Are blackheads bothering you?
After all, they make your skin look dirty and your pores too big.
You might be wondering how you can remove blackheads at home fast.
That’s why today I’m reviewing the best blackhead removal products.
They include comedone extractors, pore strips, masks, pore vacuums, scrubs, cleansers, and more.
- 1 What are blackheads?
- 2 Should you remove blackheads?
- 3 The best way to remove blackheads
- 4 Manual removal of blackheads
- 4.1 Professional Blackhead Remover Blemish Extractor – Pimple Comedone Remover – by Utopia Care
- 4.2 Professional Blackhead Pimple Comedone Removal 2-In-1 Extractor Tool by Foamily
- 4.3 Pimple Popper Blackhead Took Kit
- 4.4 Bioré Charcoal Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
- 4.5 Bioré Nose+Face Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
- 4.6 Bioré Witch Hazel and Tea Tree Oil Ultra Cleansing Pore Strips
- 4.7 3Step Piggy Nose Strip by Mefactory
- 4.8 Seedless Strawberry Seeds 3-step Nose Pack
- 4.9 Blackhead Remover Pore Strips by Anjou
- 4.10 Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating Pore Strip
- 4.11 Clean & Clear Blackhead Scrubby Gel Pore Strips
- 4.12 Advanced Revive Comedo Suction Blackhead Removal Device by Protagen
- 4.13 Blackhead Remover Pore Vacuum with Extractor by MARYSUN
- 4.14 Eunon Blackhead Remover Pore Vacuum
- 4.15 MOSPRO Blackhead Remover Vacuum Pore Cleaner – 2020 Upgraded
- 5 Chemical removal of blackheads
- 5.1 Proactiv Blackhead Dissolving Gel
- 5.2 Nella Blackhead Remover, Pore Jelly Pop
- 5.3 OXY Acne Medication Cleansing Pads
- 5.4 Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Face Pads
- 5.5 Neutralyze Exfoliating Pads With 2% Salicylic Acid + 1% Mandelic Acid + Nitrogen Boost Skincare Technology
- 5.6 Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme
- 6 Cleansers that remove blackheads and maintain clear skin
- 7 Masks and other blackhead treatments
- 8 Conclusion
What are blackheads?
Simply put, blackheads are clogged hair follicles.
You can get them almost anywhere on your body.
You’re most likely to see them on your face, back, and chest.
They occur when oil and dead skin blocks the opening of the follicle. Then the sebum, or oil, oxidizes.
The oxidation makes the pores look black (1).
But the pores aren’t actually dirty. It’s the same thing that happens when a banana turns brown.
Unfortunately, it’s unsightly enough that the urge to remove them is powerful.
Should you remove blackheads?
You may have heard that you should leave blackheads alone, but that’s not true.
The truth is that you shouldn’t squeeze them.
You and I both know that it’s rather satisfying to see that little string of oil worm up out of the skin.
The problem is that your fingers are causing damage to other pores and possibly worsening the problem.
If you must extract an individual blackhead, use a comedone removal tool.
We’ll talk about those in a moment.
Otherwise, keep reading to find out other safe and effective ways to clear up your skin.
The best way to remove blackheads
Besides manual removal with a round loop extractor, there are several ways you can remove blackheads at home.
Pore strips probably come to mind.
Use the strips one to two times per week to keep your skin clear. Combine them with a salicylic acid face wash for better results.
Next, there are pore vacuums, masks, gels, cleansing pads, and exfoliators to help you cleanse the skin and prevent new blackheads from forming.
But the number one way to make any blackhead removal more effective is to steam your skin first (2).
Cleanse and exfoliate, then lean over a steaming bowl of hot water for 5 minutes.
Don’t burn yourself – you only need enough heat and water vapor to relax the pores.
Immediately use the blackhead removal method of your choice.
Cleanse again to remove bacteria then moisturize.
As you can imagine, this process can be a little harsh. It’s essential to hydrate.
If you don’t moisturize, your skin will likely produce excess oil and worsen the problem.
Manual removal of blackheads
Let’s begin with how to remove blackheads manually.
Professional Blackhead Remover Blemish Extractor – Pimple Comedone Remover – by Utopia Care
This blemish extractor is made of surgical-grade stainless steel. Please remember to disinfect it before and after you use it.
