember that clearing blackheads for good takes time and a little effort. While some people may be prone to them, these tips and tricks can help get them under control. And one more pro tip before we go—don’t forget to moisturize! Most of these blackhead fighting ingredients are drying, so it’s essential to incorporate a moisturizer that works best for your skin type. Do you have pesky blackheads? What do you do to keep them at bay? 
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