How to get rid of blackheads

Learn how to clear and prevent blackheads without damaging your skin.

Story highlights

  • Exfoliate, masque and control bacteria to help clear and prevent blackheads.
  • Masques and moisturizers help soften existing blackheads to facilitate clearing, but the most effective way to remove existing blackheads is to have them extracted by a professional.

When it comes to clearing blackheads, prevention is key. Blackheads form when excess sebum (oil), dead skin cells and breakout-causing bacteria collect and form a “plug” in your follicles. This plug still lets a bit of air in, which is why this mixture turns black – like what happens to an apple that is cut open.

5 ways to prevent blackheads
Untreated blackheads can become breakouts, so it’s important to keep pores clear with these tips:

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How to clear existing blackheads fast
Existing blackheads are hard to clear at home. Squeezing them with your fingernails not only damages your skin but spreads breakout-causing bacteria, which can lead to more intense forms of acne.

To quickly clear existing blackheads, see a professional skin therapist for blackhead extractions. Ask if they offer express treatments, which can be more convenient and affordable than full facials.

Pro tip! Dehydration makes blackheads harder to extract, so drink lots of water and moisturize before you get extractions.