Once you’ve steamed open your pores, you can press this tool against your skin to extract the core.
(You can also hold a warm, wet towel against your skin instead of steaming.)
There are two ends to the metal rod: one is bigger than the other.
Most likely, it’ll take some practice to get the hang of using it. Happily, there are several videos online to instruct you.
Professional Blackhead Pimple Comedone Removal 2-In-1 Extractor Tool by Foamily
Here’s a similar tool by a different manufacturer. It has a non-slip grip and a stainless steel, hypoallergenic coating.
Pimple Popper Blackhead Took Kit
This kit contains seven tools to extract all sorts of pimples.
Each one is made of stainless steel.
There’s also a zippered storage case.
While you won’t find instructions in the package, a little research online will tell you more than you ever wanted to know.
Bioré Charcoal Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
My personal favorite way to get rid of blackheads is to use pore strips.
You can see the evidence of how well they work when you peel them away from your face. The adhesive side is littered with debris, oil, and little hairs.
If you’ve never used pore strips before, let me explain how they work.
- Before you do anything else, wash your hands.
- Crack open the package and remove a pore strip. It’s soft, and it looks like a little piece of fabric on a backing. Flex it a little bit, but don’t remove it from the backing yet.
- After you wash your face, warm up your skin with water.
- With your face wet (but your hands dry), peel off the pore strip and press it onto your skin.
- Do a good job of working it into the nooks and crannies around your nostrils.
- Then try not to move your face a lot for the next few minutes.
- The pore strip will harden like papier-mâché. That’s when it’s time to peel it off.
- Lift it gently from the edges. Don’t pull too hard as it can damage your skin.
- Then rinse your face so that any residue is gone, pat dry, and moisturize.
Bioré makes some of the best blackhead removal strips on the market.
This particular version is loaded with natural charcoal to soak up extra oil.
But each kind vegan, cruelty-free, and is tested by dermatologists for all skin types.
Bioré Nose+Face Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
Here are pore strips cut to fit your nose and other portions of your face. Just select the kind that suits the area you want to cleanse.
There’s no charcoal in this one.
Bioré Witch Hazel and Tea Tree Oil Ultra Cleansing Pore Strips
Zap your blackheads with natural remedies like tea tree oil and witch hazel. They kill the bacteria and shrink your pores.
3Step Piggy Nose Strip by Mefactory
Korean-made Piggy Nose Strips are popular overseas.
Instead of a one-off, these are made to be used in a three-step process.
The essence-infused strip dilates your pores. Next, the blackhead removal strip works a lot like Bioré’s products.
Finally, the toning strip closes and minimizes the pores to prevent new blackheads forming.
The manufacturer recommends this product for all skin types and especially for oily skin.
A peek at the ingredients reveals a variety of natural extracts working behind the scenes. The label lists grapefruit, mushroom, wintergreen, jasmine, and tea leaf, among others.
Seedless Strawberry Seeds 3-step Nose Pack
Here’s another multi-part blackhead removal kit.
The first step unblocks clogged pores with pure cotton, witch hazel, and sage. Interestingly, it has a strawberry milk fragrance.
The second step uses lime and lemon to boot out the blackheads.
And the third tightens up pores with aloe and green tea.
The whole process takes about 40 minutes.
Blackhead Remover Pore Strips by Anjou
What’s the benefit of choosing this brand over the others? The cost.
The pack includes 32 strips. If you use them twice a week, you’ll have enough for 4 months.
Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating Pore Strip
Here’s a new twist on the classic pore strip. Neutrogena’s product dissolves in water to become a face scrub.
Instead of peeling it off, you’ll wet it, then massage it into your skin before you rinse.
The active ingredient is salicylic acid. It’s excellent for opening up pores as it dissolves oil.
Clean & Clear Blackhead Scrubby Gel Pore Strips
Clean & Clear’s nose strips are also saturated with salicylic acid. They deep-clean the pores but shouldn’t irritate sensitive skin.
Once they are wet, they dissolve into a scrub that you can rinse off. The active ingredients include salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and menthol.
One other thing you might like is a cooling sensation they create.
