Is there anything more irritating than having some pesky black dots ruin the glow of your facial skin? I guess everyone deals with blackheads at some point, looking for the best blackhead treatments to get smooth, clear skin fast. We have done the search for you, and below, we’ve selected the 27 best blackhead removal products and treatments to help you keep your skin clear.
1. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum
This gorgeous overnight treatment from Drunk Elephant is a chemical exfoliant that sloughs away dead skin cells and unclogs the pores, to ensure blackhead removal over time. It contains salicylic acid, which is known for its ability to cut through oil and sebum to exfoliate within the pore, and glycolic acid, which helps keep the surface of the skin clear. The formula as a whole is gentle and soothing, with raspberry extract and hyaluronic acid to nourish the skin. It is gentle enough for nightly use and should work for all skin types. Pick it up from Sephora!
2. Clinique Blackhead Solutions 7 Day Deep Pore Cleanse & Scrub
This scrub is a little intense, but it works. It is made with kaolin clay, which is super absorbent and able to pull impurities from the pores. It also contains silicate, which acts as a very gentle physical exfoliant, which prevents the pores from getting plugged up with dead skin cells and keratin. Despite the brand’s recommendation, we think this scrub should only be used a few times a week unless you have extremely hearty skin. It is best for those with combination and oily skin. Find it at Nordstrom!
3. Lancer The Method: Nourish Blemish Control
This wonderful moisturizer will keep your skin nourished and your pores, therefore, less likely to get clogged with keratin, but it also has some ingredients to gently unclog pores and prevent acne. It is made with salicylic acid at a low percentage, to exfoliate and keep things clear, as well as anti-bacterial tea tree oil to ensure those blackheads don’t turn into pimples. Order it from Net-a-Porter!
4. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores
This gentle clay mask is the ideal weekly treatment for keeping clogged pores at bay. With a bit of finessing, it can also offer actual blackhead removal. It contains both kaolin and bentonite clays, as well as charcoal, which is like vacuum cleaner of skincare ingredients. It is best for oily skin. You can buy it at Sephora.
5. Philosophy Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Mask
This mask is touted as a blackhead remover, but it will also help with prevention. It is made with a blend of kaolin clay and diatomaceous earth to soak up impurities, and a touch of salicylic acid to promote skin renewal and to exfoliate within the pore. It should work for all skin types, but especially for those with oily skin. It gets bonus points for being easier to remove than other clay masks. It’s available at Nordstrom.
6. Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil
It may be surprising, but a cleansing oil is one of the best ways to get rid of blackheads. In addition to totally melting down makeup, oils can also help loosen up plugs in the pores, and with a vigorous massage they can even get them to pop out completely. This simple, gentle cleansing oil is made with non-comedogenic mineral oil and hydrating glycerin. It has some surfactants in it, so it will easily come off with water. Get it at Ulta!
7. CosRx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
This is the phenomenal Korean toner Jude Chao recommends for her incredible blackhead removal method. It is made with betaine salicylate, a gentle form of salicylic acid, as well as soothing willow bark extract and oil-regulating and antioxidant niacinamide. It’s a great daily toner that will keep clogging to a minimum. Purchase it from Ulta!
8. Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil
This gorgeous face oil is one of the best acne and blackhead removal and prevention products around. It is made with superstar ingredient salicylic acid, of course, to help keep the pores clear long-term. The salicylic acid sits in a blend of non-comedogenic oils that moisturize the skin, reduce inflammation, and help keep keratin soft so that it doesn’t get stuck in the pores. There is also some neem and tea tree oil here to keep acne away. It is sold at Nordstrom.
9. African Botanics Marula Mineral Cleansing Mask
This extra-gentle mask is the perfect blackhead removal mask for those with otherwise dry or sensitive skin. It is made with gentle yet clarifying kaolin clay, which helps absorb impurities from the skin. To keep things balanced and moisturizing, however, it also contains antioxidant-rich oils from plants like marula and avocado, as well as antioxidant-rich plant extracts. If you’re sensitive to fragrances, do be aware that it contains a lot of essential oils. You can find it at Net-a-Porter.
