Blackheads are stubborn and common -- a nasty combination when it comes to skin woes. Blackheads are formed when oil and dead skin cells become trapped in your pores. The plugs that form blackheads are sticky, so removing them can be a battle, and your skin-care routine can make matters worse. While removing the blackheads involves the same process regardless of ethnicity, black skin can get irritated easily, so choose related skin-care products formulated for your specific skin type -- whether it be normal, oily, dry or a combination of the two.
Clean your skin with a gentle water-soluble cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type. Avoid cleansers that contain alcohol, propylene glycol or added fragrances or dyes, which can irritate black skin and cause an overproduction of melanin. Additionally, bar soaps can clog pores and dry black skin, making it take on an ashy appearance.
Apply a warm washcloth to the area that contains the blackheads, and hold it in place for two to three minutes. This helps open the pores, making extraction easier.
Wrap a clean tissue around the tip of each pointer finger, place the covered fingertips on each side of the blackhead, and apply gentle, even pressure. Push down and then up to see if the blackhead releases from the pore easily. If it doesn’t, it is not ready for removal. Don’t keep trying to extract the same blackhead -- overdoing it can lead to cuts, wounds, scabbing, and possible infection.
Tone the area with an alcohol-free toner formulated for your skin type. Toning helps close the pores and restore the pH of the skin, reducing the risk of future skin problems.
Apply a medicated treatment cream that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicyclic acid to affected areas once a day. The longer these active ingredients stay on your skin, the more effective they are.
Things You'll Need
Cleanser (benzoyl peroxide or salicyclic acid)
Medicated treatment cream (benzoyl peroxide or salicyclic acid)
Exfoliate your face once or twice a week with an exfoliating cleanser formulated for your skin type. Use an exfoliating scrub with small, gentle beads instead of an exfoliating cleanser that contains alpha-hydroxy acids or a loofah or brush. AHAs and abrasive exfoliating tools can irritate black skin, making skin problems worse. Manual exfoliation does not remove existing blackheads, but it can help prevent future blackheads from forming.
Complete blackhead removal doesn't happen overnight. Repeat this skin-care process for a few weeks to see if you notice an improvement in blackhead production. If you don't see any noticeable difference, see a dermatologist who can help with blackhead removal and prevention.
Don't squeeze, scratch or poke blackheads. This can irritate black skin, making matters worse.
- BrownSkin.net: Nurture and Heal: Skin Care Tips for Healthy Skin
- Paula's Choice: Do Women Of Color Need Special Skin-Care Products?
- TotalBeauty.com: Skin Care Tips: How to Ditch Blackheads for Good
- Cosmopolitan.com: How to Get Rid of Blackheads
- Marie Claire: How to Remove Blackheads
- Paula's Choice: Bye, Bye Blackheads!