4 Ways to Remove Blackheads - wikiHow (2024)

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1Popping Blackheads and Avoiding Worsening Your Skin

2Cleansing to Remove Blackheads

3Exfoliating to Clean Your Pores

4Using Spa and Chemical Treatments

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Co-authored byJanice TiepermanMedically reviewed byR. Sonia Batra, MD, MSc, MPH

Last Updated: May 7, 2024Fact Checked

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Blackheads (essentially open-air pimples) can appear on any part of your body and be especially frustrating to deal with. If you are looking to remove your blackheads, try some of these successful treatments to clean your skin and stop the formation of the pesky dark spots. With some easy adjustments to your skin care regimen, you can have the clear skin you've always wanted (and deserve).

Method 1

Method 1 of 4:

Popping Blackheads and Avoiding Worsening Your Skin

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  1. 1

    Pick or pop your blackheads only after thorough hand washing. It's possible to pop blackheads without scarring, as long as you do it cleanly and carefully. When done correctly, this popping method is a fast, effective way to clear up your pores.

    Popping a Blackhead Safely
    Shower first. A warm shower will open up your pores and make it easier to pop the blackheads. You can also do a 10-minute steam treatment to get the same effect.[1]
    Wash your hands thoroughly. Use soap and water and wash for 20 seconds. Popping a blackhead with dirty fingers will only add more bacteria to your pores.
    Dab an OTC treatment onto your skin. You can buy an inexpensive bottle of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid treatment at a pharmacy or beauty store. Wet the blackhead area with just a small amount of it.
    Squeeze the blackhead in a V shape with 2 cotton swabs to pop it. Squeeze gently on either side of the blackhead to extract the dirt from your pore.
    Dab your skin with rubbing alcohol. Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol around the pimple site to prevent any bacteria from spreading. Wash your hands afterward.[2]

  2. 2

    Don't use your own blackhead removal tools. Many stores now sell blackhead-removing instruments so that you can give yourself an at-home facial. However, these tools often get full of bacteria and can scar your skin. Leave using steel instruments to the professionals and

    stick to using cleansers and exfoliants.


  3. 3

    Avoid ultra-abrasive exfoliants. If you have sensitive skin, using harsh exfoliants can irritate it. If you are ever in pain from an exfoliant, stop using it and go with a more gentle cleanser, like a gentle chemical exfoliant.[3] Try using oatmeal as the most gentle exfoliant if you are having issues with harsher scrubs.

  4. 4

    Wash your face twice daily. A good face-cleansing routine is essential to prevent blackheads from forming in the first place.[4] Talk to a dermatologist and experiment to see what works best for your skin.

    Using an Effective Face Washing Routine
    Remove makeup before washing your face. Makeup will quickly clog up your pores if left on, so it's important to take it off every night with makeup-removing wipes or a cleanser.
    Wash your face in the morning and at night. Washing your face in the morning will freshen you up for the day, while cleansing at night removes accumulated dirt from the day.
    Use a gentle, acne-fighting cleanser. Choose a cleanser for your skin type, aiming for one that will remove oil and clear out your pores.
    Follow up with a gentle facial moisturizer.[5] A good moisturizer keeps your skin from producing too much oil, which causes blackheads.

  5. 5

    Wash your pillowcases. Your pillowcases catch remnants of your haircare products when you sleep on them at night. Wash them frequently to remove the buildup from the fabric to help keep your face clear of blackheads.[6]

  6. 6

    Don't touch your face. Even if you aren't picking at your blackheads, touching your face transfers bacteria from your hands to your face. Your hands are the dirtiest part of your body and can be the cause of blackheads.[7]

    Avoid resting your face on your hands or needlessly touching your skin.

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  1. 1

    Use honey and cinnamon. Some research shows that honey contains antibiotic properties.[8] Some believe it can work to pull out dirt from your open pores. Mix 1UStbsp (15mL) of honey with ½ tsp (1.4 g) of cinnamon and use your fingers to dab it onto your dry skin. Rub it in a circular motion for 3 minutes and then wash it off with warm water. Make sure to wash your hands before you start applying the mask.

  2. 2

    Try an egg-white mask. Some believe that egg whites can help to tighten pores and pull out any clogged dirt, giving you smooth, clear skin. A simple egg white mask could be a way to remove blackheads and help your skin feel fresh and clean.

