11 Simple Remedies to Get Rid of Blackheads
After doing the list on home remedies for acne, we started getting a lot of questions about blackheads in particular. Common and annoying, blackheads occur when your pores become clogged with excess sebum (an oil created by the sebaceous glands that keeps skin supple) and dead skin cells. The difference between a black head and a white head is simply whether or not the pore is open or closed. If the pore is open, the plug of sebum/skin cells oxidizes as it is in contact with the oxygen in the air, which turns it black. Blackheads are not caused by dirt. Let’s make that clear from the beginning. Scrubbing your face obsessively is not a good way to get rid of your blackheads, and is only going to make it worse as you’ll just end up drying out your skin, which will cause more oil to be created to make up for everything you stripped away, and…well it’s a vicious cycle. For this reason, don’t use some of these remedies more than 2-3 times a week, such as the sugar scrub and pore strips. I know it can be hard to resist, but your skin will be better off this way.
1. Clay Time
Bentonite clay is a mineral rich healing substance that has been used for centuries to treat a number of ailments, chiefly skin related. Because of its molecules “electrical charge” when wet, it does an amazing job of drawing out oils or other impurities locked in your pores. When you apply the mask your skin gets to drink in all the minerals, while the clay simultaneously draws out the blackhead. It also helps with circulation, which helps with overall skin tone and health. You can mix the clay with water or apple cider vinegar, maybe sticking to the former if you have dry or sensitive skin. Experiment! This mask will make you feel like your face is tightening as it dries. Whether or not you let it dry entirely is up to your preference-I tend to let it dry most of the way and then just moisturize afterwards, but other people find that dries their skin out and irritates them.
You will need…
-1 tablespoon (roughly) bentonite clay
-Water or ACV
Mix in enough water or ACV to form a paste that is thick but still applicable. Using clean fingertips cover your face with a thinner layer of paste and let it sit for 10-25 minutes, depending on how long you are letting it dry. Rinse off with lukewarm water and moisturize as usual.
2. Egg White Mask
Egg whites form an easy mask that can be used to temporarily tighten pores, thus reducing chances of future blackheads, and will also remove current blackheads. Egg whites are also rich in nutrients for your skin, and are a little less drying than some other home remedies for blackheads.
You will need…
-Facial tissue or toilet paper
-A small bowl
-A clean towel
Separate the yolk from the white and rinse your face. Pat your face dry and then apply a thin layer of egg white over your skin. There are two ways to go from here-
Place a strip of facial tissue or toilet paper over the wet egg white, being sure to press it onto your face gently. Allow the first layer to dry. Carefully apply a second layer of egg white over the tissue (try dipping your fingers in it and dabbing it on so the tissue doesn’t slide around a bunch. Let this layer dry as well before applying a third (optional.) When the mask is dry, your face may feel tight-this is supposed to happen. Peel the tissue off, and then gently wash your face to remove any residue. Pat dry and moisturize as usual.
Alternatively, you can leave out the tissue and simply apply 3-5 layers of egg white, being sure to let each layer dry in between applications. If you do not let the layers dry, this will not work!
3. Honey and Milk Pore Strips
Milk and honey both have properties that are good for skin. Honey has antibacterial properties, and the lactic acid in milk is said to help keep skin soft and supple. The main purpose here though is, when mixed together, to act as an adhesive.
You will need…
-1 tablespoon of organic raw honey
-1 teaspoon of milk
-Clean strip of cotton
Mix 1 tablespoon of organic raw honey with 1 teaspoon of milk. Heat it for 5-10 seconds in the microwave, and then mix again to blend thoroughly. When it’s a comfortable temperature, apply a thin layer over blackheads, and then gently but firmly pat a strip of dry, clean, cotton onto it. Let dry (to play it safe, wait at least 20 minutes) and carefully peel the strip away. Rinse with cold water and moisturize as usual.
4. Cinnamon & Honey Strips
It sounds like a delicious candy, but cinnamon and honey make a wonderful combination for getting rid of blackheads. Again, the anti-bacterial agents in the honey can help keep away bacteria that are causing acne (not necessarily blackheads, but still a bonus) as well as act as the adhesive to pull out anything clogging your pores. Cinnamon improves circulation, and this increased blood flow gives your skin a smooth, healthy, glow.
