Blackhead Removal: 9 Steps to Get Rid of Blackheads on the Face

Updated in March 2024

​Blackheads, also known as comedones, are one of the most common skin disorders. They are caused mainly by increased sebum production, which ca clog the pores, especially in the face, neck and torso. The accumulation of sebum and increased oiliness can also cause skin inflammation and infection, leading to the appearance of acne. For this reason, it is essential to start treating blackheads early and with a specialized professional.

Some care, such as washing the skin with cold water and mild soap, exfoliating and using natural products to reduce skin oil, such as green clay, are recommended to achieve healthier and more uniform skin. These methods can help to remove blackheads and prevent the appearance of pimples.

Cosmetic treatments, such as deep skin cleansing, chemical or crystal peeling and microneedling, also help to reduce the appearance of blackheads. They are normally indicated when daily care is not enough. It is essential that these procedures are recommended by a dermatologist or a professional specializing in advanced cosmetics.

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How to remove blackheads at home

To remove blackheads, it is important to be very careful, as incorrect techniques can lead to skin damage.

To remove blackheads at home, you can follow these steps:

  1. Wash your face with cold or warm water and neutral soap.
  2. Exfoliate the skin, using light circular movements for about 3 minutes. Then rinse the exfoliant from the skin with warm water.
  3. Apply steam to the skin for about 5 minutes, repeating this technique until the skin is very moist.
  4. Wrap the tips of your index fingers with sterile gauze and, using light movements, bring your fingers close to the blackhead you want to remove.
  5. Apply light pressure to the blackhead, without causing redness or irritation to the skin.
  6. Carry out the procedure a maximum of 2 times on each blackhead you want to eliminate
  7. Wash your face with warm or cold water to eliminate the sebum present on the skin.
  8. Apply a tonic to the treated area with a cotton pad.
  9. Apply specific sunscreen for each skin type. 

If it is not possible to remove all the sebum present in the blackheads, discontinue the procedure and seek help from a qualified professional, who will perform the appropriate technique.

You should not try to remove or squeeze blackheads with your nails, as this can damage the skin and lead to infection, as nails are typically a source of dirt and impurities.

Essential daily care for blackheads

Regular, daily care is essential to combat the appearance of blackheads and keep your skin hydrated and healthy for longer. You should consider the following to prevent and treat blackheads:

1. Wash your face daily

Washing your face every day is essential for reducing skin oiliness and eliminate blackheads more quickly. This can also help to unclog pores, and also prevent new blackheads and pimples.

To clean your skin correctly, use running water and a mild facial soap or cleansing lotion, specific to your skin type. Apply to the skin using gentle circular movements with your fingertips for about 3 minutes. Then, rinse off the excess water with a soft towel, without rubbing the area.

It is important to be careful not to wash your face more than twice a day, as this can dry out the skin and lead to more oil production, causing more blackheads, inflammation or skin rashes.

2. Exfoliate your skin

Exfoliation is essential to eliminate dead cells, present in the first layer of the skin. It also helps to reduce oiliness and sebum production. The small granules that are found in exfoliants, or natura exfoliants, like brown sugar, coffee grounds or salt, stimulate blood circulation and deeply clean the layers of the skin, eliminating blackheads more quickly. It is recommended to exfoliate at least once a week. 

Also recommended: Sugar Scrubs (and Other Natural Exfoliant Recipes to Make at Home)


  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, salt or coffee grounds
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil

How to prepare: mix the ingredients in a clean, dry container until you obtain a homogeneous mixture. Then, apply to the area to be treated with light circular movements for around 5 minutes. It is important to pay attention to the most sensitive areas of the skin, especially below the eyes, to prevent injuries. Finally, remove the exfoliant with cold or warm water and pat dry with a soft towel. You can perform this exfoliation at least once a week.

3. Apply steam to the skin

When steam is applied to the skin, it causes the pores to dilate. This humidifies the skin, increases blood circulation and facilitates the absorption of the active ingredients present in creams and masks. All these factors play a role in the removal of existing blackheads, and also prevents the appearance of new ones.

To perform the technique, pour boiling water into a basin, and hover your face over it, without touching the water. You can additionally cover your head and the bowl with a towel. This vaporization must be done for 5 minutes, before starting to remove blackheads.

4. Apply a green clay mask

Green clay is a powerful cleansing agent for combination or oily skin, as it has antioxidant properties. It helps to eliminate toxins present in the outermost layer of the skin, in addition to gradually removing impurities and excess oil that could cause new blackheads.

A green clay mask can be made by mixing 2 tablespoons of clay with ½ cup of filtered water or iced chamomile tea, until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Apply the mask to the area you want to treat and leave it to act for around 30 minutes. Then, rinse off with cold water.

This mask should be applied once a week.

5. Apply a relaxing aloe mask

Aloe vera is a great option for oily skin with blackheads. It has nourishing, regenerating and moisturizing properties, helping to remove oil and impurities and preventing the appearance of new blackheads.

Also recommended: Aloe Vera: 12 Health Benefits, Side Effects & Contraindications

How to prepare: To make this mask, remove the gel from the inside of the aloe leaf and apply it directly to the skin to be treated. Leave it to act for 30 minutes. You can add 5 drops of chamomile oil, lavender oil or rosehip oil, as essential oils help to soothe and regenerate the skin. Then remove the mask with cold or warm water, and pat dry with a soft towel. Because of its relaxing effect on the skin, this mask can be done right after the clay mask, once a week.

6. Use a natural toner

A toner is a substance that helps eliminate deeper impurities from the skin, which have not been removed by water, soap or cleansing lotions. They also reduce oiliness and help control the skin's pH, which can play a role in removing blackheads.


  • 1 cup of iced chamomile tea
  • 5 drops of tea tree oil

How to prepare: mix the ingredients in a clean, dry container and then, using a cotton pad, wipe over the skin until all dirt is removed. You do not need to wash the skin with soap and water afterwards. This natural astringent can be used not only to eliminate impurities, but also to remove makeup at the end of the day.

7. Apply sunscreen daily

It is essential to apply sunscreen daily to avoid blemishes on the skin from acne scars. Sunscreen helps to protect the skin against UVA and UVB rays, which can cause skin aging, oiliness and increased sebum production.