10 Things No One Ever Tells You About: Blackheads

Molly Carroll


Let’s face it, blackheads are the worst. We poke, and prod, and try to remove them, but they always come back. It’s easy to get discouraged and succumb the idea that these dark, pesky pores have set up shop on our faces. But remember, ladies: Never settle!

Turns out, there are some things you may not know about blackheads and the proper ways to treat them, things that could potentially prevent them from reoccurring. All hope is not lost! Below are 10 little known facts and tips about blackheads. Equipped with the right knowledge and products, those annoying clogged pores could be a thing of the past!

MORE: How to Get Rid of Blackheads: 6 Tricks for Clear Skin

1. What they actually are: Blackheads, or open comedomes, are essentially widened hair follicles that are filled with skin debris, bacteria, and sebum oil.

2. The reason they’re black: The sebum in the pore contains melanin and when the sebum hits the surface of the pore, it oxidizes. When the melanin oxidizes it turns dark, which is how blackheads get their unpleasant dark color.

3. What’s causing them: Blackheads are predominantly caused by the overproduction of oil, so those with oil-prone skin should stick to oil-free makeup, lotions and sunscreen to stay on the safe side.

4. Nose strips aren’t enough: Pore strips are fun to use and a quick way to remove blackheads, but if you do not follow up with a sufficient skin care routine, the blackheads are bound to come back.

5. Retinoids are your friend: Retinoids and products containing salicylic-acid are terrific at clearing clogged pores and preventing blackheads. There are many over-the-counter retinoids and salicylic-acid treatments that are very effective and will leave your skin clear and radiant!

MORE: How to Get Rid of Pimples: Dermatologist Tips for Clear Skin

6. Hands off: As tempting as it may be, do not squeeze or try to pop your blackheads! Squeezing will only make it worse.

7. Head to the dermatologist: Although microdermabrasion and chemical peels can be expensive, they will help to get rid of blackheads and improve your skin’s overall appearance.

8. DIY a removal: Luckily, there are cheaper alternatives and treatments you can do to improve your skin. One alternative is exfoliating with baking soda. Mix the baking soda with either water or apple cider vinegar to create a paste, and gently scrub away the look of blackheads.

9. Don’t over-wash: Yes, washing your face regularly is the best way to maintain clear and clean skin, but try not to go overboard. A good cleaning session twice a day will do the trick. Cleansing your skin more often than necessary will only dry out and irritate your skin. This can lead to an over-production of oil and ultimately more blackheads and acne.

10. Be gentle: Last but not least, the most important thing is to remember to be gentle with your skin! Of course blackheads are frustrating and undesirable and we want to get rid of them right away, but using strong, irritating products can make matters worse. Try sticking to gentle products on your skin and avoid overstimulating your face with a load of products and rough exfoliation. Be patient and you will see results!

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