How to Never Have Blackheads

Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

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Here's How You Get Blackheads

If you're not sure why you're even getting blackheads in the first place, we'll let you in on some skin-care intel. "Blackheads are a kind of acne," says Marina I. Peredo, MD, an associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. "They're a result of the overproduction of sebum and dirt in the sebaceous glands, which makes these bumps get stuck in the pores." The fancy phrase for blackheads, Dr. Peredo explains, is "open comedones."

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Here's How You Get *Rid* of Blackheads

Make sure you're removing all traces of dirt and makeup from your face every day. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images
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Now that you know what blackheads are, Dr. Peredo has some advice for you on how to safely remove them. "First, you want to make sure you have a good home-care regimen," she says, "which would include a cleanser that has either salicylic or glycolic acids." Those ingredients help exfoliate the skin on a daily basis.

"Think of blackheads like hair and nails: they require maintenance to look good and be healthy."

"Using a brush like the Clarisonic helps, and products with retinol will help tighten pores," Dr. Peredo says. But if you have continued trouble getting rid of them, think about seeking out some additional help. "Some people have tons of blackheads, and then it becomes a more serious problem. If that's the case, see a dermatologist so they can give you a prescription-strength product to use." For tough-to-remove blemishes, she suggests considering procedures like microdermabrasion and microneedling.

How to Prevent Future Blackheads

First order of business: take stock of your makeup bag and medicine cabinet. Blackheads tend to pop up on oily and blemish-prone complexions, so avoid using oil-based foundations, moisturizers, and serums. Instead, opt for oil-free products.

"You want to make sure you have a good home-care regimen."

Sure, you can stick cleansing strips on your face, but those most likely won't get rid of all your blemishes. "To prevent buildup, I suggest using mild scrubs," Dr. Peredo says. Incorporate one into your routine at least two times a week, depending on your complexion's oil level.


Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

"With all of these procedures and products, it's wrong to think that one treatment is going to be a cure. Think of blackheads like hair and nails: they require maintenance to look good and be healthy," Dr. Peredo says. Repeat after us: maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.

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