How to Get Rid of Blackheads in Adults

by Lindsay Boyers
Apply treatment cream that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid once a day.

Apply treatment cream that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid once a day.

Black polka dots on your favorite dress look lovely; black polka dots on your face -- not so much. Unfortunately, blackheads are a common skin condition, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with them without a fight. Blackheads develop when excess oil and dead skin cells get trapped so deeply in your pores that they cannot be scrubbed away with regular cleansers. To get rid of them, you need to apply products that reduce excess oil, restore normal oil flow in the pore and remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.

Resist the urge to squeeze. Squeezing may remove a blackhead temporarily, but it can spread bacteria -- which can cause more acne -- and lead to acne scarring.

Wash your face every day for two weeks with a cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which helps to loosen the blackhead so that it can break free from the pore. Benzoyl peroxide generally works faster than salicylic acid, but it can irritate sensitive or dry skin.

Apply a treatment cream that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid on the affected area once per day. Clinical and research dermatologist Zoe Draelos notes that the longer you leave the treatment on your skin, the more effective it is.

Incorporate a rotating exfoliating brush into your skin-care regimen if you are not seeing an improvement with the blackhead-eliminating cleansers in two weeks. Rotating brushes help to loosen up the blackhead plugs faster than the use of cleanser alone. If you have oily skin, use the brush once per day. If you have dry or sensitive skin, use it only once per week.

Wet the areas that have black heads and apply pore strips to them. Gently pull off the strips once they have dried to remove the blackheads from the pores. "Health Magazine" notes that pore strips don’t prevent future blackheads from forming.

Items you will need

  • Cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
  • Rotating exfoliating brush
  • Pore strips


  • Be patient. According to "Health Magazine," it can take several months to get rid of blackheads and see the results you want.

About the Author

Lindsay Boyers has a Bachelor of Science in nutrition from Framingham State College and a certificate in holistic nutrition from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. She is also a licensed aesthetician with advanced training in skincare and makeup. She plans to continue on with her education, complete a master's degree program in nutrition and, ultimately, become a registered dietitian.

Photo Credits

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