Blackheads: We’ve all cringed over them. You know, those unsightly little black or brown specks hiding deep down in our pores that peek through just enough to make our face feel “unclean?” Contrary to popular belief, that’s not grime you’re seeing, but “comedomes.” A comedo bump is a visible pile up of skin impurities in an open pore that surrounding air has oxidized to turn an icky black hue. The best treatments for blackheads will not only work to clear pores out, they’ll help prevent them from clogging up again.
What is a blackhead?
A blackhead is nothing more than a pesky form of acne in which a pore or hair follicle becomes clogged with gunk. As New York City-based dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, derm, told Allure earlier this year, "Blackheads are just an oxidized mix of oil and dead skin cells that are sitting in pores, [and] the exposure to air is what causes them to oxidize and turn black.”
Comedomes most commonly appear on the face, back, neck, chest, arms, and shoulders, where hair follicles tend to be more prevalent.
What Causes Blackheads?
Even if you wash your face religiously, you might still be at risk of developing blackheads. According to Medical News Today, blackhead-causing oils and impurities can be due to factors such as spikes in sebum production — a waxy, oily substance that is meant to lubricate hair and skin — caused by hormonal changes, heavy sweating, shaving (which can open hair follicles further), health conditions, and certain medications, to name a few.
The Best Products for Blackheads
Since pore size is genetic, you can’t do much to minimize these porous spaces where blackheads collect, but you can regularly exfoliate and keep oil production to a minimum to lessen the opportunity for oil and buildup to work its way down into them.
Peeling agents, such as glycolic acid, work to dissolve this buildup at the source, ultimately unclogging pores, while cleansing devices, like the Clarisonic ($119, Clarisonic), work to get deep down into the skin's surface to throughly wash away debris. Other treatments, like retinoid creams, speed up the rate of skin's cell turnover to keep dead cells, which can quickly fill pores up, at a minimum. We've rounded up a selection of various treatments that will work double time to give you your clearest, most blackhead-free complexion yet. Keep scrolling for Woman's World's picks for the best products for blackheads around.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.