Beauty 911: How to Banish Blackheads

Beauty 911: How to Banish Blackheads

When I was a teenager, I always assumed that blackheads meant your skin was dirty. Of course I now know that’s not the case. Blackheads form when the oil in clogged pores interacts with the air. If blackheads are a recurring problem for you, the best thing you can do is chat with your dermatologist about prescription gels or scrubs. But if you’re wondering how to prevent or get rid of the occasional blackhead, I’ve researched a few easy remedies that should do the trick. Here are a few measures you can take to ban those pesky blackheads for good:

Take preventative measures…

Unfortunately my No. 1 tip for preventing blackheads also comes with the highest price tag. I get a professional facial every few weeks, which is the main thing I credit for my mostly clear complexion. Facials do cost a pretty penny, but if you can make some room in your beauty budget they’re definitely worth the splurge. Why not opt for an at-home mani this month and allocate some funds toward a facial instead? Or try this ice cube facial or this DIY facial out if you’re on a budget right now.

Another more affordable step you can take is exfoliation. Exfoliating cleansers, face scrubs, or even a mixture of baking soda and water can be used to cut through grease, oil, and dead skin cells. I also recommend investing in a Clarisonic brush, which will help remove dirt, oil, and makeup while gently exfoliating your skin. Exfoliate at least once or twice a week to keep blackheads at bay.

Say bye to blackheads, stat!

Pore strips were all the rage at sleepovers when I was in middle school. But if it’s been a while since you’ve used them, it’s time to revisit this drugstore beauty remedy. Biore and Boscia both make pore strips or try a DIY version instead. But while pore strips will provide some immediate improvement, they don’t prevent blackheads from recurring.

Another method for removing blackheads is an at-home clay mask. According to Daily Glow, cosmetic clay (which can be purchased at most health food stores) is especially effective in removing these pesky blemishes.

What not to do…

It might take all of your willpower, but squeezing blackheads is the worst thing you can do. Leave the extractions to your aesthetician or dermatologist. According to the Huffington Post, squeezing blackheads at home can cause inflammation, infection, and even scarring.

I hope that helps!

Let me know what beauty crisis you’d like me to cover in my next Beauty 911 post.

XO
Lauren

Photo: Style.com
Categories: Lauren Conrad, Primp, Skincare
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  • Katie Elisabeth

    I currently have a clay mask drying on my face lol! Love using clay masks, and scrubs to get rid of blackheads! I’ve never gotten a facial before! I should really look into it as so many people recommend them!

    Katie xo
    http://www.katieelisabeth.com

  • Ashley

    It’s funny you posted this because I was just complaining about blackheads a few days ago! I have had them on and around my nose for as long as I can remember.. I guess I need to go see someone about that. I’ve been exfoliating and doing clay masks by Michael Todd True Organics but I never even thought about there being a more prominent issue here! Thanks! http://dreamliveandrepeat.blogspot.com/

  • Maeve

    Although I think the Clarisonic is an incredible investment that no one would regret, a nice alternative is the Olay Pro-X. Since the brush head is smaller, it’s great for getting into those crevices (like around your nostrils!) where black heads love to grow. Love the suggestions for all budgets.

    You have such beautiful teeth. I would love to read a post about how you take care of them and any whitening products you suggest! I have a hard time with sensitivity and if it’s not sensitivity, I’m not satisfied with the results. Any suggestions for this coffee addict would be greatly appreciated :)

  • Katelin Absher

    Clarisonic is def a wonderful investment although I sometimes have to Dis continue use for about a week every few weeks because my face constantly has breakouts! That is how good they are about deep cleaning but sometimes a breakout interrupts special events! Lol extraction is also a good way your aesthetician is trained to do them and I would recommend getting them to do it for your so you don’t scar your face! I went to aesthetics school so I learned a lot more than I can type! Lol great post!

    http://www.katelinkonfidential.blogspot.com

  • Deanne Castro

    i love using the clarisonic too! It’s a great daily tool to prevent blackheads and dead skin cells!

