Ask Us: Eliminating Blackheads

Q: What’s the best and quickest way to get rid of blackheads? I’ve already tried many things; salicylic acid does not do anything for my blackheads or whiteheads.

Woman Looking Into Mirror

A: Blackheads are little annoying things that aren’t the same as typical acne. While salicylic acid can aid in keeping them at bay, it won’t get rid of them on its own. You see, blackheads are caused by excess oil that has clogged a pore. This clog occurs when the built-up oil is unable to come up to the surface of the skin because the pore is misshapen or impaired and dead skin cells blocking the way. When the pore is open, the oil is exposed to oxygen, which reacts and turns it a dark color, resulting in a blackhead.

Here’s our simple recipe for removing blackheads:

  • After cleansing, use a mild scrub or skin exfoliant to remove any dead cells and expose the blackhead. Pat your face dry.
  • Place a slightly warm compress on your face for about 8-12 minutes in order to soften the blackhead, making it easier to remove. Pat your face dry again.
  • Wrap a piece of tissue on the tip of each index finger to avoid slipping, which could tear the skin and cause damage.
  • Gently apply even pressure to both sides of the blackhead by pushing down, then up around the blemish. Think of trying to apply the pressure from “underneath” the blackhead.
  • Attempt this no more than twice– you don’t want to bruise your skin or cause damage to your skin.


Allow a couple of days to go by before you attempt to extract again. Between these attempts, try using a clay mask to absorb excess oil. Also, consider visiting a dermatologist, as he or she may be able to prescribe a treatment containing a retinoid to keep pores functioning properly, thus keeping pore blockage to a minimum.

Best of luck.

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