You want to keep your skin looking its best, but it’s difficult when blackheads crop up to mar an otherwise lovely complexion. They’re like weeds in a beautiful garden! But just like weeds, you can get rid of blackheads. It just takes some patience, diligence, and having the right tools.
Blackheads, also known as open comedones, occur when oil and dead skin cells clog your pores, but don’t become infected or inflamed (and here’s what causes large pores).1 Blackheads are characterized by their dark coloring, which occurs when the oil becomes oxidized. It’s this exposure to air, not dirt as many people may believe, that results in the dark, unsightly hue.2
The marketplace is filled with so many products that promise to get rid of blackheads, it can be seriously overwhelming. On the bright side, there are also several do-it-yourself fixes that can have similar, if not better, results. And they won’t cost as much, either.
Try these three simple DIY methods to treat current blackheads and keep new ones from coming back. Whatever you do, though, do not attempt to extract them with your fingers. This can lead to infection and scarring, and it might not fully get rid of the blackheads either. It’s best to leave extractions to the professionals.
1. Use a Safe At-Home Peel
Exfoliation is key in helping to unclog pores, but many conventional scrubs are too abrasive for the delicate skin barrier, potentially causing microscopic damage. A safe, gentle, yet potent way to dissolve the blackheads in your pores is to use an at-home peel that contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which also help alleviate sun damage and stimulate collagen production.3 AHAs are more skin-friendly because they are chemical exfoliators, meaning they dissolve the bad stuff.
How To Use It:
Swipe a pre-treated pad across your face until the pad is dry. Wait three minutes and don’t rinse. Next, apply three to four drops of the Peptide Milk.
2. Unplug With Lemon Juice
The alpha hydroxy acid in lemons helps to dissolve dead skin cells, which in turn aid in clearing up clogged pores. The acid in lemons basically eats away at all that gunk, revealing a brighter, clearer complexion.
How To Use It:
Squeeze the juice from a lemon into a bowl. Soak a cotton ball or pad in the juice and apply onto problem areas. Leave on overnight for optimal results.
Be warned that the acidic quality of lemons can be irritating for those with sensitive skin. Take care when using this method, and avoid sun exposure. Conduct a patch test to ensure your skin can handle it. And never, ever, apply lemons directly on skin.
3. Make an Oatmeal Mask
Like baking soda, oatmeal can be used to exfoliate and loosen blackheads.5 It will also leave your skin looking and feeling smooth to the touch by getting rid of that “bumpy” texture often attributed to blackheads.
How To Use It:
Grind oatmeal in a food processor, or by place it in a plastic baggy and go over it with rolling pin. Add a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of water to the ground oatmeal to make a paste. Apply the paste to your skin and allow it to dry for about 20-30 minutes before scrubbing it off.
4. How to Remove Blackheads From Your Nose Using Toothpaste
Unlike lemon juice and oatmeal, toothpaste is something that most people will already have in their home. You probably won’t have to make a trip to the store to try this DIY fix. Here’s how to remove blackheads from your nose using toothpaste.
How To Use It:
First, it’s important that you use white toothpaste, not gel. It should also be plain toothpaste, without any whitening or anti-sensitivity ingredients. The reason is that those types of toothpaste will typically not be effective. Before you start, you need to know that toothpaste could cause an allergic reaction to your skin, so see if you can have a quick talk with your doctor first before proceeding.6
Simply wash your face as normal and then apply the toothpaste to your nose using your fingers or a cloth. Apply a layer and let it dry, then rub gently around the area to remove the blackheads. Then wash your face again and dry as normal.
Mix in some salt for faster results. If the mixture is too thick, dilute it with a little bit of water. Rub into your face for about five or so minutes, and then wash off after the mixture dries. You might even consider rubbing an ice cube on your face to help prevent bacteria from getting into the pores.7
Fight The Good Fight
Blackheads can be conquered, but it might take several attempts before the stubborn little buggers are gone for good. These three techniques should help you in your fight against them. Remember to be gentle, because over-scrubbing can irritate skin, and always apply a good moisturizer. Some of these methods may dry out skin. Stay optimistic and don’t give up – it’s a comedogenic war zone out there.
Article updated: March 31, 2018
If you enjoyed this article, you should definitely check out more:
How To Shrink Pores! (12 DIY methods to minimize their appearance)
The Best Way To Unclog Pores On Your Face
Stop Exfoliating Your Skin with Baking Soda! (3 reasons why)
1. Webberley, Dr. “Blackheads: Facts, Causes And Treatments”. Medical News Today. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 May 2017.
2. Jacques, Renee. “The One Thing Top Dermatologists Recommend To Get Rid Of Blackheads For Good”. Allure. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 May 2017.
3. Yamamoto Y, et al. “Effects Of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids On The Human Skin Of Japanese Subjects: The Rationale For Chemical Peeling. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 May 2017.
5. “5 All-Natural Ways To Fix Your Pesky Blackhead Problem”. Byrdie UK. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 May 2017.
6. Should You Really Use Toothpaste To Shrink A Pimple? (2017, August 07). Retrieved April 01, 2018
7. Quick Fix: Toothpaste For Blackheads. (2015, August 17). Retrieved April 01, 2018, from http://www.zliving.com/beauty/diy/quick-fix-toothpaste-salt-blackheads-removal-home-remedies-80500/