Don’t squeeze that blackhead! There’s a gentler way to get rid of it, and several steps you can take to prevent new ones from forming.
Step 1: Don’t pick them Don’t try to remove blackheads either with your fingernails or with any kind of instrument. Both can lead to infection and scarring.
Step 2: Steam your face Boil a medium pot of water, add a few drops of tea tree, eucalyptus, or lavender essential oil, and place it on a table. Sit with your face over the pot for five minutes, with a towel draped over your head to trap the steam. The combination of steam and those particular oils will loosen existing blackheads. Repeat weekly.
: Keep your face at least 12 inches from the water to prevent burning.
Step 3: Wash your face To prevent future blackheads, wash your face daily with warm water and a mild soap or cleanser that is color- and fragrance-free.
TIP: Replace your face cloth with a natural sea sponge, which exfoliates skin better.
Step 4: Moisturize Slather on an over-the-counter moisturizer containing the collagen-booster retinol every night after you wash your face. If you have sensitive skin, only use it every other day.
TIP: Retinol increases skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so use a sunscreen with SPF 30 daily.
Step 5: Clean up your makeup act Always use oil-free foundation, never put makeup on a sweaty face, remove makeup at night with a cleanser that contains glycolic acid, and clean makeup brushes and sponges with baby shampoo monthly.
Step 6: Put on a mask Use a facial mask once a week. Clay masks are especially good for drawing impurities out of pores.
Step 7: Go to a pro If new blackheads keep developing, consider going to a dermatologist for a medical facial.
FACT: The 'black' in 'blackheads' isn’t dirt. Your skin’s natural oils turn black when they oxidize after getting trapped in clogged pores.