Skin breakouts are never fun, and while we can accept that perfection should be self-defined, there are blemishes like blackheads — a mild form of acne — that can be annoying. These little dark spots are unlike moles or beauty marks and they often occur when pores become clogged and plugged with oil, bacteria or dead skin cells. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), if the pore closes up (closed comedo), you’ll see a white, yellowish, or flesh-colored bump which is a white head. But if it stays open, you’ll see a blackhead — the color is due to melanin (skin pigment) reacting to the oxygen in the air. It isn’t dirt so resist the urge to scrub your face. Luckily there are accessible over-the-counter methods for treating and staving them off. “As a person who suffered from bad skin and being on ‘the other side of the business’ one of my favorite at-home skincare devices that I’ve tried is the ultrasonic scrubber,” says Masha Amelina PA-C, owner of Visage Sculpture, Newton, MA. “Hydrafacials are my go-to when it comes to medspa treatments,” she says.
And luckily there are some also at-home devices. Here are some of the best blackhead remover tools to keep your skin looking smooth.
1. Tweezerman Skin Care Tool
If you are tempted to use your fingers to physically remove your blackheads, a better route is an item like the Tweezerman Skin Care Tool. Your fingernails can contain bacteria and microbes so using them may add to the problem. The Tweezerman has a long, flat loop that can roll out clogs in your pores. Follow the directions and use it with care. It works best after a warm steamy shower to soften and open pores. Sterilize the tool as directed before and after each use.
2. Terresa Blackhead Remover Pimple Popper Tool Kit
For a minimal investment, you can purchase a complete kit. The Terresa Blackhead Remover Pimple Popper Tool Kit features eight types of tools meant to remove blackheads, whiteheads, acne, various, blemishes and zits. The handles are anti-slip to help reduce your chances of damaging your skin. They are also made with dermatologist surgical grade steel, but you should still clean them per directions before and after each use.
3. Miserwe Skin Scrubber
Since the Miserwe ultrasonic skin scrubber uses high-frequency vibrations to clean and exfoliate the skin. “Ultrasound is well known for breaking the impurities down,” said Amelina. Still, it is best to follow the directions which include using it slowly. It is best to be mindful and use caution to avoid bruising and skin irritation. It has a timing function that should turn off after five minutes to help avoid overuse.
4. Proactiv Facial Cleansing Brush
Proactiv is well known for offering products that treat acne, and the brand’s facial cleansing brush can help you wash away impurities. It has an exfoliation brush that can help deep clean with continuous 360-degree rotation at two speeds. It promises to clean your face in two minutes or less. “This product changed my skin and fast,” Amelina. “Proactive cleansing scrub keeps the oil off gently and pores clean,” she said.
5. Bioré Nose+Face, Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
6. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Adapalene Topical Retinoid Oil Free Acne Treatment
The AAD states that dermatologists recommend the OTC retinoid Adapalene, which can be found in products such as La Roche-Posay Unscented Effaclar Adapalene Topical Retinoid Oil-Free Acne Treatment. In addition to helping to prevent blackheads, whiteheads, clogged pores and acne blemishes, retinoids are often recommended to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles so that you may see an improvement in your skin’s overall tone and texture.
7. PanOxyl Anti-Microbial Acne Foaming Wash with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide
Since blackheads are a form of mild acne, you can also try a face wash that contains bacteria-fighting benzoyl peroxide. There are products like PanOxyl Anti-Microbial Acne Foaming Wash. It has 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, is non-comedogenic, dye, paraben, nut oil, and extract-free. It also contains emollients to combat dryness which can at times occur when using anti-acne face washes.
8. Neutrogena Exfoliating Blackhead Salicylic Acid Face Scrub
There are also products such as Neutrogena Exfoliating Blackhead Salicylic Acid Face Scrub that can fight blackheads. Its exfoliators can clean your pores, while the salicylic acid acne medicine can remove dirt, grime, and dead skin cells.