You will need…
– 1 part cinnamon powder
-1 part organic, raw, honey
-Clean strips of cotton
Mix the honey and the cinnamon together until you have enough paste to cover the affected area. Apply in a thin layer over the blackheads and then press a strip of clean cotton over it. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes before removing and rinsing your face. Don’t forget to follow up with a moisturizer!
5. H2O Daily Blackhead Treatment
While pore strips and face masks work wonders, they can only be used several times a week to avoid drying your skin out to much. If you want to do something daily to prevent your blackheads, a gentle rinsing with water 1-2 times a day is the way to go. This keeps things that can make your pores appear larger-such as excess sebum and dead skin-flushed away and your pores clear. Be sure to use a light moisturizer when you are done to prevent your skin from trying to produce excess sebum to accommodate for dryness.
You will need…
-A clean fluffy towel
Twice a day splash your face with clean, fresh water. Pat dry with a soft towel and apply moisturizer as usual. I suggest doing this early afternoon (so you wash away anything that has built up in the first part of the day) and evening, but morning and evening works as well.
6. Toner for Tighter Pores
Since blackheads are caused by open, clogged, pores reacting to oxygen, it only makes sense that “shrinking” your pores down will help. Lemon juice is just the astringent substance needed to get the job done, however, it can lighten skin temporarily and it does make you sensitive to the sun, so load up on sunscreen if you plan on using this method in the summertime. If you have sensitive skin, try diluting the lemon juice with water first.
You will need…
-A small bottle
Rinse your face and pat dry. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bottle and then use just enough to dampen a cotton ball. Apply to affected areas 3-4 times a week, at bedtime. When you wake up, rinse your face with luke-warm water and apply moisturizer as usual. Store the rest of the juice in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be aware-the juice can sting sometimes!
7. Sweat It Out
Although sweat glands and hair follicle pores aren’t the same thing, sweating can still help minimize blackheads. When you work up enough of a sweat, the liquid naturally flows over and softens/flushes anything clogging your pores. It is absolutely vital, however, that you wash your face immediately before and immediately afterwards, otherwise the affect can be detrimental. If you leave on make up or anything before this the sweat can carry it into your pores, and if you don’t wash afterwards not only is all that stuff still in there but now there’s dried sweat blocking up your pores as well. So on one hand sweat can cleanse pores, on the other; it could also clog them. Be sure to do it right from the start!
You will need…
-Motivation to exercise OR a steam room/sauna
-A clean fluffy towel
Rinse your face, than work up a good sweat. Rinse your face with water, than pat dry with a clean fluffy towel. Moisturize as usual.
8. Baking Soda & Water
A little baking soda goes a long way for blackheads, but don’t overdo it, as it can seriously dry out your skin thanks to its saltiness. While pH may or may not have a role to play in blackheads, the biggest reason baking soda helps is because of it’s small, fine, granules that can work as a natural and inexpensive way to occasionally exfoliate and remove anything clogging your pores (and therefore causing blackheads.)
You will need…
-1 part baking soda
Mix water with enough baking soda to form a thick, but spreadable, paste. Using a gentle circular motion, massage the paste into your skin. Rinse thoroughly with plain water, pat your face dry, and then make sure you moisturize.
9. Cleansing Sugar Scrub
Sometimes all you need is a good exfoliating followed up by moisturizing. Exfoliating does one very important job-it sloughs away dead skin cells. These are the skin cells that could potentially clog up your pores, leading to acne, whiteheads, and of course, blackheads. It also temporarily revives circulation and it leaves you with a healthy glow and soft skin. If possible use jojoba oil, as it is the oil (technically liquid wax) that most closely mimics our skins own sebum. If you don’t have jojoba oil, grapeseed, olive, or sweet almond oil are all fine substitutes
You will need…
-1 cup of sugar (brown or white)
-4 tablespoons of jojoba oil
-An airtight glass jar
-Essential oils (optional)
Mix 4 tablespoons of oil into 1 cup of sugar, stirring until everything is fully incorporated. Add several drops of essential oil for fragrance if you like. Store in a cool dark place in a glass jar for up to the shelf-life of the oil you chose to use (although if for some reason I haven’t used it all, I personally make a fresh batch after about 1 ½ months.) Stir before using and then wet face, scoop some scrub onto your fingertips, and massage it over your skin in circular motions. Rinse with water and moisturize as usual. Do this no more than 2-3 times a week, otherwise you risk drying out and/or irritating your skin.