10. Goodal Washup Deep Clean Pore Glacial Clay Mask
This cooling mask gives a deep cleaning to the pores without dehydrating the skin. It utilizes super absorbent clays like kaolin and montmorillonite to pull out grime, but also includes butylene glycol to hydrate, and green tea extract to soothe. It comes with a spatula that makes getting it out of the tub a more hygienic process. It should work for all skin types, but since it has ferments it likely won’t work for those with fungal acne. Pick it up at Ulta!
11. Differin Acne Treatment Gel
This over-the-counter medication is made with adapalene, a wonderful retinoid that helps rejuvenate the skin and regulate skin cell production. Though it’s technically not an exfoliant, adapalene still helps unclog pores, with many people finding that it helps get rid of blackheads as well as treat and prevent acne breakouts. The other benefit is that this retinoid has anti-aging properties, and is able to support long-term collagen production in the skin. Do note that this treatment is quite intense and should not be taken lightly. Get it from Ulta!
12. Osmosis Beauty Purify – Enzyme Cleanser
This gentle cleanser is perfect for daily use. It is sulfate-free with a low pH, so it won’t dry out the skin but it’ll remove all that extra sebum build-up. It contains fruit enzymes, which may add to skin exfoliation and softness, but more importantly, it is mild and refreshing, so it’s ideal for all skin types. Order it from Dermstore!
13. SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream
Retinoids are exceptional blackhead removers because they help increase and regulate cell turnover. In addition to helping heal and dislodge existing cloggings, they can also improve skin texture in a way that prevents future blackheads and breakouts. This 0.5 formula is effective but not overly drying and contains a soothing complex with bisabolol to prevent irritation. Buy it online from Dermstore!
14. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
This mask is intense, meant for those with truly oily skin, and it is perfect for blackhead removal. It contains both kaolin and bentonite to suck up all of the gunk from your clogged hair follicles. It is also a little bit soothing, with oat flour and aloe preventing irritation. A touch of MCT oil prevents excessive dryness from the mask. It is available at Sephora.
15. Kate Somerville ‘EradiKate’ Mask Foam-Activated Acne Treatment
This unique foaming mask is definitely worth trying if the regular solutions like clay masks and salicylic acid just don’t seem to work. This mask foams up as it becomes activated, and the sulfur in it helps destroy bacteria and slough away build-up of keratin. It really refreshes the complexion and tightens the pores, to help prevent future blackheads. Purchase it at Nordstrom!
16. Dr. Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask
This is another sulfur-based treatment you can choose if your blackheads have been resistant to the usual treatments. Sulfur is keratolytic and anti-fungal, so it’ll help clear up your pores even if you’re dealing with fungal acne. In this mask formula, it’s combined with kaolin clay and soothing willow bark extract. You can use it on a weekly basis, especially if you have combination or dry skin. It is sold online via Net-a-Porter.
17. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
I never miss a chance to recommend this incredible exfoliating toner, and blackhead removal happens to be something it is especially great at doing. It is made with 2% salicylic acid at the perfect pH for breaking down congestion inside the pore. It won’t irritate or dry the skin because it contains soothing green tea extract and hydrating butylene glycol. It’s gentle enough for twice-daily use and works for all skin types. Find it through Dermstore!
18. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
If your skin cannot tolerate salicylic acid or retinol due to sensitivity, then azelaic acid is the next best thing to try to get rid of blackheads. Like salicylic acid, this The Ordinary treatment is also keratolytic so it helps to dislodge and exfoliate dead skin build-up. However, the other benefit is that it is wonderful for bringing down redness and preventing the spread of acne bacteria. It won’t irritate or dry out your skin and will work for any skin type, though the formula is thick and best for evening use. Pick it up from Sephora!