    Visit my blog to get the latest tips and tricks on fashion and beauty: http://myfashavenue.com/

    Get inspired and follow me on Instagram and Twitter: @MyFashAvenue

    xo
    Deanne

  • Patricia Uceda

    what type of facials do you get??

  • Stefie

    i have to say that my favorite scrub is the tea tree one from the body shop, love it!

    http://stefieslife.blogspot.com/

  • Brenna Gray

    The Clarisonic Mia 2 is great and I also use the Queen Helene mint julep masque!

  • Rachael Lackner

    I love my Clarisonic to death! My skin glows and always feels tingly clean after I use it. I also get facials done every now and then. However, my esthetician warned me not to use those pore strips. Once you rip them out, your pores stay open and can contract even more dirt and grime to cause more blackheads.

  • mrs Kirsten Lecompte

    Dermilogica and Murad are both life savers when it comes to my acne!
    Great post though- I have a bad habit of trying to get the little blackheads myself! I need to go get a facial, they are also REALLY relaxing along with being beneficial.
    I did see I believe it was on Dr Oz, that in the morning you should only spritz your face with water and not wash off the important oils with a wash- just a juicy tip to go with this!

  • Jennifer Olland

    I had done the cold water wash ALL throughout my teen years….never ever broke out. I couldn’t tell you if it was actual method or good genes.
    However, as I got older I fell into a facewash trend…I have not liked the results. Back to cold water wash for me!

  • Ashley at Sincerely Miss Ash

    I always love to treat myself to facials once in a while, it really is the best treat for our skin. I have yet to invest in a Clarisonic brush but I have been dying to get one…

    xo,
    http://sincerelymissashley.blogspot.ca

  • Miss Celi

    I love that video for DIY pore strips!! I am def going to try it out. I love that it’s more of a natural method for removing blackheads. Thanks a bunch!

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  • Raven Locks

    Great tips! I really want to try making my own pore strips now :)

    xo Azu

    http://www.raven-locks.blogspot.com

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  • Jen

    This post was really helpful! Maybe I’ll try out using pore strips more often!

    http://knotsandruffles.blogspot.com/

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  • Ana Sofia

    There are in supermarkets strips that you can use to remove blackheads. They appropriate for different face areas like chin and nose.

    Xoxo,
    http://mmthanwords.blogspot.pt/

  • debora f

    I use a cleanser with a micro scrub, toner to tighten pores and a good moisturizer every day

  • suzanne

    I try to take good care of my skin, because when I have good looking skin my make-up looks better too! :)
    xoxo
    Suzanne from http://www.writtenbysuzanne.com

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  • makeupfaerie14

    Love this post! Btw for people who have tried the baking soda scrub (or mask) method but found it was to irritating, you can use adzuki beans instead! They are much gentler on the skin and work just as good as baking soda. I recommend buying some (not canned) and grinding them in a coffee grinder and adding some honey because it helps make the scrub or mask a little more nourishing. :)

  • Dana Ivy

    I’ve never gotten a facial… maybe I should rethink that.

    Xo
    Dana Ivy
    http://www.iadorewhatilove.com – Check out my blog!

  • Alex Valenzuela

    I am totally trying this tonight! Such great tips!
    xo stylelista
    http://www.stylelistaconfessions.com

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  • TStrahlendberg

    Oh true story! I love to treat myself to a facial every now and then, yet hate it when I look all weird right afterwards :)

    Being only 2 days away from a very important interview and 6 days away from my boyfriend re-deploying I need more tips on how to tame redness.

    Tried the bare minerals “”Blemish Control”” and I love the smell so far, let’s see if it can do some magic as well :)

    xx

    http://taty-in-newyork.blogspot.com

  • Taanjaa

    I wish I had the money to do a weekly facial! I have never tried the white strips, cause they aren’t the easiest thing to find in Denmark :)

    http://tanjamortensen.com/

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  • Amanda Brown

    Thanks for the great tips, Lauren! I def need them! My skin has been breaking out like crazy in the summer heat.

    Did anyone else view some of the other skincare videos that the girl who did the homemade pore strip did? One of them was about using a soft, electric tooth brush, which does the same thing as the Clarisonic that Lauren mentioned.