10. Steam It Out
Steam may not literally open your pores (see blackhead myths below) but it can help reduce the appearance of them by softening up trapped sebum/dead skin cells that can fill out your pores and form blackheads.
You will need…
-A large bowl
-A soft clean towel
Fill a bowl with boiling water. Let it cool briefly, then cover your head with a towel and lean over it for 5-10 minutes to allow the steam to loosen anything in your pores (form the towel like a tent so no steam escapes.) Be careful not to get to close or you risk burning your skin. When you are done, rinse your face with warm water and pat firmly but gently dry with a clean towel (or gently wipe away the blackheads.) Moisturize as usual. Repeat this several times a week, or as needed.
Skin care is a balancing act-keep that in mind whenever you’re doing something that involves cleansing or washing (or pore strips.) Overdoing it is going to make matter much worse in the long run. Pore strips are great when you really need them, but it’s best to try and prevent the blackheads in the first place by keeping up a good skin care regime.
11. Apple Cider Vinegar & Mint Toner
Make your own toner by mixing together ACV and crushed mint leaves. The apple cider vinegar can help breakdown the stuff causing the blackhead, while the mint creates a cooling “tightening” sensation on your skin. If the area around the blackhead is swollen or irritated (e.g. you were picking at it even though you shouldn’t be) the menthol can help tame the inflammation. Inflammation can make it harder for whatever is clogging your pores to come loose in the first place.
You will need…
-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
-3 tablespoons of finely chopped/crushed fresh mint leaves
-8 ounces of water
Combine vinegar and mint in a small bottle and let it sit for 1 week in cool dark place. Strain, add a cup of water, and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Use nightly, rinsing your face first with water and then using clean cotton balls to apply the toner. Leave on overnight or up to several hours (if you have sensitive skin) and rinse off in the morning. Follow up with a moisturizer.
2 Big Blackhead Myths
Like acne and so many other skin conditions, myths abound about how to get rid of blackheads. Below are the 2 most common.
Blackheads Are Caused By Dirt: Just in case you missed this part in the intro, blackheads are not caused by dirt. If you have larger pores, the dead skin/sebum build-up reacts with oxygen turning the substance black. Voila-a blackhead! A whitehead occurs when the pores’ opening is smaller and the sebum plug does not react to the oxygen.
You Can Shrink Your Pores: Nope, not possible. Pores are not muscles, therefore they cannot open or close. They are simply holes that house the hair follicles and sebaceous glands that are covering your body. Some things, however, can make pores appear smaller-such as lemon juice, which is an astringent and causes contraction of skin tissue. Otherwise, keeping them clear from blockages that can stretch them wider is the way to go. Genetics, age, and sun exposure can all play a role in how large your pores appear, but there really is no magic trick to making them “shrink.”
What is a pore strip?
Some of these remedies are homemade versions of pore strips, but heres a brief explanation so you can experiment with making some on your own. Pore strips are made up of some sort of adhesive, and something to attach said adhesive to (at home, this can be gauze or even a strip of clean cotton cut from an old shirt.) When you pull the strip off, you pull the plug of sebum and dead skin cells out of the pore, and voila! The blackheads are gone. Keep in mind this does not prevent blackheads-only gets rid of them after they have popped up. The nice thing about making them at home is they save a decent amount of money, and you don’t have to worry about commercial adhesives on your face.
P.S. Make sure to take a look at the Everyday Roots Book with 350+ pages of the best home remedies, natural beauty recipes, homemade cleaners and diy household products. View Remedies
By Claire GoodallClaire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything 🙂 Meet Claire
We Want to Hear from You! Let us know which remedies work and do not work for you, ask a question or leave a comment:
Superb and splendid!
