How To Remove BlackheadsPosted on 27/03/2018
Blackheads. Those pesky, stubborn black dots on your face – most commonly on your nose and chin – that sometimes, no matter what you do, just won’t go away! First of all, what are they and why do we have them? When oil, bacteria and dead skin cells build up in our pores, they form whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads are in closed pores however blackheads are in open pores, exposing the sebum (oil) to oxygen and turning it into a dark colour. They are most commonly caused by over production of sebum, which can occur in all skin types – not just oily / acne prone skin. Hormones, sweat and certain medications can also cause blackheads to form. Squeezing them is so tempting but can lead to irritations and scarring. Scrubbing won’t do anything either. So, how to remove blackheads?
We’ve listed a few of the most effective methods, and the best Korean skin care products for removing blackheads:
1. Double Cleansing
Believe it or not, cleansing first with an oil cleanser will actually help to reduce blackheads, refine pores and control sebum production! Oil cleansers are also good for oily / acne prone skin types despite many thinking it would be too “oily” for their skin. Oil cleansers use good oils (packed with vitamins and antioxidants) to stick to, and draw out, bad oils (natural excess oil, makeup residue) from deep inside your pores. The Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil is a great option for all skin types, particularly sensitive skin and the Banila Co Clean It Zero Oil Cleansing Balm has been a cult favourite in the Korean Beauty community for years.
Once the excess oil is drawn out, cleansing a second time with a water based cleanser (gel or foam) helps to further cleanse your pores. For the second cleanse, it’s also important to use a cleanser that helps to balance your skin’s natural pH level so it does not leave a tight and dry feeling afterwards. This will help to control oil production.
Related: The Korean Double Cleansing Method.
2. Chemical Exfoliator
Regular exfoliation is important but scrubbing away at just the surface of your skin will not remove blackheads, especially stubborn ones. Try using a chemical exfoliator such as the COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. This is a liquid exfoliant that contains 4% BHA and Willow Bark Water to remove dead skin cells, penetrate oil and dissolve blackheads! It’s also great for healing acne breakouts.
If you prefer a physical exfoliation, the Neogen Bio Peel Gauze range are gentle exfoliating pads that provide a physical and chemical exfoliation. Rather than using BHA, these gauzes use AHAs (Lactic Acid and Glycolic Acid) to unclog pores and rejuvenate your skin. With regular use, they will help control oil production and reduce reoccurring blackheads. These pads also keep your skin healthy and clear.
You can alternate between the Neogen Bio Peel Gauze (Wine is our favourite) and the COSRX BHA (or COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid). In fact, we highly recommend this method for exfoliation as it delivers amazing results! Your skin will be baby soft, smooth and free of skin bumps and clogged pores all week long.
Related: Ultimate Guide On Exfoliation.
One of the most effective ways to control your skin’s oil production and keep blackheads at bay is to always moisturise. Particularly for those with oily / acne prone skin and a lot of blackheads, moisturising will help prevent excessive oil production in your sebaceous glands. If you do have oily, acne prone skin, choose a lightweight or oil free moisturiser that delivers a lot of hydration. A hydrating serum is also great!
Masking is another way to remove blackheads and control sebum production, but not all types of face masks will effectively do this. Generally, masks which prioritise pore care and/or contain charcoal and clay ingredients will do a great job.
Using clay / pore care face masks approx. 1-2 times a week (but not all in the same week) will draw out excess oil and bacteria from your pores. It will also minimise the appearance of your pores. Some recommended masks include Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask, Skinfood Egg White Pore Mask and Laneige Mini Pore Waterclay Mask. Steaming your face right before applying these masks softens the sebum, allowing for easier blackhead removal.
Peel off masks should be used with care and should only be used occasionally. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend using the face masks mentioned above instead. A detoxifying charcoal sheet mask such as the Shingmulnara Charcoal Natural Delight Mask Sheet is also a good option.
For those who love a good satisfying peel, Innisfree Jeju Volcanic 3 in 1 Blackhead Nose Strips is a 3 step program for blackhead removal. The first nose strip opens up your pores and the second is an adhesive peel. The third strip contains Volcanic Ash from the Jeju Island of Korea. This Volcanic Ash works to tighten your pores. Anthony is a fan of this mask and it works well for those with normal / combination and oily skin.
Nesura Charcoal Blackhead Peel Off Mask comes in the form of charcoal gel. The gel can be applied to the T-zone, nose and chin (recommended), or to the whole face if desired. This mask is formulated with charcoal and other botanical & herbal ingredients. Once dried, slowly and gently peel off the mask. It removes blackheads, dead skin cells and other impurities along with it.
It is possible to reduce the occurrence of blackheads forming and eventually be blackhead free! First work on removing blackheads. Then maintain clean pores and control sebum production to prevent blackheads from coming back.
Anthony has always had more blackheads than I. He has found that the above methods have really helped in stopping his blackheads from resurfacing. In the past he would use a peel off mask every 2-3 weeks for blackhead removal. Nowadays he only uses peel off masks once every 2-3 months and the last couple of times, there haven’t been many blackheads to extract! He credits this to double cleansing and using COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid the most.
Are blackheads one of your skin concerns? What products and methods have you used to remove blackheads? Let us know in the comments below!
Let’s Face It
Updated: 9 March 2019.
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