    Here’s the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V61IJIE7sH4

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  • Andrea Nicole

    It’s so funny, because as soon as I started seeing commercials for these cleansing brushes I started wondering if an electric toothbrush could do the same thing for a fraction of the price! Since you brought that up, I’m totally going to try it and see if it works! Thank you!

  • Andrea Nicole

    I’ve got a lot of redness issues, and my father has Roscea, so being red runs in my blood. I suggest putting teeth whitening toothpast on the red spots, as well as using the Ice Facial LC talked about above. Aloe Vera is also a wonderful red remover! Hope this helps!

  • Sarah @ Sequin Doll

    Another great thing is an exfoliating toner. REN and Clarins make really good ones. That way, you get the benefit of exfoliation without the harshness of some the scrubs that contain crushed up walnuts/beads etc.

    http://www.sequindoll.com

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    I have always thought i had oily skin but when i went to get a facial the lady told me i actually may have dry skin because my pores are tight, but my skin is definitely oily.. so I am not sure what to even do anymore.

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      I started using Paula’s Choice a month ago and my skin is blackhead free and glowing for the first time ever… She seriously changed my life! I use a lot of her products, but I think the key to my blackheads are her exfoliants. 4% or 9% BHA (Salicylic Acid, I switch them up.) I also use an AHA (Glycolic Acid) so I’ll glow. Oh! And if you’re looking for an amazing antioxidant serum try her C15… Will do wonders for your skin! Paula’s products are really amazing and so much cheaper than just about everything else out there! Good luck! If you want $10 off your first order you can use my refer-a-friend link. http://goo.gl/o3aqQ2 Oh! And I think you can get an extra 15% off your first order using a promo code you can find at Retail Me Not.com. Hope this helps!

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  • sbrejan

    I can imagine that most of you really suffering from blackheads have gone to the dermatologist or beauty salon where it was explained to them how they arise.
    For those,who do not know it,there is a short summary:

    Sebaceous glands are attached to our hair follicles and sweat glands and empty on the surface of our skin.These glands produce the natural oil for our skin called sebum which has a protective function.Sebum is composed of waxes and fats and helps keeping moisture in our skin and prevents excessive water and bacteria etc. from entering.The most important thing to know about sebaceous glands is that cells composing the gland become filled with sebum and die,meanwhile new cells are formed,so the discharge and dead cells will be emptied on the surface through a small canal.The dark appearance of blackheads is due to debris (dead skin cells, dust, etc.) that combine with sebum.
    The production of sebum depends on the production of hormones, androgens.There is still no clear statement about the dietary influence of sebum production but our diet has a great impact on our general health.So, some foods that we eat lead to production of hormones and therefore I support the theory that diet and sebum production or acne, whatever, are linked.However,I am a student and do not think that I know more than a scientist.

    There are a lot of masks, cleansing creams, toners and pore strips etc. but they only clean superficially, since the glands responsible are in the skin and of various sizes (I am not stating that they are huge,you won’t see them with a naked eye).They do not prevent blackheads from recurring.
    Pore strips remove the superficial part of the blackhead and yes, you look better for a while but since the deep part is still there, you will see the same problem a few days or weeks later.
    The problem with other creams and toner etc. is that they don’t even go that deep and most of the time, the skin is not damped.
    For a 911 treatment, these creams etc. are fine and I like using clay masks myself when I notice that my whole nose is covered!

    My suggestion for those who are suffering is that you either change your diet or you go to the sauna. When you sit in the sauna, your pores open and you start sweating and the sebum basically flows out.Not literally.But maybe you have noticed at some point when you are sitting there, the sweat running down your body is not transparent but a bit dark…like dirt?
    I mean, when waxes and fats are heated, they become soft and/or liquid,so that should work for sebum,too.
    Maybe a regular visit to the sauna is much cheaper than a visit to the beauty salon, you can exfoliate your skin with a brush or cloth and apply a moistening cream afterwards (water based).
    And last but not least, sauna promotes your general health: The circulatory system is improved, you can relax and get a good night sleep afterwards.

