On the list of annoying skin concerns, blackheads are up there. They're hard to hide and even harder to get rid of. Sometimes, against our best efforts (and exfoliants), they still peep through concealer and foundation, stubbornly sitting in our pores.
They seem to be a universal fact of life, which explains why charcoal peel-off masks were trending in such a huge way this year. You know those videos on Instagram where beauty vloggers apply an oil slick mask, peel it (painfully) off their noses, and show the camera all of their pore gunk? How it's really gross but somehow also really satisfying to watch?
Even with these types of peel-off masks, blackheads still come back if we're not super diligent about cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. One Reddit user, who goes by Yookfa, knew this from firsthand experience, after struggling to find a skincare routine that would keep blackheads at bay long-term. Lo and behold, though, she found a select few products that she claims have literally banished all of her blackheads within a month's time—and they show no signs of returning. What is this magic, you ask? Keep scrolling to see the side-by-side picture to prove it.
The image on the left was before she began her current skincare routine. The image on the right is no more than a month later. As you can see, those annoying little black dots have completely vanished. "My skin has never been more supple or texture-less in my 22 years!" she wrote after sharing her exact skincare routine.
Without further ado, here it is. She removes her makeup with Lancôme Energie de Vie Cleansing Oil ($42) before exfoliating with Neogen Bio-Peel Green Tea Gauze ($27). These pads are three layers thick and infused with antioxidant-rich green tea to manually exfoliate, soften, and even the skin—some people swear they even help calm irritation and redness. After exfoliating, she cleanses with Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser ($20), which happens to be one of this writer's favorite face washes of all time. But I digress.
After cleansing, she applies Differin ($29), the non-prescription topical retinoid that helps prevent blemishes. After Differin comes moisturizer, specifically Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($11), which she says "works miracles." Finally, she tones her skin with Akaran Moisture Lotion ($43), and she's done.
When another Reddit user asked which products she thought made the biggest difference to her skin, Yookfa replied, "I think it was the combo of using Neogen exfoliating pads, Differin (for texture) and then the Aquafor!" Excuse us for a moment—copying this blackhead-busting skincare routine ASAP.
Next, see the best foundations for covering acne scars.