How to get rid of blackheads

Blackheads are extremely common and tend to appear more frequently on your nose than anywhere else. As your nose is the centrepiece of your face, you want it to look flawless. The good news is that blackheads can be removed easily and painlessly with the help of a pore strip. Here’s everything you need to know…

What are blackheads and how are they caused?

Pores naturally release sebum, which helps to moisturise and protect skin, but a combination of oil and dead skin cells can clog the hair follicle, resulting in a blackhead. As skin attempts to secrete and shed sebum and dead cells, the bacteria come into contact with oxygen at the opening of the pore, which then turns black.

Cleanse

Wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, with an oil-free cleanser that’s formulated to target blackheads.

Exfoliate

Use a face scrub twice a week to remove dead skin cells, and opt for one that contains lactic acid to help absorb excess oil.

Face masks

Treat your skin to a detoxifying facemask once a week to cleanse the skin of dirt and bacteria thoroughly. Clay masks stimulate the blood flow and draw out impurities – you’ll be able to see excess sebum as it surfaces on the clay.

Girl splashing water on her face

 Mattifying papers

Use mattifying papers throughout the day to absorb any excess oil that could clog open pores.

Girl using blackhead strips on nose

 Removing blackheads with pore strips

Pore strips can help you remove blackheads with ease – they’re like waxing without the pain! Start by washing your face with a deep-cleansing electronic face brush to loosen any sebum and dead skin cells that might be blocking pores. Then wet your nose (the strip won’t stick otherwise) and apply the strip, smoothing it down as you go and making sure there are no lumps. Once the strip has dried, slowly peel it off, starting at the edges. 

Should you squeeze blackheads?

We know how tempting it is to squeeze blackheads, but it’s important not to squeeze every one you see – and remember that squeezing can increase the risk of scarring.

Focus on the oldest blackheads – they tend to be darker in colour and will be easier to remove. If you try to squeeze newer blackheads, you risk damaging the pore walls, which allows the bacteria to spread to the surrounding tissue and cause spots to form.

Start the process by holding your head over a bowl of hot water or having a hot shower – the steam helps to soften the pores. Then wrap a tissue around the fingers you’ll be squeezing with, to help stop the bacteria spreading, and gently push down on either side of the blackhead, slowly moving your fingers around so you’re not constantly putting pressure on the same area of skin.

The blackhead should come out fairly easily; if it doesn’t, leave it for another day. Once you’re finished, apply a clay mask to the affected area to help reduce the inflammation.