Blackheads. The mere word makes our skin crawl, and chances are if you have them, you’ve been fighting the battle for far too long—and been on the never-ending hunt for the best blackhead products to incorporate into your routine.
Blackheads occur when pores become clogged with sebum (or oil), dead skin cells and impurities like pollution, makeup, dirt and bacteria. Because the pore is open to air, the contents inside oxidize and evolve into a dark color visible to the eye, hence the name. Unfortunately, blackheads are relatively common. According to Cleveland Clinic, blackheads are seen most among adolescents, but up to 10 to 20 percent of adults have blackheads too.
Sure, shelves are lined with products formulated to help treat, remove and camouflage blackheads, but which really do the trick? From peels, brushes and patches and spatula-looking devices, we’ve rounded up the best blackhead products to help ditch—and prevent—blackheads for good.
1. Hero Cosmetics Pore Release ($20)
Gentle on skin yet magically potent, this BHA– and salicylic acid–powered solution refreshes skin as it gets to work on stubborn pores to unplug blackheads and deep-set grime.
Blackheads and enlarged pores have met their match with this shiny gold tube that’s packed with salicylic acid and exfoliating crystals. Apply a thin layer onto congested areas and let it dry for up to four minutes before massaging with wet fingertips. You’ll notice smoother, less-congested pores after a single wash.
3. Peace Out Oil-Absorbing Pore Strips ($19)
A new-and-improved hydrocolloid polymer technology powers these barely there pore strips that work to suck out excess oil, grime and impurities with each wear. You’ll receive four nose strips, plus four flat strips for use on areas like the chin or forehead.
Volcanic sand, witch hazel and natural acids combine in this vacation-scented polish that deeply exfoliates and purifies congested pores sans unwanted irritation.
Acting like a vacuum for clogged pores, this supercharged facial tool extracts blackheads and infuses pores with a blend of clarifying salicylic acid and hydrating hyaluronic acid all in one step. The result: that coveted post-facial glow all from home.
The exfoliator that broke the internet, this swipe-and-treat formula drastically clears out pores and refines them with help from salicylic acid. The best part? It’s safe for all skin types and two-a-day usage.
7. CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum ($20)
Powerful retinol helps to refine the look of pores, dislodge the gunk inside and fade existing acne marks. But wait, there’s more: the addition of ceramides helps keep your skin barrier intact and healthy, never stripped.
Gentle enough to use daily but powerful enough to unclog pores and keep them clear, this salicylic– and glycolic acid–boosted serum is affordable, effective and worth folding into your routine.
Thousands of happy users agree: this BHA- and papaya-infused toner sinks deep into the pores to instantly make skin feel cleaner and zap excess oil without making skin feel dry. Over time, you’ll notice smaller, cleaner-looking pores and an all-around brighter complexion.
Whether you’re facing a bout of acne or stubborn congestion, this supercharged gel—it’s packed with salicylic acid, niacinamide, retinol and glycolic acid—clears it up without any flakiness.
11. HydroPeptide Bambusa Blackhead Banisher ($22 for eight strips)
Some nose strips just pull on blackheads—this one removes dirt and oil, detoxifies pores and refines for a serious improvement in minutes.
12. Rodan + Fields The Pore Cleansing MD System ($260)
Inspired by the high demand of blackhead extractions they heard in the office everyday, Drs. Rodan and Fields created this user-friendly, at-home suction tool that vacuums blackheads and blemishes with help from two interchangeable heads.
This funky looking tool utilizes ultrasonic technology to deliver a (very satisfying) deep-clean by painlessly pushing oil, dirt and gunk out of pores before your eyes. Plus, its sonic vibrations boost the penetration of your topical products deeper into the skin for a double better-skin whammy.
14. COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid ($25)
This lightweight serum uses white willow bark water and betaine salicylate to act as a vacuum for stubborn blackheads and prevent new ones from forming. After cleansing, simply apply one or two pumps to problem areas and watch as your blackheads drastically reduce in severity in no time at all.
15. Dr. Brandt PoreDermabrasion ($58)
This professional-grade physical and chemical exfoliator works to reduce the appearance of large pores by removing blackheads and other impurities while keeping oil and shine at bay. In just one use, your skin is smoother, your blackheads are notably less visible and your pores are tightened.
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