Advanced Revive Comedo Suction Blackhead Removal Device by Protagen
Here’s the device you’ve been waiting for – it’s a pore vacuum.
It’s handheld, but similar to the ones that dermatologists and cosmetologists might use on you.
Thankfully, it’s a little less powerful, which is suitable for inexperienced users.
The rechargeable vacuum has five levels of increasing suction. It comes with 4 interchangeable heads.
The smallest one is the best for sensitive areas. Meanwhile, the oval-shaped head works well for removing blackheads on noses.
Blackhead Remover Pore Vacuum with Extractor by MARYSUN
Here’s another pore vacuum that’s FDA-certified for safety. It’s recommended that you use it for no more than fifteen minutes at a time, three times per week.
In fact, don’t spend more than three seconds on any single spot. Keep it moving to avoid giving yourself a hickey.
It’s rechargeable and comes with five vacuum heads. Each head, or tip, addresses specific problems. See the instructions in the box for an explanation.
Eunon Blackhead Remover Pore Vacuum
This manufacturer includes a helpful tip. They suggest icing your face after you finish a treatment to avoid redness and swelling.
This model has an LCD that reveals the battery status and the power setting.
It’s rechargeable and will run for up to 150 minutes continuously.
MOSPRO Blackhead Remover Vacuum Pore Cleaner – 2020 Upgraded
Generally speaking, portable pore cleaners aren’t costly. But if you’d like to have one with a warranty, check out this deal.
The manufacturer offers a 30-day full refund and a 24-month warranty. They also provide technical support 365 days a year.
Finally, they rate the noise level at under 25 dB, which is whisper quiet.
Chemical removal of blackheads
Instead of squeezing, tearing, and sucking out your blackheads, try something gentle.
It takes longer, and it’s not as satisfying.
But using gels, scrubs, cleansers, and medicated pads is kinder to your skin.
Proactiv Blackhead Dissolving Gel
Proactiv are the experts on acne. Their Blackhead Dissolving Gel has 0.5% salicylic acid in it. It’s mild enough that it shouldn’t irritate anyone’s skin.
But it’s powerful enough that it melts away blackheads and prevents blemishes.
Other ingredients include green tea, aloe, and shea butter.
Regular use should lead to a smooth, more radiant complexion.
Nella Blackhead Remover, Pore Jelly Pop
This is a blackhead remover that looks like an overgrown Chapstick.
It has a soft brush at the tip that you use to massage the skin affected by blackheads.
The liquid inside contains eleven natural extracts that clear out pores. It includes witch hazel, sage, peppermint, grapefruit, and more.
OXY Acne Medication Cleansing Pads
Oxy cleansing pads feature 2% salicylic acid, the gold standard for maintaining a clear complexion (3).
When you use salicylic acid regularly, you’ll notice it’s easier to prevent acne and blackheads. It exfoliates the dead skin and breaks up the oil blocking pores.
Also note that you can use these pads on your face, chest, or back.
Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Face Pads
Neutrogena’s medicated pads use salicylic acid with Micro-clear Technology. It’s an effective way to deliver the active ingredient to where it’s most needed.
Use these pads to remove makeup, prevent breakouts, blast away blackheads, and shrink zits. One swipe at night means you’ll have less redness and swelling in the morning.
Neutralyze Exfoliating Pads With 2% Salicylic Acid + 1% Mandelic Acid + Nitrogen Boost Skincare Technology
If you have sensitive skin and feel reluctant to try chemical peels, check out Neutralyze’s pads.
They combine the power of salicylic acid and mandelic acid. Although both exfoliate dead skin, mandelic acid hydrates while it works. It also has anti-aging benefits.
Regular use clears up everything from blackheads to cystic acne, acne scars, rosacea, and psoriasis.
The manufacturer offers a 100% money-back guarantee.
Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme
Glycolic acid plus salicylic acid equals clear skin.
The Extreme Night Pads don’t just unclog pores. They also plump the skin to make it younger-looking and softer.
Another side benefit is more even skin tone.
Cleansers that remove blackheads and maintain clear skin
Keep your skin clear, and your pores small by using the right cleanser.
