Blackheads – how can I get rid of them and prevent them from recurring?

Blackheads are annoying because they can be so persistent! Just when you thought they are gone, these pesky little things creep right back at the same spots and are here to stay.

While it may be hard to eradicate them fully, fortunately, we can prevent their recurrence by practising simple skin care habits and using the right tools.

How do blackheads occur?


Dead skin cells, oil and dirt clog up our pores. If the pore remains closed, it forms a whitehead. But if the pore is open, the substance is oxidised by the air, forming blackheads.

Blackheads usually occur on the oilier areas of your skin such as the T-zone and may also be seen in other parts of the body such as the back, chest and neck areas.

How to remove blackheads?

While it is tempting to pick at or attempt to extract the blackheads on your own, doing so may result in permanent scarring.

Here are some gentler and safer ways that are more effective for treating blackheads without damaging the skin.

1. Cleanse


Cleansing with an effective facial cleanser helps to both prevent and remove any build-up of dead skin cells, dirt and oils.

Some may think that removing all oils from the skin is the most direct way to reduce blackheads or acne, but harsh oil-stripping cleansers may do the very opposite. In fact, dehydrated skin causes more sebum production.

Look for a hydrating facial wash instead that cleanses thoroughly without being too drying. These types of cleansers should leave your skin feeling soft (not tight or squeaky clean), which also make removing blackheads easier.

Remember to always cleanse before bed to remove any makeup or sunscreen residue. Take note to cleanse your face after exercising as well to prevent sweat from getting trapped along with oil and dirt.

2. Exfoliate


Use a physical exfoliator like Miraglo regularly to remove dead skin cells. An ultrafine microfibre cloth, Miraglo gently reaches into the pores to trap and remove dead skin cells and dirt with gentle rubbing or lifting strokes.

Some experienced DR’s Secret users have also managed to gently push out and remove blackheads with the help of Miraglo. If you are a DR’s Secret user, consult your skin buddy or check out Miraglo to understand how it works.

3. Spot treat with Salicylic Acid

Spot serum

Salicylic Acid is a skin care ingredient often used to treat acne. It is especially effective for clearing out pores by gently exfoliating the skin surface while penetrating into pores to remove oil. It can help to both prevent clogs from forming and clear out clogs that have already formed.

Spot Serum 8 contains Salicylic Acid, Burdock Root and Lemon Peel extracts and can be used to spot treat on affected areas or on your T-zone if you have oilier skin.

If you have dry skin, use Spot Serum 8 with Toner T2 to hydrate and soften the skin for easier removal of the blackheads.

4. Refine your pores

Refining serum

After the clogs have been cleared, prevent the appearance of enlarged pores by using a pore refining serum – Refining Serum 9.

This botanical serum contains natural astringents such as Witch Hazel Leaf, Chestnut Shell, Willow Bark and more that can help to minimise the appearance of pores and smoothen your skin texture.

More blackhead removal tips

1. Avoid using pore strips as those tend to target only the skin surface without clearing out the pores in full. Some pore strips may be overly dry and tight on the skin, causing tears on your skin when you peel them off.

2. Those with oilier skin may also consider using a clay mask once a week for better sebum control. Clay masks help to gently draw out impurities and absorb excess oil without damaging the skin. Always ensure that you hydrate well after using to prevent your skin from drying out.

3. If you find blackheads recurring at the same spots, chances are that these areas could be prone to dirt and oils. It could be around your forehead, hairline or back where your hair touches frequently. Look out for these spots and tweak your lifestyle habits – washing your hair more frequently or avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes for prolonged time where sweat and oil may accumulate.