How to Prevent Blackheads: 5 Incredible Ways

Damn, another one! Acne, blackheads, whiteheads, blemishes, textured skin, it’s just one thing after the other. Luckily for you, today we discuss the solution to how to prevent blackheads below!

Haven’t we all looked at our noses and wondered how to prevent blackheads? Everyone might have spent hours trying to buff away those stubborn blackheads. Have you resorted to nose strips and physical exfoliation to prevent those pesky little dots on your noses?

Well, look no further if you are wondering how to prevent blackheads1.

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Photo by Benzoix via unlimphotos

We will examine these open comedones’ causes, prevention, and remedies.

The Big Why!

Blackheads often hamper us from having smooth, clear skin. They are tiny black bumps found on the surface of the skin cells. They are common among people with acne-prone and sensitive skin.

At the same time, blackheads can drain one’s confidence and are a noticeable blemish. Before we learn how to prevent blackheads, we must know the common reasons for the formation of blackheads.

When a plug forms in the opening of the hair follicles in your skin, blackheads form.

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Photo by makidotvn via unlimphotos

Oil-producing sebaceous glands are found in each follicle2. Your skin is kept soft by sebum. A comedogen is a lump that develops when dead cells and oils gather in the follicle entrance.

The bulge is referred to as a whitehead if the skin covering it remains closed and a blackhead develops when the skin covering the lump splits open and is exposed to the air.

Major Factors Causing Blackheads

To learn how to prevent blackheads, let us first understand the factors that contribute to them. The skin’s average oil production, the buildup of dead cells, exposure to dirt, and environmental pollutants influence the pore-clogging process.

The pores of your T-Zone, the region of your face that comprises your nose, forehead, and chin, are where blackheads appear most frequently.

One of the main reasons blackheads appear on your T-zone so frequently is that this area has more oil glands than other parts of your face and body.

Each pore contains a hair follicle and a sebaceous gland, which secretes natural oils to keep the skin hydrated.

Even while your skin makes this oil naturally to keep itself hydrated, too much oil can result in a blackhead outbreak. Listed below are some risk factors that can cause or aggravate blackheads.

1. Build Up of Dirt

The biggest reason for blackheads is clogged pores. Pollutants, dirt, and even makeup or sun protection can lead to the build-up of gunk that clogs pores on our skin. The accumulation of these can lead to clogged pores and blackheads.

2. Sweating

The over-activation of pores can result from excessive perspiration brought on by stress, heat, or exercise.

Particularly for individuals who exercise and sweat profusely, residue and filth might clog pores if not cleaned appropriately after working out.

Sweating while exercising is excellent for the skin since it assists in unblocking the pores and speeding up sluggish skin metabolism. However, excessive sweating is detrimental.

Use micellar water to quickly remove the sweat and grime if you’re pressed for time after a workout.

3. Hair Care

Additionally, haircare items may interact with facial skin and cause a clogged pore.

Keep your hair off your face and clean your hairline while washing your face to prevent hair products from irritating your skin.

After shampooing and using your hair care products, ensure that you rinse and cleanse your face to remove any residue or remnants of the hair care products.

These residues can lead to blocked pores and ultimately cause blackheads, whiteheads3, or pimples.

4. Bacterial Overdrive

When the presence of bacteria on the surface of the skin becomes excessive, it can trigger or aggravate mild blackheads. Bacteria, too, are responsible for blackheads.

The key is to use a product that unclogs pores.

5. Hormones

Your sebaceous glands’ receptors can attach to several androgens (male sex hormones), including testosterone and dihydrotestosterone4 (DHT), and cause the glands to secrete more of these hormones.

Acne and clogged hair follicles may be formed due to this extra sebum. These are why adolescence, when your body’s production of sex hormones grows quickly and considerably, is a time when breakouts are so typical.

Although referred to as “male sex hormones,” these androgens are found in both men and women. Premenstrual hormone changes frequently result in pimple flare-ups in females.

In addition, birth control pills can wreak havoc on the hormone balance of the female body, leading to many difficulties like pimples.

6. Genetic Predisposition

The proportion of branched fatty acids in your sebum can vary depending on several hereditary factors. According to studies, your parents may pass on some characteristics associated with acne to you. Don’t go around blaming them though!

Besides other facets, genetics can affect even how prone you are to acne-like blackheads and whiteheads.

7. Clothing

Your chance of acquiring acne in specific places of your body may rise if you wear certain occlusive clothing and protective equipment, such as shoulder pads, headbands, backpacks, and other garments that press against your skin.

8. Smoking

Besides the numerous detrimental impacts on health, smoking is linked with non-inflammatory acne, like blackheads and whiteheads.

9. Stress

According to peer-reviewed studies, a rise in the severity of acne is closely associated with extremely high-stress levels.

Due to the stimulation of your body’s stress chemicals5, extreme anger and anxiety may also make acne worse.

10. Oily Skin

Avoid touching your face with your hands if you have oily skin. Since your phone is frequently in contact with your face, remember to clean it off since it collects dirt, oil, and bacteria.

