Blackheads are among the more stubborn and tricky skincare ailments to deal with. These small bumps are caused when hair follicles become clogged with bacteria, dirt, or makeup products. Considered a mild form of acne, these bumps can appear anywhere on the face as well as the body. Fortunately, there is something you can do about these pesky blackheads. Get one step closer to clear and glowing skin with these home remedies for blackheads.
What Causes Blackheads?
Blackheads appear because hair follicles become clogged. The dirt and dead skin cells trapped in the hair follicle turn black when they are exposed to oxygen through a process called oxidation.
There are many things that can cause blackheads including hormonal changes, excessive sebum production, and thick cosmetics that don’t allow the skin to breathe. Additional factors like stress, excessive sweating, and even shaving can cause blackheads to emerge. Luckily, there are many natural remedies for removing blackheads. Read on to uncover an arsenal of tools to tackle stubborn blackheads.
The Best DIY Home Remedies For Blackheads
1. Cinnamon Powder
Cinnamon is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and one of the most popular home remedies for blackheads since it boosts blood flow and tightens pores (1). This can help to minimize the chances for dirt and grime to get trapped in hair follicles and result in pimples and blackheads.
How To Use: Cinnamon Face Mask
Combine 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of honey. Blend all the ingredients into a thick paste and apply to your entire face. Let the mask sit for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Lemon juice can dry out the skin when used too frequently. Use this face mask three times per week at most to avoid drying out your skin.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a popular skin aid that is most commonly used to treat the effects of sunburn. This powerful plant gel can also help to cleanse the skin and limit the appearance of blackheads (2). It’s best to use fresh aloe juice from a plant leaf rather than the sunburn remedies sold at grocery stores.
How To Use: Overnight Gel Mask
Apply 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel to skin that is prone to blackheads. Make sure to cover the area with a thin film of aloe vera. Leave on overnight and rinse the following morning with warm water.
3. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a powerful astringent that can help reduce the appearance of blackheads by shrinking skin pores (3). It’s one of the best home remedies for blackheads since it’s easy to find and is in most of our households already. Just like lemon juice can make you pucker your lips, this powerful citrus agent causes the skin to tighten, forcing pores to become tighter as well. Lemon juice also contains high concentrations of vitamin C, which has been linked to improved collagen production and increased moisture.
How To Use: Lemon Toner
Apply 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to your face or directly to acne-prone areas. Allow the lemon juice to sit until it dries, then rinse with warm water. Remember, lemon juice can be drying when used excessively. Limit your lemon juice toner to a few times per week to avoid negative side effects.
4. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric is a vibrant yellow spice that is found in everything from turmeric tea to Indian-inspired culinary dishes. The spice owes its health benefits to a powerful ingredient known as curcumin. This active ingredient offers antibacterial effects that help to cleanse the skin and prevent buildup that causes blackheads (4).
How To Use: Turmeric Cleanser
Combine 1 tablespoon of turmeric with 1 teaspoon of warm water. Mix the ingredients well and apply the paste to your entire face. Let the cleanser dry completely before rinsing in the shower or over the sink. Turmeric can stain clothes as well as countertops so make sure to apply and remove the paste cautiously.
5. Raw Honey
Raw honey has long been used in traditional medicine for its soothing skin properties. Honey can help boost hydration and soothe irritated skin including conditions such as dermatitis (5). By keeping skin hydrated, this natural ingredient helps to prevent pores from becoming clogged by bacteria and gunk.
How To Use: Exfoliating Face Wash
Combine 1 teaspoon of coffee grounds with one teaspoon of raw honey. Blend the paste well and apply directly to the skin in a thin layer. Leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing well.
6. Egg Whites
Egg whites boast natural astringent and exfoliating effects that help to eliminate gunk that causes blackheads. In addition, egg whites contain high amounts of protein that can help support healthy, glowing skin.
How To Use: Egg White Pore Strip
Beat one egg white in a small bowl until it reaches a frothy consistency. Use a small makeup brush to apply the egg white to blackhead prone skin — think along your nose or forehead. Place a strip of paper towel directly on top of the egg white and then apply another layer of egg white on top. Let the mixture dry completely — about 30 minutes — before peeling the paper towel off as you would a pore strip. When finished, rinse your face and apply a moisturizer.