After you’ve done all the work to clear away your blackheads, you still need to be vigilant. They always come back if you slack off.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Dermatological Acne Treatment 3-Step System
The Effaclar system has won awards for giving visible results after only one use. In ten days, it can clear up 60% of acne.
Like other products from this company, these are free of artificial fragrances and parabens.
The medicated gel cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid plus a lipo hydroxy acid to remove dirt, oil, and dead skin. This is what you’ll need most for blackheads.
But the kit also includes a toner and acne cream for spot treatment.
Paula’s Choice CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser
Maintain healthy skin with this mild cleanser that has 0.5% salicylic acid. There are no fragrances or parabens.
It’s refreshing, and it washes away makeup, too.
Paula’s Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Exfoliator
Here is a leave-on exfoliator with 2% salicylic acid. Don’t use this if you have sensitive skin, but definitely try it if you tend to be oily.
DRMTLGY Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub
Scrubs aren’t as effective on blackheads as other solutions. But they do smooth texture and have other benefits.
This scrub promises to minimize fine lines, shrink pores, fade discoloration, and eliminate blackheads. Try it for up to sixty days and claim the full refund if you’re not satisfied.
Clarisonic Pore & Blemish Gel Cleanser
If you use a Clarisonic motorized brush, here’s the cleanser that gets rid of blackheads.
It also reduces shine as it cuts surface oil by almost half.
The foaming formula is based on salicylic acid.
Proactiv Charcoal Pore Cleansing Brush
Proactiv’s Pore Cleansing Brush has a charcoal-infused bristle head. Surprisingly, the bristles are quite soft.
There are two speeds to remove impurities and exfoliate. After all, it’s more effective to scrub like this than to wash with just your hands.
Keep it moving, and don’t focus on one area for more than two minutes at a time.
It’s water-resistant so that you can take it in the shower. Plus, it runs on replaceable batteries.
Masks and other blackhead treatments
Soak up the oil and impurities that are clogging your pores. Use a blackhead removal mask and other tricks to detoxify your skin.
Mario Badescu Silver Powder
The Silver Powder absorbs excess oil and purifies the skin with kaolin clay, zinc oxide, and calcium carbonate.
Use it regularly to draw out blackheads and shrink oversized pores.
Bioré Charcoal Whipped Purifying Detox Mask
This detox mask is best for oily skin.
The creamy texture tingles the skin to tease out impurities.
You only need to wear it for five minutes to cleanse pores and mattify your face.
L’Oreal Paris Skincare Pure-Clay Face Mask with Charcoal
You’ll love this drugstore blackhead removal mask. Although there are different versions, I selected the one with charcoal and three clays.
It’s ideal for lifting out pollution, oil, dirt, and skin from clogged pores.
After you rinse it, your skin feels smooth and content.
LANBENA Blackhead Peel-off Mask Facial Pore Cleanser
Peel-off masks are as much fun as pore strips.
Spread this on your skin, let it dry, then pull it off.
It’s white-colored and dries to a somewhat soft and flexible texture.
Luckily for those with allergies, it’s based on polyvinyl alcohol and acrylic, not latex.
The active exfoliating ingredients include lactic acid.
Vassoul Peel-Off Blackhead Mask
This blackhead mask is based on latex. That’s fine as long as you’re not allergic to it.
It soaks up impurities with kaolin.
Piero Lorenzo Blackhead Remover Peel-Off Mask
Apply this mask in a thin layer across your T-zone after you open up the pores with a hot towel.
It contains activated charcoal, witch hazel, and aloe. Besides, it’s free of latex.
On the downside, blackheads keep coming back if you don’t maintain your skin. They are a lifelong problem.
But on the bright side, you have lots of tools to remove them and prevent them.
Make it easy on yourself by developing a routine.
Purchase products that you’re likely to use regularly.
Once you clear away the blackheads, it’s not hard to keep your pores clear.
1. https://www.healthline.com/health/blackheads by Holly McGurgan, published August 3, 2017, accessed November 27, 2019
2. https://www.leaf.tv/4477621/removing-blackheads-with-wax/ accessed November 27, 2019
3. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/understanding-acne-treatment accessed November 27, 2019
4. https://thedermreview.com/mandelic-acid-peel/ published September 28, 2018, accessed November 27, 2019