Blackheads are one of the most common skin concerns we get asked about at Paula’s Choice Skincare, probably because so many products on the market claiming to remove blackheads don’t actually work. Here are our top science-backed solutions for using the right products for blackheads, as well as what to avoid so you don’t make them worse. 

Blackhead Removers That Really Work

The essentials you need to get rid of blackheads:

  1. Each morning and evening, use a daily gentle cleanser for breakout-prone skin. At night, use a wet washcloth to gently massage the cleanser into your skin to remove all of your makeup. 

  1. Apply a leave-on salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid or BHA) exfoliant. Salicylic acid plays a vital role in eliminating blackheads because it can penetrate deep enough to unclog pores and restore a normal flow of oil to your skin’s surface.

  1. Absorbing excess oil will help prevent blackheads on your nose. Our Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish targets oil-prone areas during the day. Or a few nights per week, after washing your face, apply an oil-absorbing charcoal mask to keep blackheads at bay.

The Don’ts of Blackhead Extraction

Steer clear of harsh blackhead treatments (including jagged, abrasive scrubs, and masks that contain skin-aggravating fragrance). Always care for your skin in a gentle manner (no irritating ingredients such as SD alcohol, menthol, and peppermint). Anything that irritates skin can cause a sensitising effect that triggers excessive oil production, which means more blackheads.

Also, avoid heavy, thick moisturisers in blackhead-prone areas, as they’re more likely to cause clogged pores. Instead, opt for gel, lightweight lotion, or liquid skin care products as your hydrator of choice.

Lastly, stay clear of pore strips. They temporarily remove the part of the blackhead you can see but do nothing to address the root causes of the problem, so the blackheads will return.

Lastly, ditch bar soaps which can leave residue that builds up on skin and contributes to clogged pores and blackheads.

How to Get Rid of Blackheads on Your Face

If your blackheads don’t respond to the tips above, you can try removing them manually with a blackhead extraction tool. Make sure to follow the blackhead remover’s instructions carefully — any aggressive squeezing, poking, or prodding can irritate your skin and make the problem a bigger concern.

Alternatively, you may want to consider blackhead extraction by a well-trained aesthetician, who carefully and precisely extract them without hurting your skin. Do note that it is essential to maintain the results from professional blackhead extractions by following our steps above.

Learn more about blackheads.

Shop our range of blackheads removing, award-winning exfoliants here.