7. Green Tea
Green tea is a popular beverage that is chock full of antioxidants such as flavonoids, catechins, and polyphenols. It boasts antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help cleanse the skin to prevent the formation of blackheads. It’s best to use loose leaf green tea rather than green tea bags. That’s because tea bags don’t contain the full tea leaves and often contain just tea dust, meaning it also has less of the potent ingredients that make it healthy for the skin. Tea bags can also contain microplastics that may damage the skin.
How To Use: Green Tea Cleanser
Brew green tea using one teaspoon of green tea leaves and water heated to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes and let the water cool before applying it to your skin to prevent burns. Grab a washcloth and dip it into the tea mixture. Use the washcloth the clean your face and rinse with warm water after.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy known for its astringent benefits. The main ingredient in apple cider vinegar, known as acetic acid, helps to dissolve dead skin cells and dirt that can clog pores. The acidic nature of this ingredient also helps to regulate oil production, helping to minimize blackheads caused by excessive sebum production.
How To Use: Vinegar & Oat Cleanse
Combine 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with one teaspoon oats. Blend well and apply the mixture to your entire face. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes before rinsing. Repeat as needed two to three times per week.
Toothpaste can help remove blackheads thanks to its mildly sticky texture. It works as a gentle exfoliator to gently lift up dirt and gunk in pores. The cooling effects of toothpaste can also provide relief for irritated or inflamed skin.
How To Use:
Apply a thin layer of toothpaste to areas with blackheads. Let the toothpaste dry and then rub the paste in a gentle circular motion. As you do this, the sticky toothpaste should gently lift blackheads. Follow up by rinsing well with warm water and apply a soothing moisturizer.
10. Essential Oils
Essential oils boast antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat all types of acne breakouts. These oils work to eliminate bacteria that can clog hair follicles and thus remove blackheads. Research shows that tea tree oil was as effective as benzoyl peroxide — a common acne medication — in the treatment of acne (6).
Essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin as they can cause skin irritation and burns. This is particularly common with powerful essential oils like citrus oils and tea tree oil. Dilute essential oils using a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, olive oil, argan oil, or coconut oil. Combine a few drops of essential oils with a carrier oil and rub on your face as a moisturizer once or twice per day.
How To Use:
Mix 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil or another essential oil with a carrier oil and apply it to a cotton ball. Dab the cotton ball directly on blackheads or acne-prone skin. Repeat as needed throughout the day with a maximum of three times per day.
11. Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay is a type of clay that mainly comes from the Benton area of Wyoming. This clay produces a mild electrical reaction when it is combined with water. This helps the clay bind with toxins and dirt, gently removing blackheads and other skin obstructions. At the same time, the clay absorbs excess oil and produces a gentle exfoliant property that soothes and moisturizes.
How To Use: Bentonite Mask
Combine bentonite clay with warm water to create a thick face mask. Apply the clay liberally to the skin’s surface and let the clay harden and dry. Once dry, gently remove the clay by rinsing with warm water.
12. Baking Soda
Baking soda is often cited as an effective blackhead remover. That’s because the baking soda helps to dry out skin pores, thus removing excess oil and reducing grime that clogs hair follicles. Unfortunately, baking soda also dries out the rest of your skin. If you choose to use baking soda, follow up with a gentle moisturizer to prevent dry skin.
It’s important to have a daily skincare regimen to deal with and prevent breakouts, blemishes, or blackheads. If you are new to skincare, it’s a good idea to set up an appointment with a dermatologist who can help you identify products that can help meet your skin’s specific needs. For really stubborn skin conditions, home remedies for blackheads may not be enough. You may need to use more powerful agents like salicylic acid to get results.
In general, you can improve the look and health of your skin by doing a few basic tasks each day. Wash your face once or twice per day with lukewarm water to remove dirt, grime and product build-up that can cause breakouts. Always wear sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Regular, gentle exfoliation can also help to keep skin clear and regulate oil production to minimize buildup that causes blackheads.
Use products that are suited to your skin type whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or sensitive skin. Avoid using too much makeup and use non-comedogenic products whenever possible. You can also try organic makeup brands to avoid irritation caused by chemicals and harsh additives. Eat a healthy diet that limits processed foods, dairy, and greasy meals as these can cause an increase in sebum production.
If you do experience breakouts like blackheads, you can use these natural ways to help eliminate or prevent them. From raw honey face masks to green tea toners, you’re sure to find home remedies for blackheads that help to improve the appearance of your skin.