Skin Care

How to Remove Deep Blackheads Safely and Effectively



by Lydia


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Undoubtedly blackheads are among the most common, stubborn, and frustrating forms of acne. They can make you lose self-confidence even among your friends. However, you shouldn't be ashamed of having them. If you follow the right methods on how to remove deep blackheads, you will be able to get rid of them for a while, if not forever.

Sometimes, cleansing and exfoliating might be enough to remove blackheads and treat acne. However, if the blackhead is deeply embedded or hard to access, you might not be able to remove it on your own that's where professionals come in. Before getting to deals;

What is a Blackhead?

Blackheads (open comedones) are the type of clogged pores. They usually form when dead skin cells combine with excessive sebaceous deposits and soil. Deep blackheads tend to form in your T-zone ( chin, nose, and forehead), especially around the nose, as it has more hair follicles and usually produces more oil than any other part of your face.

Blackheads can form independently or often combine with acne but don't cause the skin to become dirty. Besides, this condition is referred to in the top as open comedones in skiing and close comedones in nature.

What Causes Deep Blackheads?

1. Genetics

If your parents, either one of them or both, have oily skin that produces excess sebum, you might be genetically prone to blackheads.

2. Face masks

Wearing a face mask for more than 8 hours could likely cause blackhead-forming friction on your cheeks. In derm speak, acne that usually develops due to rubbing or friction against the skin is called acne mechanica.

3. Picking

Although satisfying, picking or squeezing your skin to remove stubborn blackheads may end up in long-term damage. When you pick a blackhead, inflammation and stretching may enlarge the pore and make your face enter the soil for future blackheads. Picking is especially harmful to deep blackheads and can end up in permanent scarring.

4. Sleeping with your makeup on

You might forget or get home tired after a long night out and decide to go to bed with a full face of makeup. This habit of not washing your face before sleeping can cause blackheads on your cheeks. After all, you have left your cheeks covered in concealer, blush, foundation, bronzer, highlighter, and maybe a touch of glitter.

5. Way too harsh products

Skincare products that dry out your skin can overdrive your sebaceous glands, leading to more sebum, resulting in blackheads. For instance, benzoyl peroxide is designed to treat inflammatory acne-like cysts, and using it on other acne types can cause more harm.

6. Pore-clogging products

Your skin composition usually dictates which skincare products are going to yield the best results. Unfortunately, some of these products are not oil-free and can cause blackheads depending on your skin type.

Blackheads are symptoms of acne, a condition that usually affects the pores of the skin. Although some people might have additional signs of acne, like inflamed pimples, others may have blackheads. Overproduction of sebum usually causes acne, and sebum is an oily secretion that the skin produces. When an individual has acne, the pores of their skin become clogged with a mixture of dead skin cells and sebum.

Certain people may be prone to deep blackheads. Researches have found evidence that an individual is more likely to develop acne if they:

  • are an adolescent
  • are on menstruating
  • are experiencing stress
  • have a family history of acne

What Are Body Areas Prone to Blackheads?

Besides your palms and the soles of your feet, deep blackheads can occur in your skin where there is a hair follicle. Nonetheless, there are certain areas prone to developing deep blackheads.

1. On the face

Blackheads usually occur often on the face because of the density of pores within the area. In addition, oil-based skincare products and cosmetics on the face can clog pores, causing a buildup.

2. Neck

The neck is another area vulnerable to blackheads because of the number of pores in this area. We, therefore, recommend you cleansing your neck as part of your skincare routine to help prevent blackheads from forming.

3. Chest and shoulders

Blackheads can also form on your chest and shoulders. The blackheads found within these areas can be a result of friction caused by clothing. Also, medications like testosterone and corticosteroids treatments have been identified as triggers for acne and blackheads, particularly on the chest and shoulders.

4. On the back

Sometimes the blackheads form on the hard-to-reach areas like the back. This is because it's hard to wash the area creating a favorable environment for them to form. Likewise, clogged pores within the area can sometimes go unnoticed, which can lead to deep blackheads. Additionally, sweating and friction caused by tight clothing have been known to cause deep blackheads on the back.

Tips On How to Prevent Deep Blackheads

Deep blackheads can actually take time to remove effectively and safely. Once you remove blackheads, you will need to use some of the below suggestions to help you prevent them from coming back.

1. Remove makeup before bedtime

Cleansing your face and neck at night helps remove makeup; however, sometimes residues remain. Consider using a pre-cleanser to remove all your makeup completely.

2. Ensure you wash your hair regularly

When you wash your hair regularly, it will stay healthy and soft; also, you will be able to remove oils and dirt that can get on your face and end up clogging your pores.

3. Use non-comedogenic products

Noncomedogenic is actually a code for non-pore-clogging ingredients. Also, look for lotions and oil-free sunscreens to help avoid clogged pores.

4. Avoid overusing acne products

Avoid over-using benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, and salicylic acid-containing acne products or using too many of them together. This habit can cause more blackheads since your pores usually go into panic mode, leading to more sebum production to hydrate your skin.

5. Add salicylic acid to your skincare routine products

Salicylic acid usually dries out dead skin cells that build up in your pores, reducing blackheads' chances. Look for a toner, moisturizer, or face wash that has salicylic acid to get the benefits.

6. Ensure your hands and nails are clean

Keeping your nails always clean can help reduce dirt and oil transfer.

7. Wash your bedding and pillowcases

We recommend you washing your bedding and pillowcases once a week to remove any dirt and oil in your sheets.