The cinnamon and honey strips really did wonders to my face. My face is really looking very smooth, healthy, and glowing.
Please, how often do i use it on my face?
I tried the cinnamon and honey strips and it worked perfectly. I used it 3 times a week and it worked out awesomely.
WOW first time using the vinegar and baking soda for my toenails worked wonders. Also, do you have any remedy for severe HOT FLASHES?? I am in my 70’s and suffer greatly. Thank you
These are great remedies for skin care, even without problems. I avoid remedies with alcohol and peroxide. The natural variety that are listed, most of the items are already in the kitchen. Thank you for sharing, enjoy the fresh clean happy face
Please understand that honey is antimicrobial because it is so high in solutes that it creates a hypertonic environment for microbes. Simply smearing it on one’s face is unlikely to have an antimicrobial effect because it is the sheer concentration of solutes in honey that makes it antimicrobial. The act of applying it to one’s face not only dilutes it, but also does not provide enough contact time for bactericidal or even bacteristatic effect.
wow the honey and milk on my face is very good. it softened my face like a babies.
i did the one of the egg white and tissue paper! it really worked…after peeling the tissue i looked at it against the light and i could see the blackheads..i did the procedure 3 times..i will be doing it every week form now on. it’s really simple!
How many times a week did u do it anto.
Tissue paper and egg white is amazing . I’m pregnant and have been breaking out VERY bad . Has never been so bad before. My entire face was covered in black heads. This pulled them all right out first try. Very happy. Will be doing this once a week from now on !
I wouldn’t recommend the sugar scrub. Yes it exfoliated but it leaves microscopic cuts behind. you’re trying to heal the skin not tear it. A better exfoliant that’s much finer(if you must exfoliate) baking soda does wonders it also whitens as it exfoliates so win/win if you have dark or acne spots!
I suffer from blackheads so bad I’m afraid to look someone directly in the face. People have pointed them out before, and it is embarrassing. I actually have one that is directly in the center of my nose that they all seem to notice first. I have tried picking it until a scab, and healing it over. Still comes back. I have tried just popping it, and it comes out, but shortly a few days later. It comes back, and the hole it leaves in the time it takes to grow back is ridiculously hideous. I have no self worth when it comes to my body regardless. It would be nice to at least have a good looking face. I tried the “Sodium Bicarbonate Paste” I noticed instantly a change in texture, and appearance after the whole process was finished, but still the same unsightly gigantic poor hole. Is it possible coco butter, or anything really would help clear it up. Kinda like lighting scars???
Hey Keith, going back to how blackheads are formed, I guess just monitor that part where that blackhead always forms! Use facial oil blotters to blot oil away at regular intervals. Make sure get enough sleep every night too. Regular and sufficient sleep can do wonders for your skin. Hope it gets better. x
Can I just point out that at the bottom you said it was impossible to “shrink pores” yet earlier on in this list you said you could with lemon?
Yup, I explained at the end why it works and appears to “shrink” them-lemon juice is an astringent. An astringent will cause contraction of body tissue-usually, and in this case, referring to skin. It cannot truly shrink your pores, however it CAN temporarily make them appear smaller. This is also why I put “shrinking” in quotes earlier in the list. I hope that cleared it up!
Yes lemon juice does shrink them temporarily. I can’t wait to try the egg whites.
Hello I’m 53 years old I’ve been fighting black head’s most of my life. I’m going to try the egg treatment. Thank you for sharing idea I hope it works. Black heads look awful.
hi claire, i have blackheads on my face as well besiedes nose , can i apply you honey n milk remedy to the whole face?
You mentioned about moisturizing after treatment, is there any recommendation on any home made moisturizer?
Help! My cinnamon+honey mixture is wayyyy darker and more runny than yours..what did I do wrong?
Mackenzie, it could be the honey. Did you use raw organic honey? That honey seems to be white-ish and thick. If you use regular honey then you get the liquidy consistency.
