7 Weird But Effective Blackhead Treatments You've Never Heard Of

Blackheads are one of the most frustrating skincare concerns in the known universe. But what are they exactly? Technically known as comedones, true blackheads are plugs of keratin taking up unwelcome residence in our follicles. "They poke out into the air so that their exposed parts become oxidized and darkened," explains dermatologist Kenneth Howe, MD, of Wexler Dermatology. "Hence, blackheads." Sometimes the clogged pores on our noses and cheeks that look like blackheads aren't actually blackheads at all, though. "A lot of times the people who complain about blackheads don't really have them," Howe says. "They have sebaceous filaments—retained oil and debris in the follicles that make their pores more prominent—but not keratin plugs."

For real-deal blackheads, dermatologists usually recommend products like glycolic acid peels and benzoyl peroxide washes (Howe likes PanOxyl Acne Creamy Wash, $12), which work to chemically break down those pesky keratin plugs. But over the years of talking to skincare experts and Byrdie readers like you, as well as doing some slightly obsessive internet research, we've discovered that there are other, weirder ingredients that work too. If you're dealing with blackheads, you know full well that you'll try anything short of homicide to get rid of them. Keep scrolling for seven unexpected ways to do that.

Want more no-nonsense skincare advice? Read the most important acne tips, all in one place.