6 Ways To Actually Get Rid Of Blackheads

In a pores obsessed culture, it seems like almost all of us can zero in on one area in particular that gives us grief, whether we have acne prone skin or not: Our nose. Those little black dots cover its surface like a series of pinpricks, giving even the most flawless faces a bite of humble pie. But I learned something new the other day thanks to the Reddit forum r/Skincareaddiction, a great resource for both skincare obsessives and anyone who wants to get rid of a zit. So, here it is: Those dots you see? Yeah, they might not be blackheads at all! There’s a good chance that they’re something called sebaceous filaments. When you squees a blackhead, a solid, dark plug is released from the skin. Sabaceous filaments? A whitish gray substance comes out when you squeeze them, and even if your nose appears to be clear of them for a while, they usually fill back up again within a couple of days.

The good news: SFs are totally normal and isn’t an indicator that your skin is in bad shape. The bad news: they can still be really annoying to look at, especially if you already have large pores and acne prone skin. Plus, it’s absolutely possible to have a nose, chin, and forehead full of SFs and have blackheads at the same time. But what’s great is that when it all comes down to it, you can get rid of blackheads and reduce the appearance of SFs using the same methods. Yeah, it’s time to stop relying on pore strips to do your dirty work and actually tackle your blackheads once and for all. So, check out these six ways to get rid of blackheads for good, and keep in mind that you can use these same steps to lessen the appearance of your SFs too.

Ditch The Pore Strips

Pore strips are great for instant gratification, but not for long term results. They're not the worst thing you can use, but everything else mentioned here will actually give you long term results.

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Use Some Salicylic Acid

These contain the BHA (beta hydroxy acid) salicylic acid, which will help get deep down into your pores and get rid of the gunk. I know, Stridex is so old school, but it works if you don't have super sensitive skin. If you do have sensitive skin, consider looking into Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid. Whatever you do, don't buy anything with salicylic acid in it if it also contains alcohol; that'll just dry your skin out like crazy. And yes, you can use a cleanser with salicylic acid in it, but since it's all going down the drain when you rinse your face off, it won't have the same effect as a non-wash off approach.

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Invest In Some Glycolic Acid

You might also want to throw an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) like glycolic acid into your routine too. This chemical will help break down dead skin cells that promote blackheads, acne, rough texture, uneven skin, and other skin issues. It won't go deep into your pores like salicylic acid will, but it'll still clean up your skin nicely.

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Opt For A Mask If You're Feeling Luxurious

A mask won't hurt a bit, especially if you opt for a mask that has charcoal or clay in it. These will help flush your skin of impurities better than anything else.

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Throw Some Cleansing Oils Into Your Routine

I know, using oil to cleanse your skin sounds counterintuitive if you have oily skin, but trust me, it'll help get into the nitty gritty of your pores and loosen up the gunk! You can buy a pricy cleansing oil like the one shown (it has killer reviews on Sephora.com), or you can make your own cleansing oil blend at home. Just make sure you do your research first; slathering your face with olive oil isn't your best move.

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Resist The Urge To Squeeze

Yes, it's tempting to squeeze all those SFs whenever we get the chance, but you might leave a scar if you press too hard. Plus, like I said in the intro, it's natural, and annoying, but it's not acne. Leave 'em be and slather on the acids so they won't be so obvious.

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What methods have worked on your blackheads? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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