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How to Remove Blackheads at Home

author image Jonathan Croswell
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.
How to Remove Blackheads at Home
Blackheads are most prevalent and noticeable around your forehead or nose. Photo Credit: ThamKC/iStock/Getty Images

Most people are self-conscious of blackheads on their faces, but almost everyone gets them at some point. They occur when the sebum, oil excreted by your skin, forms a blockage in your pores. When the oil is exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns black, creating the blackhead. Getting rid of a blackhead permanently requires removing the entire blockage, not just the black, oxidized section. You can easily clean out your pores and remove blackheads at home.

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Step 1

Apply a hot compress to your skin, using a soft cloth and hot water. The heat will open up your pores, making it easier to remove blackheads and blockages. Keep the compress on your face for five to 10 minutes before you remove it.

Step 2

Apply a blackhead removal strip or pad to your face while your skin is still damp from the compress. The moisture on your skin will help the strip bind to your skin and blackheads. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the strip to bond itself. Pull the strip off. It should remove the blackheads from your skin to varying degrees of success. In some cases, the entire pore blockage will be removed; in other cases, only the head of the blockage is torn from the pore. Some blackheads may not have moved at all.

Step 3

Squeeze your skin gently with your fingers -- not the fingernails -- to remove remaining blackheads. If they do not come out easily, do not squeeze harder. Hard squeezing could damage your skin. Instead, try applying a hot compress and squeezing once more immediately after removing the compress. If you cannot get the blackheads out on the first or second squeeze, they likely cannot be removed safely with your fingers.

Step 4

Apply a salicylic acid liquid or paste onto your skin. Salicylic acid breaks down sebum oil and can get deep into your pores where your fingers cannot. After using salicylic acid, apply another hot compress. Try to squeeze out more blackheads.

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