Blackheads. The mere word makes our skin crawl, and chances are if you have them, you’ve been fighting the battle for far too long—and been on the never-ending hunt for the best blackhead products to incorporate into your routine.
Blackheads occur when pores become clogged with sebum (or oil), dead skin cells and impurities like pollution, makeup, dirt and bacteria. Because the pore is open to air, the contents inside oxidize and evolve into a dark color visible to the eye, hence the name. Unfortunately, blackheads are relatively common. According to Cleveland Clinic, blackheads are seen most among adolescents, but up to 10 to 20 percent of adults have blackheads too.
Sure, shelves are lined with products formulated to help treat, remove and camouflage blackheads, but which really do the trick? From peels, brushes and patches and spatula-looking devices, we’ve rounded up the best blackhead products to help ditch—and prevent—blackheads for good.
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Gentle enough to use daily but powerful enough to unclog pores and keep them clear, this salicylic– and glycolic acid–boosted serum is affordable, effective and worth folding into your routine.
Safe for even sensitive skin types, this superlight serum is charged with 7 percent PHA to gently exfoliate and decongest clogged pores and shrink their appearance while also de-slicking skin.
Sweep this salicylic– and lactic acid–infused formula onto your T-zone to tone, exfoliate and dislodge clogged pores or use it all over to treat blemish-prone skin. It’s created with citrulline to quiet any potential irritation.
The exfoliator that broke the internet, this swipe-and-treat formula drastically clears out pores and refines them with help from salicylic acid. The best part? It’s safe for all skin types.
Blackheads and enlarged pores have met their match with this shiny gold tube that’s packed with salicylic acid and exfoliating crystals. Apply a thin layer onto congested areas and let it dry for up to four minutes before massaging with wet fingertips. You’ll notice smoother, less-congested pores after a single wash.
Hundreds of happy users agree: this BHA- and papaya-infused toner sinks deep into the pores to instantly make skin feel cleaner and zap excess oil without making skin feel dry. Over time, you’ll notice smaller, cleaner-looking pores and an all-around brighter complexion.
Whether you’re facing a bout of acne or stubborn congestion, this supercharged gel—it’s packed with salicylic acid, niacinamide, retinol and glycolic acid—clears it up without any flakiness.
Volcanic sand, witch hazel and natural acids combine in this vacation-scented polish that deeply exfoliates and purifies congested pores sans unwanted irritation.
The first step in any good skin routine is an effective cleanser tailored to your skin’s needs. This one is infused with natural kaolin clay, along with pre- and probiotics, to sop up excess sebum and clear pores.
Pore-clearing salicylic acid and resurfacing glycolic, along with smoothing papaya and soothing willow bark extract, offer up the ultimate blemish-busting routine in this lightweight gel.
Mud masks and calming properties don’t usually reside in the same tube, but this strawberry and yarrow root formula begs to differ. One use loosens congestion, refines pores, softens skin and quiets inflammation—all for less than $10.
HydroPeptide Bambusa Blackhead Banisher ($22 for eight strips)
Some nose strips just pull on blackheads—this one removes dirt and oil, detoxifies pores and refines for a serious improvement in minutes.
When those stubborn blackheads just won’t quit, try this fine, enzyme- and acid-spiked polish out for size—just a couple of uses noticeably improves the look of blackheads, enlarged pores and a lackluster tone.
Follain Dual Detox Mask ($34)
A gentle combination of purifying clays plus AHAs and BHAs means this mask checks two major boxes at once: delivers clearer, decongested skin while brightening and resurfacing a dull complexion.
This innovative, two-in-one solution to blemishes offers up a polishing “exfoliating stick” to bust blackheads on the go, plus a creamy detoxifying mask for when you have a bit of extra time.
Unlike its concrete-like predecessors, this acne gel doesn’t dry out a blemish to death; instead, it infuses the area with naturally derived salicylic acid, botanicals and prebiotic chlorella extract to keep skin healthy and clear, not red and angry.
This funky looking tool utilizes ultrasonic technology to deliver a (very satisfying) deep-clean by painlessly pushing oil, dirt and gunk out of pores before your eyes. Plus, its sonic vibrations boost the penetration of your topical products deeper into the skin for a double better-skin whammy.
A new addition to my everyday makeup bag, this niacinamide- and oleanolic acid–infused gel instantly mattifies skin, curbs redness, boosts hydration and fights hyperpigmentation over time.
When mixed with water, this unique formula creates a warming sensation to gently open up and loosen tightened pores for easy removal of blackheads. (See above for the ultimate pair.)
Safe to use both morning and night, this creamy clay cleanser—it’s worth noting that the formula is also paraben-free and vegan—helps de-grease oily skin while gently decongesting pores and keeping the skin barrier intact.
We’ve all used a clay mask when our skin is bugging out, but creamy and hydrating are the last words we’d use to describe them—until now. This surprising white clay– and salicylic acid–infused exfoliator boasts a milky formula to draw out blackheads and impurities while improving the look of large pores, too.
The instant this highly active powder formula activates upon contact with water, ingredients including activated binchotan charcoal and niacinamide begin to work their magic as dirt, oil and grime trapped deep within pores—as well as environmental pollutants often creating a dull complexion—all get washed down the drain.
M-61 Powerspot Pads ($69 for 30 treatments)
Each of these petite clarifying pads is packed with salicylic acid, tea tree, camphor, aloe and witch hazel to cleanse problematic skin, then unblock pores, erase blackheads and reverse blemishes. Focus on your problem areas like your chin and T-zone or, if you have problematic skin in general, the pad contains more than enough treatment to use around the entire face for a clean sweep.
This lightweight serum uses white willow bark water and betaine salicylate to act as a vacuum for stubborn blackheads and prevent new ones from forming. After cleansing, simply apply one or two pumps to problem areas and watch as your blackheads drastically reduce in severity in no time at all.
Formulated with pore-purging salicylic acid and micro-fine bamboo charcoal, this refreshing cream keeps skin dewy and clear without plugging pores.
This powerful mud mask uses charcoal to draw impurities out of your pores and unclog them right before your eyes. Apply a thin layer to your trouble spots (this works on breakouts, blackheads or ingrown hairs), and you’ll see dots of vacuum extractions through the mud when it’s ready to be removed. Your skin will be left looking healthy and radiant.
Not your average bar of soap, this one contains detoxifying charcoal to deep clean pores from blackhead-causing oil and grime. Lather in between your hands with water, then apply all over your face and body for a total detox.
Dr. Jart+ Blackhead Master Patch ($35 for box of five masks; $8 for a single sheet)
This two-step nose treatment goes beyond your regular blackhead patch. The first step, the dry patch, removes blackheads and whiteheads, and the second step, the moist patch, retightens pores. Recommended for congested T-zones and dark pores, this treatment takes anywhere from 20–30 minutes (depending on how long you want to keep each patch on), and leaves your pores feeling clean and tight.
This powder is specifically formulated to target excessive and stubborn blackheads. Once or twice a week, dip a water-dampened cotton ball into the powder and press it onto your nose, chin or any other blackhead-congested area on your face and wait 10 minutes until it’s fully hardened. Wipe off with a toner or astringent, and voila—clean pores.
This professional-grade physical and chemical exfoliator works to reduce the appearance of large pores by removing blackheads and other impurities while keeping oil and shine at bay. In just one use, your skin is smoothed, your blackheads are notably less visible and your pores are tightened.
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