How to Get Rid of Blackheads

Blackheads, much like cockroaches, are the worst for this very reason: Every time you squeeze one of them away, you find dozens more to tackle. Read below and find out how to get rid of them — for good.

Leave a salicylic acid gel on your blackheads.
“Salicylic acid is a great option for dissolving those blackheads away, and it can be found in over-the-counter products. Ideally, you’d use a leave-on product rather than a cleanser or soap, since the longer the exposure to the active ingredient, the better it’ll work. After using a salicylic acid product for several weeks, many of the blackheads will resolve, but others will just loosen.” — Nazarian

Use an enzymatic exfoliator at least twice a week.
“I like masks that have papaya, charcoal, pineapple extract, or clay to debride — or wash away — surface skin cells.” — Jason Emer, a cosmetic dermatologist and aesthetic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California

Consider taking acne medicine.
“Prescription medicines like oral contraceptive pills and spironolactone can reduce oil production and prevent your pores from being blocked. They will get rid of blackheads and prevent new ones from showing up in the future. But these medicines are reserved for people with more than just the occasional blackhead; they are more for people with moderate to severe acne.” — Joshua Zeichner, an assistant professor in the dermatology department at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City

Go for a microneedling treatment.
“Low-energy, low-density, nonablative lasers like Clear + Brilliant and microsecond lasers like Aerolase will literally heat the under-surface of the skin without damaging the top layer, so there is zero downtime.” — Emer

Don’t forget to moisturize.
“All of these methods may strip oils from the skin and be drying, so you might be surprised to learn that you need to moisturize to treat their blackheads. It’s important to maintain the right balance in the skin, and moisturizing will allow you to continue using exfoliating products without any issues. If a retinoid is too drying, try applying it over moisturizer (or even between layers of moisturizer). Also, choose noncomedogenic moisturizers only so they won’t clog the pores.” — Fenton