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  • redrover

    http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/
    Have you tried this oil cleansing method for your face? I used to have a blackhead problem and oily skin, but since I’ve started cleansing my skin with oil, those problems have cleared. It seems contradictory to put oil on your skin, but when we cleanse too harshly, we’re actually telling our skin to over-produce oil which results in oily skin and blackheads–at least in my case. You might give it a try. I put mine in a small spice jar. My blend is 1/2 castor oil and 1/2 extra virgin olive. The link above will explain how to modify for different skin types.

  • Kat Taylor

    Wow, this is so helpful! Thanks so much! I would’ve never thought of talking to my dermatologist, so that really helps. Thanks again!

    • Canary

      Really? You’re not being sarcastic? That’s kind of what a derm is for lol…

      • blahblah

        She was being fucking sarcastic.

  • Eibhlin Conroy

    Black heads and enlarged pores drive me nuts! Is there a professional treatment specifically designed to eliminate them?

    • Anges

      Ask your dermatologist for Finacea (although prescribed to treat rosacea it promotes the removal of blackheads through skin renewal. It tightens pores (so perfect to wear underneath your makeup) and it reduces any sort of redness. Bonus! Just though i’d help.

  • viaviolet

    I use clay masks for at home facials. In the summer, I collect calendula flower petals from my garden and mix them with the clay.

    Thanks for the tips! I would also suggest washing your pillowcase and make-up brushes often!

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  • maddiemoo

    I have combination skin and I’ve recently started using organic coconut oil on my face, hair and body (around $9 AUD from the supermarket) and it’s doing wonders for my skin. I definitely won’t be using products with chemicals in them again. Natural is the way to go! Like redrover said, it seems contradictory putting oil on your face but it seriously does work!

  • Agnes

    I’ve had chronic blackheads all over my face since I was 14. I am now 23, and being Finally blackhead free i can say that diet and hygiene is EVERYTHING. If you’re someone who is suffering from serious chronic blackheads and have been on many oral medications to get rid of them (like me, who has been on accutane twice and minocycline twice), and even currently on birthcontrol and the blackheads still come back, I would say a weak Liver function has much to do with it. Stuffing you’re body with serious, dangerous medications is actually weakening your liver, causing your body difficulty to flush toxins. (Due to my history, my body was most likely very toxic). As a result these toxins will mix in with your sebum causing a sticky production that leads to blackheads. I finally put my foot down and decided to take a more natural route to curing my blackhead problem when my dermatologist suggested to even go on a third round of minocycline to get rid of them.

    LIVER DETOX to promote a healthy liver function. I bought a 30 day Liver kit for this one. Eating healthy and drinking tons of water with this detox is a MUST. I drink up to 15 glasses of water a day (i know crazy right, but people with acne should actually be drinking 10-15 glasses of water a day).

    On top of this, TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN HYGIENE! After washing your face with a gentle cleanser, in the morning i put FINACEA (a Rocasea cream but also get rids of blackheads through skin renewal) and Retina A galaxal base 0.01% at night (very low percentage because my skin is highly sensitive). Has completely transformed my skin.

    DAIRY-FREE!! so important due to hormone triggers. I’ve been on this routine for a month now and I am blackhead free without no JUNKEY oral medication.

    Organic and healthy is the way to go :)

  • Megan Zimmerman

    If anybody needs some skin help or simply just a skin consultation, please let me know! I work for Rodan + Fields, the makers of Proactiv, and they’ve launched new skin care lines for acne, sensitivity (rosacea, exczema, etc), sun damage and anti-aging. Just shoot me a quick email! [email protected]

  • Amanda

    I love Philosophy’s skin care line! Their oxygen peel is a bit pricey but considering there is enough supply for around 10 at home facials it is well worth the price! My face has started to glow like yours :)

  • zapata

    My mum told me NOT to use pore strips. They strip and enlarge your pores and do more harm to your pores than help.

    I would like to try lemon/honey though.

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  • olivia

    This got Reid of my blackheads but didn’t have them too bad just on my nose and chin
    Just mix lemon juice and baking soda then scrub on your nose repeat as often as wanted :) hope this helps

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