The Best DIY Blackhead Treatments, According To Derms
Blackheads are kind of like the facial equivalent of having a pebble stuck in your sneakers: They’re not doing any harm, but those little black plugs can be one hell of a nuisance—and it’s easy to obsess over them.
That’s why many people, out of sheer desperation (or when they’re too lazy to buy more pore strips), turn to homemade remedies for blackheads. But some of those treatments (looking at you, dental floss hack) are anything but legit. While dermatologists say there aren’t a ton of truly effective DIY things you can do for blackheads, there are a few techniques that might actually work.
Make a clay mask
Clay masks may seem old school, but they’re really effective at unplugging pores. “Clays are natural, finely ground rock material rich in minerals, and are highly absorbent,” explains New York City dermatologist, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at The Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Dermatology. When applied to the skin, clay sucks up excess oils, like the ones that lodge into your follicles to cause blackheads.
To make your own at home, combine one teaspoon of bentonite clay (you can purchase at a natural health store) with one teaspoon apple cider vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil. Apply to blackhead areas on a clean face, and allow to sit for 10 minutes before rinsing off with a warm washcloth.
Pop some aspirin
“Aspirin contains a cousin to salicylic acid, which is one of the most effective blackhead treatments we have,” says Zeichner. It’s also an effective spot treatment for large pimples, so if you’re not already running to the drugstore…you should.
To make an aspirin treatment, make sure you get uncoated (white) aspirin. Crush about three to five aspirin (depending on the size of the area you’re treating) and then mix with enough warm water to form a thick paste. Spread it over the affected area and allow to sit for five to 10 minutes, until it’s dry. Then wash it away with warm water. If you’re allergic to aspirin, definitely skip this remedy, since some of the aspirin will absorb through your skin.
But seriously, don’t do this:
“Be careful about picking your face—if a blackhead doesn’t pop out with gentle pressure, leave it alone!” warns Zeichner. If it’s not ready to come out, then applying too much pressure can cause trauma to the skin and make things look much worse.
Also, please ignore any bloggers who tell you to get rid of your blackheads with Crazy Glue. That’s…well, really crazy. “I don’t recommend trying this at home because while it’ll attach to the blackhead, it can harm the surrounding skin as you try to remove it,” says Zeichner.
As for tools that claim to extract blackheads—leave these to the pros. “I stress to all my patients to never use a tool to force blackheads out of pores,” says Dr Arash Akhavan, founder of Dermatology and Laser Group in New York City. “This can potentially cause damage to the surrounding pore, leading to permanent dilation of the pore,” he says. Translation: Bigger-looking pores. No
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