I used what I had at home and mixed it all up: lime, sugar (for scrubbing), honey (not raw, but fresh from my uncle’s beehives/honey farm, and cinnamon. It is very dark. It was thinner than expected so I simply added more cinnamon.
I don’t have raw honey but I have filtered honey will it do the same thing
Maybe you put too much cinnamon or either the cinnamon or honey you used is darker… Nothing to worry about 🙂
You might have to put a bit to more honey in. As it it the honey that makes it sticky and dense.
Every medical practitioner & webpages as well as you have quoted that blackheads are caused because of sebum ,oil etc. myself & entire family has got dry & extremely dry skin, but still me & my husband has got lots of blackheads & its raising… will try your remedies but is stress a cause or any thing from your side to improve the situation? Spa people simply say it can’t be removed just apply make-up to cover it up, but am sure its going to worsen the whole scenario..
i ve got the same problem. I dont know what to do because i have very dry and sensitive skin and still having this blackheads :/ please can you give me any advise how to get rid of them without even more drying my skin ?
Does the egg white really work if it does how many times to I use it. Also does the baking soda and water work if yes how many times to I use it
Right before my wedding my eyelash girl told me that girls in Vietnam use egg white before their wedding. I can’t stand the smell of eggs so I couldn’t do it. However, if its good enough for an entire culture, its good enough for me! 😀
Can you baking powder instead of baking soda? Because I don’t own baking soda, but do own baking powder
baking soda costs one dollar at the store. just get some. baking powder is NOT the same.
M 18 ,due to dry skin ., wrinkles are appearing on my face … Wht to do … My skin is sensitive nd do have many whiteheads …
Honey, lemon and cinnamon is delicous! I keep licking my lips!
Thank you for this article, miss Claire!
Amazing! I use the lemon trick myself ever since and I can’t believe it is also featured in this post! In my site I also show the personal blackheads where you can see the results right after the process. See my face. Be my judge 🙂
I am in the process of the egg whites I think I have a good feeling about it. But if it doesn’t work does anyone else recommend a different one?
how long do i leave the egg white on my nose through each layer?
from where i can get the strips…..not finding it
I just tried the egg one and it worked great but now that my face is all clean can someone please tell me if the one wear you put mashed up bananas and apple cider vinegar on a towl and sit over a bowl of steaming water works?!?!?!?!?!?!?
I’m 54 and still have a bad complexion and I’ve tried all the tricks to get rid of them. For the last few years I have gotten more white heads under the skin which are a pain to remove. Only thing I have found to help is medication my doctor prescribed that I take 2ce a day. Not saying some of these tricks don’t help others but none have worked for me since I was 14. My doctor says theirs no way to treat them from the outside as most of the problem is caused from the inside. I must say the pills work and have worked well in drying up and healing my bad acne. Like a person said once “If they all work then why is their so many of them”? Because the over the counter stuff doesn’t work. Just saying….
I tried the honey and milk one but it didn’t get rid of the black heads, but it did soften my skin. Im going to try the egg whites now. Fingers crossed!
The egg white & tissue is my favourite! ive used it for weeks & found it to work best if you use a facial steamer first then just cover your face in the egg whites and tissue (messy) I leave it on atleast 45 minutes until its really hard & you’ll be amazed seeing all the tiny blackheads on the tissue afterwards!
I also have tried the Elmer’s glue. You know when you’re a kid and you spread glue on your hand and once dry peel it off to find your prints and such? Well the tackiness in Elmer’s glue works just the same. I layer a light coating on a blackhead area and allow to dry. Peel away and then treat with the organic honey and milk mixture. I have been told that the lemon juice (citric acid) only bleaches the blackheads. That may or may not be correct – but I’m extremely happy with my glue – plus I let it dry on my fingers and peel them as well like way back when i was a kid. I still get a kick out of it.
If I don’t have any cotton strips, can I just rub it on my face let it sit for a while thenow wash it off?
Hello. The egg white one was really good, and the blackheads on my nose are clean. However the enlarged pores are still there, is there any way I can get them back to their normal size?
love all the comments. especiallly the egg whites and tissue remedy for blackheads..awwesome result and its cheap