    Creating an Easy Egg-White Mask
    Remove the yolks from 2 eggs. Crack each egg into a funnel, a slotted spoon, or your hands, and let the whites run out into a separate bowl.
    Smear the whites onto your face in 2 layers. Use your fingers to apply a thin layer of whites to your whole face. Let it dry for 2 minutes, then apply the rest in a second layer.
    Let the mask dry for 10-15 minutes. Allow the mask to set until your skin feels tight and the whites are smooth to the touch.
    Rinse your face with warm water to remove the mask.

  3. 3

    Create a clay mask. There are many different kinds of cosmetic clay available to purchase in a powdered form—some find that they can dry out oily pores and remove unwanted residue. Mix a tablespoon of powdered clay with enough apple cider vinegar to make a paste, and spread it over your face. Leave it for 10-15 minutes until it is dry to the touch, and then rinse off with warm water.

  4. 4

    Cleanse with oatmeal and yogurt. Some find that the lactic acid in yogurt and the calming qualities of the oatmeal mix create an effective blackhead-blocking formula. Use this simple mask once a week to potentially keep your skin clear and fresh.

    Cleansing with an Oatmeal and Yogurt Mask
    Mix together:
    3 tbsp (1.6 oz) of plain yogurt
    2 tbsp (11.25 g) of whole oats
    3-4 drops of lemon juice
    3-4 drops of olive oil
    Dab the mixture onto your face. Mix up your paste fully and make sure to fully cover any areas that are prone to blackheads or oil.
    Let it set for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

  5. 5

    Use a paste of fenugreek. Some people find that fenugreek has shown promising results for removing blackheads. Blend it with water to form a paste. Spread this paste over your face, allow it to sit for 10 minutes, and then rinse it off.

  6. 6

    Try turmeric and mint juice. Some people find that turmeric and mint can help to clean out dirty pores. Create a brew of mint tea and allow it to cool. Then, add 2UStbsp (30mL) of the liquid with 1 tbsp (6.8 g) of turmeric powder and apply it to your face. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.

  7. 7

    Make an Epsom salt cleansing solution. Some people find that Epsom salt mixed with iodine can form a bacteria-fighting combo that’s perfect for removing blackheads. Mix 1 tbsp (15 g) of Epsom salt with hot water and a few drops of iodine. Let this mixture sit, stirring it occasionally to dissolve the salt completely into the hot water. Then, use a bit of cotton to dab the solution onto your skin, allowing it to dry on your face. Then, gently rinse the mixture off with clean warm water.

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Method 3

Method 3 of 4:

Exfoliating to Clean Your Pores

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  1. 1

    Try a lemon and salt exfoliant. Some find that the purifying qualities of lemon mixed with the scrubbing effects of salt help to remove all the grime buried deep in your pores.

    Mix lemon juice with 1UStbsp (15mL) of yogurt, 1 tbsp (17.1 g) of salt, and a bit of honey.

    Use this to scrub your blackhead-prone areas for 2-3 minutes and then rinse with warm water.

  2. 2

    Make a green tea scrub. Green tea is great to drink, and it also has multiple health benefits like its anti-inflammatory qualities.[9] Packed full of nutrients, a green tea scrub works to remove dirt while supplying your face with healthy antioxidants. Mix a fine green tea mix with a bit of water and rub it over your face. If you want, you can leave it to set for 2-3 minutes after your scrub, and then simply rinse off with warm water.

  3. 3

    Use baking soda to exfoliate. Baking soda is one of those magical substances in life that is great for myriad purposes. Besides being a natural cleanser, the fine grain of the powder is perfect for clearing away dead skin cells.

    Making a Baking Soda Exfoliating Mask
    Create a paste with baking soda and water. Mix baking soda and water at a 3:1 ratio and stir until you get a thick, gloopy mixture.
    Scrub your face with the mixture. Use your hands to scrub the mixture into your skin with gentle, circular motions.[10]
    Apply extra to areas prone to blackheads. Dab a thick coating of the paste onto parts of your face with particularly stubborn blackheads. Let it dry for 5-10 minutes.
    Wash your face with warm water to remove it.

