I Finally Beat My Complexion Nemesis—Blackheads

Updated 05/29/17
How to get rid of blackheads: woman covering her nose
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There are plenty of blackhead removal products that claim to get rid of them immediately. But there's only one product I've tried that has ever been more effective or more satisfying. And no, it's not that blackhead remover mask or a floss stick, but it does come Dr. Pimple Popper–approved. The item I'm talking about is a product that has over 300 five-star reviews on Amazon, and it promises to get rid of your blackheads swiftly. But before all that, it's important to know what blackheads are so you know how to spot them.

Blackheads occur when pores get blocked; that much we're sure you're already aware of. But did you also know that what you might think is a blackhead is wrong? What you might think is a blackhead could actually be a sebaceous filament. Dermatologist David J. Goldberg, MD, explains, "A sebaceous filament is a naturally occurring part of your skin's system designed to bring oil to the skin." Essentially they are hair follicles that have accumulated some oil, but they won't look as dark as a blackhead.

Blackheads, on the other hand, are clogged openings of hair follicles in your skin and are dark in colour, he says. These are the spots you can tackle and treat, however, Dr. Pimple Popper advises that you don't tackle them until they're fully developed, as you will only make them worse saying "any attempt may cause the comedone [the spot] to stick around for longer and become bigger and uglier."

Now you know how to tell the difference, keep scrolling for the five-star blackhead removal product.

How to get rid of blackheads: Simply Gorgeous Eye Hole Design Blackhead Remover
Simply Gorgeous Eye Hole Design Blackhead Remover $2
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This is a blackhead remover used by the likes of Dr. Pimple Popper (in fact, one review even says she's the reason for the purchase). It works by placing the loop end over the top of the blackhead and gently pressing until it pops out easily. It also says that the best time to use it is after a shower when your pores are open. Not only that, but it also lessens the trauma to your skin, so it limits scarring and makes for a much cleaner way to get at your spots.

However, we also spoke to consultant dermatologist Sharon Wong, MD, about using this type of tool to get rid of blackheads, just in case there's anything we should be aware of. She admitted that "similar devices are used by trained aestheticians to effectively remove blackheads," but "I would always advise getting comedone [spots] extractions done professionally."

According to Wong, the problem is that at home we can often be too aggressive and traumatise the skin leaving lasting pigmentation. She also said that "aestheticians often prep the skin by giving a steam treatment before the extraction to open the pores so less force is required to extract the comedones."

She advises prioritising a skincare regime to help dislodge blackheads "with minimal to no need for additional physical extraction techniques." This also means it's likely that you'll find fewer blackheads over time, particularly if you're using a cleanser that contains salicylic acid.

We're still a fan of using this tool (albeit very gently), but if you're not sure about how to get rid of your blackheads, then do see a dermatologist first.

Next up! How to get rid of acne: Beat your blemishes forever.

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