For the most part, blackheads are small and not even noticeable to the casual observer. But, if it’s your face they’re hanging out on, you can be sure they’re always front and centre, glaring black spots you just wish could be gone for good.
They never seem to leave and are so difficult to remove. Don’t worry though, we’ve found quite a number of ways you can try to remove them and say goodbye blackheads and hello to smooth, clear skin.
- Manual extraction
- What household remedies can you try?
- Caring for your skin – yes, it really does help!
So, what exactly are blackheads?
Anyone can get blackheads, they’re not necessarily limited to those suffering from acne as people commonly think.
In general, they are caused by an over-production of oil which then combines with dead skin in large, open pores and slightly hardens. Once this is exposed to air, it oxidises which results in the hardened oil turning a darker colour and appearing almost black in many cases.
Most people will find they suffer from blackheads in areas where they produce more oil such as the T-zone area around the nose, forehead and chin. The excess oil is often a hormonal issue.
How can you get rid of blackheads overnight?
Blackheads are hard to get rid of and in most cases should be left to an expert. You might have seen pore strips and other products claiming they can instantly remove blackheads but many simply remove hair, skin cells (both dead and live!), scabs from picking at blemishes and pimples, as well as strip oil from the skin.
The only successful way to get rid of them immediately is manual extraction, though beware, this can damage your skin and capillaries. There’s a number of other remedies you can also try, many of which are natural and use ingredients you’ll find in the pantry or around the house.
The best way to tackle blackheads? Well, like most things in life, it’s before they even form by implementing great skincare habits and a few key products in your regular routine.
So, shall we chat about the different ways to tackle one of the peskiest skin concerns? We’ve done some research on your behalf – read on for more.
If you can’t line up a professional you can try tackling manual extraction yourself at home. First things first – gather your supplies: some kind of plastic wrap, at least two face washers, tissues (the gentlest you can find will be helpful!), and a heavy moisturiser.
Have a shower before attempting an at-home extraction, the warm water will help to soften the blackheads and raise your skin temperature to make things a little easier. Straight after you hop out, grab that moisturiser and pop a thin layer over the blackhead (or blackheads) and surrounding area.
It’ll actually help keep the heat in. then, cover it with plastic wrap and stack a couple of hot face washers over the affected area for a few minutes – five would be ideal.
Once you’re sure the area is warmed up and ready to go, take a tissue in each hand and wrap around your fingers then gently squeeze to try and remove the blackhead.
Try not to get too close, you want to make sure the whole blackhead comes out and isn’t pushed in further where it can get infected. If it’s taking more than a few squeezes and not coming out easily then leave it, you might end up damaging the skin or capillaries.
If you did succeed, be sure to clean the area with a toner (alcohol-free, of course) and help calm the area with a cooling gel.
What household remedies can you try?
While the only way to really remove blackheads overnight is manually, there’s also plenty of ingredients you’ve probably got lying around at home which can help your skin stay clean and get rid of them once and for all.
Mix half a teaspoon of lemon juice together with a tablespoon of salt and a teaspoon of water then apply to just the blackhead affected areas of your face. Gently massage and rinse clean.
The alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) in lemon juice will help clean and clear your skin and the Vitamin C will help with collagen production to revitalise your complexion. Plus, they’re easy to find and pretty cheap at your local greengrocer or supermarket.
You’ve heard of using it a household cleaner but did you know you can also use it on your skin?! Mix two tablespoons into a past with a tablespoon of water and apply to blackheads, leave for around 10 minutes then rinse away. It’ll help clear dirt and even has antiseptic properties.
Be gentle with oatmeal, it needs a little more preparation than some of the other ingredients on this list, and don’t just go and slater it on.
Cook up a small handful – around two tablespoons is plenty – of oatmeal and let it cool, then mix together with a tablespoon each of lemon juice and olive oil, as well as three tablespoons of yogurt (a natural one of course, delicious flavours will not be helpful here). Apply it as a mask with gentle circular motions, let it sit for 10-15 minutes and then you can rinse it off.
A wonder for your skin, you’ve likely never thought of cracking an egg on your face but think again – they are packed with nutrients and vitamins for your skin to soak in and will help with inflammation as well as tighten pores.
But how to put it on your face? Well, start by whipping two egg whites then grab a brush and add a thin layer all over your face. Follow this with tissue or toilet paper then paint on a second layer of the whites over the top. Give it around 20-30 minutes before you remove and rinse.
There’s a reason green tea continually makes appearances in a range of skincare – it works. Use it as a mini-scrub with a teaspoon of leaves and water. Packed with antioxidants and plenty of vitamins, it will help reduce inflammation as well as clear oil and unclog pores.
You read that right, head to your spice drawer and dig out that cinnamon, stat! In addition to being delicious, it’s actually got antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
There’s a couple of ways you can use it on your skin. Make an overnight mask (just remember to sleep on your back) by mixing with some honey to make a paste. Apply to the affected areas and wash off in the morning. Stick with it for about a week or so before you can see results.
If you can’t sleep on your back, try this 15-minute mask instead by mixing a spoon of cinnamon with a tiny touch of turmeric and small amount of lemon juice. Apply it all over your face.
Caring for your skin – yes, it really does help!
There are a few things you can do regularly to prevent blackheads from forming in the first place. If you’re regularly suffering, these steps will help in the long term, just remember to persevere!
Use an exfoliator with enzymes
Sometimes referred to as an enzymatic or chemical exfoliator, these products help out by making sure pores are cleaned out and don’t become clogged. They use ingredients such as glycolic acid or AHAs to gently take away dead skin cells and leave your skin cleaner than ever.
Your new BFF – salicylic acid
Found in a range of skincare and beauty products, salicylic acid is great for dissolving blackheads and unclogging pores.
Hydrate, hydrate, always!
Many oily skin sufferers skip the moisturiser for fear of overloading their already-slick skin. This is a mistake. A good moisturiser will help balance and hydrate the skin so it’s not overcompensating for dryness with heightened oil production.
An oil-free moisturiser will be a welcome addition to your routine, steer clear of heavy formulas to avoid clogging your skin.
Give retinol a go
There are many products on the market with retinol as a key ingredient, and with good reason. It’ll help clear problem skin and make pores tighter and smaller. If something off-the-shelf doesn’t really hit the mark in terms of results, head to a dermatologist and see if they can prescribe you a stronger variety.
Laser – yep, we just said laser
A laser light treatment is a great way to help with problem skin including those who are producing too much oil. Besides, it’s not the laser beam you’re imagining in your head right now. Your technician should cater the type of light and strength to your individual needs – it’s quick and a course of treatments can be very effective.
So, there you have it – quite a few ways to get rid of blackheads, at least one of these methods definitely fits into the overnight timeframe, the rest you can try out and see how effective they are. Our best tip? Look after your skin on the regular to keep it clean, healthy and blackhead free!