19. Aveda outer peace Acne Relief Pads
These salicylic acid pads provide the exfoliation your skin needs for long-term blackhead removal. They also contain betaine and tamanu oil to avoid overdrying the skin, though definitely note that they are best for those with oily skin. They are made with Aveda’s pure-fume fragrance blend, which has a gorgeous scent and mild antibacterial properties to prevent those blackheads from turning into pimples. Get it at Nordstrom!
20. Not Just A* Konjac Face Sponge – Green Tea
Konjac sponges were all the rage for a hot minute, and then it seems like everyone forgot about them. It’s quite unfortunate since they are still one of the best ways to get a more thorough cleanse and mild physical exfoliation – exactly the two things necessary for keeping blackheads at bay. You can use a konjac sponge to wipe off your cleanser, or infuse it with your cleanser and massage it over your skin. This one is infused with green tea, which gives it a skin-soothing and uplifting effect. Order it online from Net-a-Porter!
21. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator
Though I have a heavy preference for chemical exfoliants, the occasional physical scrub can give an instant smoothing response that is hard to resist. The Microfoliant is gentle enough to not irritate the skin, and the occasional scrubbing can definitely help prevent blackheads. Despite the name, I suggest you only use it a few times a week at most. It contains a touch of tea tree oil, which will help keep pimples from developing. Purchase it from Sephora!
22. Peter Thomas Roth AHA/ BHA Acne Clearing Gel
This exceptional chemical exfoliant gel combines 2% salicylic acid with 10% glycolic acid to remove dead skin very thoroughly. It will help remove blackheads as well as smooth out the skin and fade acne scars. It’s a fairly potent formula that should be used carefully but you can also expect quick results with it. It also has some excellent skin-brightening ingredients like licorice root extract and retinyl palmitate. It is available at Nordstrom.
23. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay
This is one of the best daily-use cleansers for blackhead prevention. It maintains the skin at a healthy pH level while removing oil build-up and preventing cloggings. It contains just a touch of red clay to absorb impurities, but otherwise, the formula is quite gentle as it is free of harsh surfactants. It is best for those with oily and combination skin and can work alone or as a second cleanser. You can buy it from Sephora.
24. By Terry Cellularose Cleansing Oil
Using this rose-scented cleansing oil is a dream. It is made of non-comedogenic mineral oil as its base but is then fortified with nourishing oils from jojoba and squalane. There are a few surfactants added to make sure it’ll come off with just a quick splash of water. It is perfect for a double cleanse ritual, and is especially useful in a pore-decongesting massage. Find it online through Net-a-Porter!
25. Fresh Umbrian Clay Pore Purifying Face Mask
This is another exceptional clay mask for deep cleaning the skin and removing blackheads. It is made with Umbrian clay, also known as fuller’s earth, which works beautifully to remove impurities from the skin and tighten the pores. Fuller’s earth is pretty intense, so other ingredients, like glycerin and butylene glycol, help counter its drying effects. It comes off quite easily with water when compared to other clay masks. It comes in either a tube or a jar, but we recommend the tube for ensuring everything is hygienic. Pick it up at Sephora!
26. Eminence Organic Skin Care Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser
Salicylic acid is not as effective in cleansers as it is in leave-on products, but if your skin is sensitive or if you’re already using retinoids then this might be the only way that your skin will tolerate this blackhead-removing ingredient. This gentle cleanser has a touch of salicylic acid, as well as antibacterial tea tree oil. It dissolves makeup and impurities without drying out the skin and is fabulous for daily use for all skin types. It is sold through Dermstore.
27. Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm
This balm cleanser is just as good for a blackhead removing facial massage as an oil cleanser. It is a fabulous choice for those who avoid mineral oils in their routine, as it is made with MCT oil and a variety of botanical oils. It makes the skin incredibly soft and moisturized and is very easy to rinse off with water. It contains a touch of papaya extract to promote a keratolytic effect. It will work for all skin types. Purchase it at Sephora!
Photos via @worldofcolorx, Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta