Five Tips to Remove Blackheads

January 17, 2023 by Jack

When you look in the mirror, do you wonder why your T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) is dotted with tiny dark spots? Shouldn’t you have clear skin after a certain age? Here’s the thing: Blackheads, a type of acne (acne vulgaris), aren’t reserved for teenagers with raging hormones. While acne affects more adult women than men due to hormonal shifts (menstruation, pregnancy, birth control pills), plenty of guys like you are wondering how to remove blackheads — and what causes them in the first place! You’ve got questions; we’ve got the answers. Clearer skin is just a quick read away.  

What is a Blackhead? 

Blackheads are a type of acne known as open comedones, which are small flesh-colored bumps typically found on the forehead, nose, and chin but can also appear on the cheeks, back, shoulders, and ears. Unlike more severe acne lesions like pimples, blackheads are non-inflammatory, which won’t cause discomfort. 

Surprise — the darkness you see from a blackhead is not trapped dirt. When your pores become clogged with dirt, excess oils, and dead skin cells, the melanin in these dead cells reacts with oxygen in the air and causes them to become black, resulting in a blackhead. Melanin is a substance in your body that produces pigmentation (color) in your skin, hair, and eyes.

What is a Whitehead? 

Whiteheads are closed comedones. When the hair follicles (pores) become completely blocked,  there isn’t a chance of oxidation happening, which is why they are white versus black. Despite the name, there isn’t a pus-filled head to pop like a pimple. In fact, they’re not poppable at all, so hands off. Bacteria from touching your face can develop into inflamed pimples.

Whiteheads are often formed due to using the wrong skincare products for your skin type, mainly formulas that are too heavy and form an occlusive layer on the top of the skin. In simpler terms, they form a barrier on top of the skin—not something an oily or acneic skin type can benefit from. 

What Causes Blackheads? 

Despite what you (and many other people) may think, poor hygiene is not the direct cause of blackheads. It’s actually the surplus of male hormones, like testosterone, that leads to excess oil production. A buildup of dirt, extra oil, and dead skin cells leads to an overgrowth of bacteria that ultimately causes blackheads. 

Blackheads on the Nose

While blackheads can appear anywhere on the face and parts of the body, they are most common on the nose because they are the most prominent pores on your face. While oil production is normal and necessary for protecting the skin, an excess of sebum (oil) can make your sniffer more susceptible to blackheads. 

Blackhead Removal

1. Leave Extraction to the Pros

As with pimples and pustules, you must execute caution when attempting to remove blackheads manually and avoid using a metal extractor. Even most skincare professionals steer clear because they can cause trauma to the skin (cuts, bruising) and push impurities deeper into the pore, resulting in bacterial infections that lead to breakouts. 

Leave safe manual extraction to the pros, like a licensed esthetician or dermatologist.

2. Cleanse — But Don’t Overdo It

Over-cleansing strips the skin of its natural oils, causing already overactive glands to produce even more oil.  Still, it’s an essential component of any skincare routine — 1-2 times a day, tops. Suds up when you need it, such as after a workout, excessive sweating, or any other activity that causes you to feel less than fresh. Otherwise, it’s perfectly ok to swap a deep cleanse with a balancing toner. 

Jack Black Picks: 

  • Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser with Kaolin Clay and Volcanic Ash is a multifunctional, clay-based cleanser that washes away dead skin cells, pore-clogging oil, and buildup, leaving skin fresher, smoother, and firmer. For deep-down cleaning, this 2-in-1 cleanser can also be used as a purifying mask when left to dry on the skin. 

  • Jack Black Oil Controlling Toner is an alcohol-free, balancing toner that controls excess oil and shine without overdrying skin. Alpha and beta hydroxy acids help minimize the appearance of pores while gently exfoliating skin to help reduce blackheads. Witch Hazel provides antioxidant benefits and also helps dissolve any pore-clogging residue.

3. Exfoliate Regularly

Along with excess testosterone, the buildup of excess oils, dirt, and dead skin cells promote blackhead production. Regular exfoliation can keep pores free from impurities and encourage a smoother, brighter complexion. The other products in your routine will work more efficiently because there aren’t dead skin cells in the way. 

Jack Black Pick: 

  • Face Buff Energizing Scrub effectively removes oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. Eco-friendly, biodegradable scrubbing particles help unclog pores and prevent ingrown hairs. It’s a facial scrub and pre-shave cleanser that exfoliates for a smoother complexion and a closer shave. 

4. Reach for a Spot Treatment 

A spot treatment is excellent for treating blackheads and acne-causing bacteria on contact. Use it on stubborn pimples or blackheads on the nose. To prevent overdrying your skin, pair with an ultra-light, hydrating yet non-pore-clogging product formulated with hyaluronic acid.  

Jack Black Picks: 

  • Clearing Spot treatment with 10% Sulfur is an adaptogen-rich spot treatment formulated with the maximum level of Sulfur (10%), a natural acne-fighting mineral. This gentle treatment is formulated to absorb excess oil, eliminate acne-causing bacteria, and soothe skin. 

  • CBD+HA Serum is an antioxidant-rich, hydrating serum that instantly absorbs to nourish and calm skin. Jack Black’s exclusive blend of CBD, Hyaluronic Acid, and plant-based oils replenishes moisture and revives dull skin

(H3) 5. Fight Blackheads Through Shaving 

Shaving comes with skin woes, such as razor bumps — which can be just as frustrating to deal with as blackheads and blemishes. Luckily, many of the same ingredients that prevent and treat bumps can do the same for various forms of acne, too. 

Jack Black Pick: 

  • Bump Fix Acne, Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Solution helps clear blackheads and reduce acne blemishes, thanks to 2% Salicylic Acid. The active ingredient dissolves dead skin cells and pore-clogging dirt and oil. Lactic Acid exfoliates smooth and softens the skin. Hydrating and soothing ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid — a lightweight moisturizer with excellent water-binding capabilities — counters dryness and irritation.

(H2) How to Prevent Blackheads

Blackheads may not result from poor hygiene, but there’s no denying that a solid skincare routine can help promote a healthy, clear complexion. Cleansing is the cornerstone of any regime, but a non-comedogenic moisturizer is vital for preventing blackheads. 

Jack Black Picks: 

  • Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser is a 2-in-1 cleanser and toner that gently removes deep-down dirt and oil without over-drying. Rosemary Extract, which helps control oiliness and helps fight bacteria on the skin’s surface. Witch Hazel has astringent properties that help remove dirt and excess oils that tend to clog pores and cause oily skin, blackheads, and breakouts.

  • Clean Break Oil-Free Moisturizer leaves skin refreshed and healthier-looking with a natural, shine-free finish. The lightweight burst of moisture delivers antioxidant protection with Organic White Tea and Sea Kelp. Niacinamide helps improve skin tone and texture. 

As you tweak your winterize your skincare routine, don’t forget to add in a few of Jack Black’s essential blackhead-banishing products to help keep your skin clean and clear all year round. Don’t have a skincare routine yet? Check out our Skin Saviors set. It has all the basic essentials you need to have cleaner, healthier-looking skin.