6 ways to get Rid of Blackheads on Your Nose, Chin and Forehead

I’ve been in a war against blackheads since I first discovered BiorĂ© pore strips back in high school. Seeing that black gunk is just so satisfying! According to facialist Cecilia Wong from Cecilia Wong Skincare in New York City, those tiny dots are a sign you need to treat your skin ASAP. “A blackhead is a clump of oil and dirt mixed together in a pore,” she tells SELF. “If you don’t take care of your pores, eventually the dirt and oil will accumulate. If someone has a lot of blackheads (or open comedones), you can feel it—the skin is rough, scratchy, and bumpy." More bad news: Dirty pores can also mean reduced skin elasticity in the future. “A pore is like a rubber band—the more you stretch it out, the less elasticity it has,” Wong says. “Once your pores are stretched out to a certain degree, they won’t close back up.” Combination or very oily skin types are most prone to blackheads on the nose, as the sebaceous glands produce an abundance of oils in the pores on the skin of the nose, Marnie B. Nussbaum, M.D., New York City–based medical, cosmetic and laser dermatologist, tells SELF. Lately, with the rise of pimple-popping videos on the Internet, there have been a lot of blackhead removal hacks floating around. We've tried a few of them here on SELF, such as the grits exfoliation technique from Reddit and the DIY gelatin mask. But at the end of the day, we've found the best methods for blackhead removal and prevention are a lot simpler. Here are 15 helpful tips to help get rid of blackheads on your nose, chin, and forehead.

1. Wash your face at least twice a day. 
This seems like basic advice, but cleansing can go a long way to help prevent dirt and oil from accumulating in your pores. Rinse skin in the morning to get rid of any bacteria that might have transferred to your skin from your pillowcase. You'll need to cleanse again at night to get rid of the makeup and dirt that coats skin throughout the day.

2. Wash immediately after exercising as well.
Excess sweat can cause blackheads, so it’s important to remove all dirt, sweat, and oil after a workout to avoid clogging your pores even more and forming additional blackheads, Dr. Nussbaum says. 

3. Clean out dirty pores with a strip. 
Pore strips are like a Band-Aid, using adhesive to rip away dead skin cells and dirt. Wong stands by the effectiveness of pore strips to get rid of blackheads quickly. But keep in mind, these are for newer breakouts. “Pore strips only really work for blackheads that haven’t been in pores for a long period of time,” she says.

4. Wear oil-free sunscreen.
Just because you have oily or combination skin doesn’t mean you should skimp on sunscreen. SPF products are crucial to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Experts recommend sticking to oil-free formulations that won't weigh down the skin or clog your pores.

5. Exfoliate two or three times a week to dissolve dead skin.
Dead skin is one of the many things that can clog your pores. Wong recommends a vigilant exfoliation routine using a washcloth (beginner level), a mild enzyme cleanser (intermediate), or a glycolic peel (advanced, as it is chemical exfoliation). Plan to exfoliate twice a week, but some derms even say you can go up to three times a week if you have oily skin that is prone to blackheads. Just make sure to moisturize after every exfoliating session. “You have to moisturize because exfoliants tends to be very drying to skin,” Wong explains. “If your skin is really dry, your oil production overcompensates, creating more oil and more blackheads.”

6. Chemical exfoliation (such as acid pads or a peel) are a good way to avoid irritating the skin by overexfoliating. 
Gentle exfoliating acids, like glycolic or alpha hydroxy acids, are an effective way to break down the dead skin and oil clogging the pore, Lily Talakoub, M.D., dermatologist at McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center in Virginia, tells SELF. Other acids like lactic acid and salicylic acid can have exfoliating properties that help prevent excess oil and dirt from getting trapped in the follicles, Dr. Nussbaum says.