8. Eat a healthy diet

Also, fatty foods are not the direct cause of acne; eating a balanced diet is crucial for your general skin health. Drinking plenty of water can help balance out sebum and also help in skin cell turnover.

9. Consult a dermatologist about prescription retinoids

Retinoids are extracts of Vitamin A. Although they are mainly recommended for inflammatory acne, they may too help control excess oils that might contribute to your blackheads.

At-Home Ways on How to Remove Deep Blackheads

1. Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser

We recommend you avoid the temptation of launching a scrubby assault on your blackheads. Instead, it would be best to use a mild cleanser that won't overly strip your skin of moisture since this can trigger the overproduction of sebum and worsen the condition. Also, use a cleanser with glycolic acid and salicylic acid with sorbitol and glycerin since they act as humectants and help your skin retain moisture.

Products containing salicylic acid usually target whiteheads and blackheads by breaking down dead skin cells and excess oil. However, skin can be sensitive to this acid, so we recommend you use it every couple of days, checking out how your skin reacts.

2. Steam your face 

Before you can try out extraction at home, it's important to loosen up and soften the debris buildup in your pores with some heat. First, opt for a face steamer; if you don't own one, Renée Rouleau, a celebrity esthetician, has another option that will work for you. First, start by taking a shower or washing the face, and then apply a thin layer of moisturizer to the area you are extracting. According to Rouleau, moisturizers will create a temporary occlusive seal to retain heat trapped in your skin, making extractions easier.

Next, cover the area with plastic wrap, put a hot, wet washcloth, and lay another on top. Again, it is crucial to have your skin very soft for the easiest removal and safe extractions. After a few minutes, you can now remove the cloths and the plastic and apply another moisturizer to keep your skin moist before going on with your extractions.

3. If you must squeeze, avoid using your nails.

If you are extracting with your fingers, according to Geraghty, "the key is to be gentle," Gently press the blackhead to avoid putting yourself at risk of permanent scarring.

Here is a primer: First, start with clean hands and remember not to put your fingers very close to the blackhead. Instead, widen them out a little so that the blackhead will be extracted easily from a deeper level within your skin. Then when squeezing, change the position of your fingers to make it effortless and avoid creating marks. For instance, you can position your fingers at three o'clock and nine o'clock, then relocate to five o'clock and ten o'clock, then to two o'clock and seven o'clock.

 Better yet, you can opt for an extractor tool. Most aestheticians use this tool in-office, so it is your best bet if you are trying to imitate your favorite facial closely. To use it properly, place the open tips on every side of the blackhead.

4. Exfoliate regularly

Exfoliation usually refers to the process of removing dead skin cells. Since dead skill cell buildup is a cause of blackheads, exfoliation will help. However, the type of exfoliant you need depends on your skin type, but you will find chemical exfoliators like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acid (BHAs) useful. Besides, physical exfoliators like gentle facial scrubs and brushes might also help.

Note: Be careful of your delicate facial skin! You can exfoliate once a week and gently press and massage onto the skin.

5. Use vitamin C

Ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and beta hydroxy acids usually work great on clogged pore and acne. However, your favorite brightening vitamin C can be incredibly powerful for clearing the blackheads. A blackhead is an oil that comes to the surface and is oxidized. So oxidation is what makes blackheads form and turn black. To fight this process and prevent the oil from oxidizing quickly, use an antioxidant such as vitamin C.

Professional Ways on How to Remove Deep Blackheads

If you still notice persistent deep blackheads, you might seek a skin expert like an aesthetician or dermatologist. Treatment for blackheads can take anywhere from 6 t0 12 weeks to witness results, especially if you have oily skin.

1. Opt for a clinical chemical peel

If an OTC chemical exfoliator is not working for you, you can also give a home-based chemical peel a try. Or visit a dermatologist for a clinical-strength chemical peel, and will get great results within a few weeks if you use them often. You can use these clinical chemical peels to reduce wrinkles and help even skin tone. Moreover, since they exfoliate off the top thin layer of skin, they might help reduce the appearance of large pores and clear out your pores.

2. Opt for professional extraction

The at-home picking method might fail, but an aesthetician or dermatologist is trained and equipped to remove those deep blackheads safely on your face. Therefore we recommend you seek out your local dermatologist and let them take care of it.

3. Pull out the blackheads with a hydrafacial

Hydrafacials are similar to a vacuum tool on steroids that usually use a medical-grade device to clean and exfoliate your skin with serums. You can visit an aesthetician or dermatologist to get this facial and pull out any dirt in your pores.

4. Try out dermabrasion

A derma may recommend dermabrasion to remove outer layers of the skin cells and unclog pores in an attempt to prevent blackheads on your cheeks. This is essentially a heavier-duty exfoliation option to try out.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Remove Deep Blackheads

1. What will happen to blackheads if not removed?

The pores can become inflamed if the blackhead is not treated. Other conditions can occur due to the inflamed tissue if you decide to pop pimples yourself. Also, scaring can occur if a pimple keeps recurring and you repeatedly pop it. The scars are normally pitted and sometimes remain as a dark marks.

2. How do you remove deep-rooted blackheads?

When a blackhead becomes deeply rooted with the skin, the most effective removal method is extraction through professional treatments like chemical peels and microneedling or specialized removal tools.

3. Is it recommendable to squeeze out blackheads?

According to Dr. Henry, it is irreversible damage. Damaging your skin by picking or squeezing can as well cause inflammation, scarring, and hyperpigmentation. Moreover, squeezing introduces bacteria, dirt, and oil from your hands into your pores, which can cause more blackheads.


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