  4. 4

    Mix cornmeal with your facial soap. Some people like to use cornmeal as an abrasive exfoliant when combined with regular liquid facial soap. Mix 1 tsp (3.33 g) of the cornmeal with your favorite face wash and scrub your face gently in a circular pattern. Be careful not to scrub too roughly, as this could inadvertently damage your skin. Rinse the soap and cornmeal off with warm water.

  5. 5

    Use a milk and nutmeg solution. Possibly the best-smelling exfoliant, some people find that the lactic acid of milk combined with the tough granules of nutmeg helps remove your blackheads quickly and in a pain-free manner. Mix a tablespoon of milk (particularly buttermilk) with enough nutmeg to create a paste. Apply this mixture to your face while gently scrubbing to remove dead skin and dirt. Then, use regular warm water to rinse the mixture clear off your skin.

  6. 6

    Try a store-bought exfoliant. If you aren't up for making your own exfoliator at home, look into exfoliating products at your local beauty supply or drugstore. Use these a couple of times each week to help clean out your pores and remove your pesky blackheads.[11]

    Tip: No matter your skin type, always exfoliate gently. Pay attention to how your skin reacts and scale back if necessary.[12]

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Method 4

Method 4 of 4:

Using Spa and Chemical Treatments

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  1. 1

    Use pore cleansing strips. These are great little strips of cotton material are backed with an ultra-sticky solution that dries to your face. Follow the package directions by getting your face damp and applying the strips to your blackhead-prone areas. Wait 15 minutes for the strips to dry, and then rip them off quickly to pull out your blackheads. This option offers immediate results, but must be followed by one of the aforementioned cleansing routines in order to give long-term results as well.[13]

  2. 2

    Try a facial peel. Gels containing salicylic acid

    dissolve away the dead skin and dirt that gets trapped in your pores.

    Purchase a salicylic acid peel from your nearest drugstore or visit a local spa for a professional treatment. Use by applying it in a thin layer to the affected area, giving time to set, and then rinsing it off with warm water.[14]

  3. 3

    Get microdermabrasion. This is a special spa process that works by using a specialized brush and chemical cleanser to clean out dead skin cells. These are often only available at spas and your dermatologist's office, but some beauty supply stores offer an at-home version. Get these treatments on a regular basis in order to receive the best results.[15]

  4. 4

    Use a retinoid cream. Retinoid creams are packed full of skin-approved vitamin A, which helps to

    improve skin growth and prevent oil buildup.[16]

    You can find retinoid creams at your favorite drugstores. Use it 2-3 times a week in addition to your regular skin cleaning routine to keep your pores blackhead-free.[17]

  5. 5

    Get your acne professionally removed. Although using a blackhead removal tool on your own can cause damage to your skin, getting a professional facial can give you the same immediate results with blackhead removal tools. Ask your dermatologist or esthetician for different facials that are offered and decide on which is best for your skin type.[18] Getting these blackhead facials

    once every 2-4 weeks

    can help to keep your skin clear over time.

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      Reader Videos


      • Steam your face before doing any of the steps above to open up the pores.[19]


        Helpful0Not Helpful0

      • Certain prescription pills and creams can be given to you by a dermatologist to remove especially difficult acne.[20]


        Helpful0Not Helpful0

      • If your blackheads do not disappear after several months, a visit to your dermatologist may be in order.


        Helpful5Not Helpful3

      Show More Tips

      Tips from our Readers 4 Ways to Remove Blackheads - wikiHow (31)

      The advice in this section is based on the lived experiences of wikiHow readers like you. If you have a helpful tip you’d like to share on wikiHow, please submit it in the field below.

      • Be very gentle when attempting to pop blackheads. Wash your hands thoroughly, hold the skin taut, and use light pressure with cotton swabs to squeeze around the blackhead. Avoid using fingers or tools that can damage skin.
      • To get blackheads extracted professionally, you can get regular facials every 2-4 weeks for maintenance. Having a skilled esthetician handle extractions minimizes the risk of scarring.
      • Try a homemade scrub with non-irritating ingredients like oatmeal and yogurt. The soothing and exfoliating properties can help clear pores without inflaming sensitive skin.
      • To help prevent blackheads coming back after clearing them, establish a consistent face-cleansing routine with a quality cleanser suited to your skin type.
      • When using pore strips, steam your face first to open pores. Also pull the strips off quickly, in the opposite direction of hair growth, for best results.
      • Look into gentle, over-the-counter chemical exfoliants with ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Start slowly if you have sensitive skin.

      Submit a Tip

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      Thanks for submitting a tip for review!

      4 Ways to Remove Blackheads - wikiHow (32)


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      More References (11)

      1. https://oconto.extension.wisc.edu/files/2011/02/Baking-Soda.pdf
      2. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-get-rid-of-blackheads/
      3. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/routine/safely-exfoliate-at-home
      4. https://www.allure.com/story/do-pore-strips-work
      5. R. Sonia Batra, MD, MSc, MPH. Board Certified Dermatologist. Expert Interview. 14 May 2021.
      6. https://acnefoundation.org/index.php/2020/01/12/microdermabrasion-for-acne/
      7. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/23293-retinol
      8. R. Sonia Batra, MD, MSc, MPH. Board Certified Dermatologist. Expert Interview. 14 May 2021.
      9. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-get-rid-of-blackheads/
      10. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-steaming-your-face-good-for-your-skin/
      11. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acne/treatment/

      About This Article

      4 Ways to Remove Blackheads - wikiHow (42)

      Medically reviewed by:

      R. Sonia Batra, MD, MSc, MPH

      Board Certified Dermatologist

      This article was medically reviewed by R. Sonia Batra, MD, MSc, MPH and by wikiHow staff writer, Janice Tieperman. Dr. R. Sonia Batra is a board certified Dermatologist and the Founder of Batra Dermatology based in Los Angeles, California. With over 15 years of experience, Dr. Batra specializes in lasers, medical devices, patient and public medical education, and skin cancer research. She received her Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree in Public Health, and her Doctor of Medicine (MD) degrees from Harvard University. As a Rhodes Scholar, she earned a Master’s degree in Molecular Genetics at the University of Oxford. She completed her residency training in Dermatology at Stanford University. Dr. Batra has contributed and reviewed for the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, and JAMA Dermatology. She is also a co-host of CBS’ Emmy award-winning television show, The Doctors. This article has been viewed 5,913,493 times.

      6 votes - 83%

      Co-authors: 122

      Updated: May 7, 2024


      Categories: Featured Articles | Clogged Pores (Comedones)

      Article SummaryX

      When removing blackheads on your own, stay away from blackhead removal tools, which often build up with bacteria and can actually scar your skin. If you need to get rid of blackheads by yourself, be sure to do it as safely as possible. Before attempting to remove blackheads, take a warm shower or steam the affected area to open up your pores. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water as well, to avoid introducing even more bacteria. Dab an astringent onto your skin, using just enough to wet the blackhead area, and then position clean cotton balls on either side of the blackhead. Squeeze very gently with the cotton balls to extract the dirt from your pore. Then wash your skin well with cool water, before dabbing the area with astringent again. If you'd rather not pop the blackheads, you can also get rid of them by cleansing or exfoliating your skin with gentle home treatments like an egg white mask or baking soda scrub. If you find that none of these treatments are working for you, consider consulting a dermatologist or reputable spa to get your blackheads professionally removed. For tips on how to make a clay mask or how to cleanse your skin with oatmeal, read on!

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      4 Ways to Remove Blackheads - wikiHow (2024)


      How to remove blackheads in 5 minutes? ›

      Mix half a tablespoon of toothpaste with one part of salt. Rub this scrub on your nose, leave for five to ten minutes, and then gently scrub your face to remove the blackheads. This helps get rid of blackheads effectively.

      How to draw out a deep blackhead? ›

      Deep blackheads should be removed by a medical professional — usually a dermatologist or medical aesthetician. They use a small tool with rigid metal loops on the ends (blackhead or comedo extractor) to apply even pressure to your blackheads.

      What is the proper way to remove a blackhead? ›

      You can use a tissue or clean cotton gauze as a barrier between your hands and the blackhead itself, if needed. Rock your fingers back and forth around the clogged pore. Remember that you're trying to pop out an intact blockage made of dried oil and dead skin cells.

      Does hot water remove blackheads? ›

      Tip 1 - Open your pores

      Take care not to touch or splash very hot water. Then put your face over the steaming water, pop the towel over your head to keep the steam around your face, taking care it's not too hot. Do this for 5-20 minutes and your pores will open up and start to release the blackheads.

      Can you force blackheads out? ›

      ``Apply slow and even pressure around the blackhead and once you are able to loosen it, lightly pinch with tweezers and pull it out from the skin to extract it. If the blackhead does not release easily, do not continue to attempt the extraction,'' says Dr Goel as you might harm your skin and even create a wound.

      Can baking soda remove blackheads? ›

      Baking soda can help clear skin of blackheads and stops them from being formed by neutralising the pH in your skin. Simply make a paste from a tablespoon of baking soda and a few drops of water, apply it to your blackheads, leave on your skin for roughly 10 minutes before rinsing off.

      Does toothpaste get rid of blackheads? ›

      Putting toothpaste on a pimple may seem like an acne home remedy worth trying, but there's no evidence that it actually works. A number of treatment alternatives, most of them widely available over-the-counter products, are more effective.

      Why did a hard rock come out of my pimple? ›

      Rock Pimples Are Real

      This phenomenon is called a "pore of Winer," and it's an actual thing. It's just a fancy term for a very big blackhead or whitehead. So now not only do we have to fear those nasty things, but these giant, raised rock pimples can cause a lot of trouble.

      What is inside a huge blackhead? ›

      When you have blackheads, these large pores become clogged with a substance known as sebum. A chemical reaction with the sebum occurs under your skin. Melanin is oxidized and turns the clogged pores a black color. This form of acne is often found on your back, shoulders, and face.

      How to remove blackheads with vaseline? ›

      Clear Your Skin and Ideas on How to Remove Blackheads
      1. How to Remove Blackheads. Just like acne, there are treatments for blackheads but things can take time. ...
      2. Don't Touch Your Blackheads. ...
      3. Wash Your Face Twice a Day. ...
      4. Keep Your Hair Clean. ...
      5. Try Over-the-counter Acne Products.

      How to remove black heads naturally? ›

      Home remedies for blackheads are green tea, tea tree oil, salt scrub or sugar scrub. Green tea helps lower the oil production on your skin while tea tree oil can stop the growth of bacteria. The salt or sugar scrub exfoliates your skin and removes the dead skin that is clogging the open skin pore. What is a blackhead?

      Should you pull out blackheads? ›

      Squeezing blackheads out with your fingers might be one of the more satisfying ways to remove them, but Dr. King warns that it's not a good idea. "Squeezing blackheads can traumatize the skin, introduce bacteria and damage the pore,which can spread debris and bacteria deeper into the tissue," she says. Dr.

      Does salt water draw out blackheads? ›

      Since salt water isn't part of a dermatologist-prescribed acne protocol because it isn't well studied, nor a true antimicrobial that can eliminate acne, most dermatologists, including Drs. Garshick and Houshmand, don't recommend it.

      Does ice remove blackheads? ›

      However, ice may have little to no effect on noninflammatory pimples, such as comedones, more commonly known as blackheads and whiteheads. While a cold compress can minimize inflammation and make pimples less noticeable or painful, it will not remove the contents inside a pimple.

      Does salt water remove blackheads? ›

      “Washing your face with salt water cleans skin pores, removes blackheads, and whiteheads, and gives you healthy and glowing skin,” the caption to the post on the Beauty Remedies page read.

      How can I remove blackheads at home fast? ›

      Scrubbing is one of the best home remedies for blackhead treatment. Sugar acts as a great exfoliator by getting into the epidermis and removing jammed up dirt and impurities. Lemon is rich in citric acid and thus helps in breaking up oil built-up.

      How to remove blackheads in 5 minutes with toothpaste? ›

      Mix 1 part toothpaste with 1 part salt. If the mixture is too thick, add a few drops of water to thin it out. Rub the mixture onto your face and leave it for about 5-10 minutes. Gently rub the toothpaste mixture around to remove the blackheads from your nose pores before washing it off.

      How do you get rid of blackheads in 1 minute? ›

      Mix one-fourth tablespoon honey, one-fourth teaspoon baking soda and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Apply it directly onto your T-zone and gently massage into the skin for a minute. Let it sit for five minutes. Rinse off.

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