11. Diet

As always is the case, what you eat, reflects so well on your face. However, it all becomes futile if we don’t take care of what we eat daily.

The food we consume directly relates to how our skin looks and feels. Consuming a lot of junk, fried, and processed foods can plague 6the skin with more blackheads and other pimples.

Steps on How to Prevent Blackheads

Once formed or appeared, what steps can be adopted to eliminate blackheads is the big question. While the best way is to prevent blackheads, there are remedies to remove blackheads that have already formed.

Most people try to use pore strips and harsh physical abrasives to scrub away those stubborn blackheads. But this is a detrimental step. It can damage the thin layer of your dermis and do more harm than benefit.

The best-case scenario is to take measures and steps to regulate the excess oil, use a chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid or use a gentle face scrub to achieve smoother skin.

1. Over the Counter Medication

Many drugs are available at pharmacies, grocery stores, and online without a prescription. They work just as well as prescription retinoids and other drugs.

These medicines are applied topically and come in cream, gel, and pad forms. Salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and resorcinol are among the components found in the medications.

They function by eradicating microorganisms, removing surplus oil, and causing the skin to dissolve dead skin cells.

2. Chemical Exfoliants

Chemical exfoliants are the best bet for treating blackheads at home. Those like beta hydroxy acid and salicylic acid gently remove dead skin cells and minimize the appearance of enlarged pores.

These gently exfoliate the top layer of the dermis and treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and acne lesions.

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Photo by MilanMarkovic78 via unlimphotos

It is wise to use them once a week as part of your skincare routine. Always slather on good sun protection since chemical exfoliants make your skin sensitive to sun exposure.

3. Niacinamide

Niacinamide is the jack of all trades among skincare ingredients. It treats pimples, removes blackheads, soothes comedonal acne, and regulates excess oil production.

Niacinamide is an excellent active ingredient to prevent pores from looking enlarged.

4. Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is one of the superstar ingredients to treat acne of all kinds, including blackheads. Every remedy list on how to prevent blackheads is incomplete without Salicylic Acid.

It is the go-to ingredient for treating, preventing blackheads and removing blackheads. It is at the top of the treatment for blackheads.

Salicylic acid cleanser or salicylic acid serum can be used topically to treat blackheads.

It helps to remove dead skin cells and also exfoliate the skin. It can be incorporated into your skincare routine to get treated blackheads and achieve great skin.

5. Topical Retinoids

Over the counter, retinoids work in removing blackheads. Retin is a cream that helps clear blackheads and achieve smoother blemish-free skin. Retinol is a spot treatment, they are one of the best acne treatments available.

Include topical retinoids in your skincare routine to eliminate blackheads and get the skin of your dreams.

Retinol is suitable for dry skin and naturally oily skin. But people with sensitive skin and acne-prone skin must consult a dermatologist before incorporating retinol into their weekly routine.

6. Double Cleansing

Double cleansing is another solution to the question of how to prevent blackheads. Double cleansing helps in achieving squeaky clean, smooth skin.

It removes all traces of makeup, sunscreen, dirt, and impurities.

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Photo by makidotvn via unlimphotos

It is one of the vital steps in treating severe acne and unclogging a clogged pore.

For double cleansing, use either micellar water or skin oil. Apply either of these and then wash your face with a suitable face wash, rinse it off with warm water.

7. Choose Suitable Products

While choosing products, opt for oil-free products that don’t clog your skin’s pores. Choose non-comedogenic products. Consult with a board-certified dermatologist in choosing products that suit your skin.

8. Seek Professional Help

It is always wise to consult a board-certified dermatologist for professional treatment if you cannot remove blackheads through at-home treatments.

How to prevent blackheads with professional help
Photo by Fabrikasimf via unlimphotos

While it is always best to take measures to prevent blackheads, if you are past that stage, seek help from a dermatologist. There might be oral medication and other measures to prevent and treat blackheads.

9. Other Steps

In addition to the steps mentioned above, it is advisable to take some general measures, like cleaning your skin brush and abstaining from certain foods that can cause acne.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should we remove blackheads?

People suffering from blackheads should refrain from popping, squeezing, or picking at the affected regions.

2. Is Aloe Vera good for blackheads?

Its moisturizing and calming characteristics will prevent excess oil production and ultimately lead to blackheads.

3. Do blackheads leave holes?

If you’ve previously had blackheads taken out of your face, you’ve likely spotted holes in your skin afterward. These are simply enlarged pores that will be cured on their own.


In today’s day and age, various measures are available to help with open comedogens. Always follow a good routine, drink plenty of water and watch your diet to achieve smooth and healthy skin free of all blemishes.

I hope this guide on how to prevent blackheads gave you an insight into your problems.

Also, remember that you are beautiful no matter what small problems appear on your face every once in a while. Keep slaying, beautiful!

  1. Sun, Tongrui, et al. “Postharvest UV-C irradiation inhibits blackhead disease by inducing disease resistance and reducing mycotoxin production in ‘Korla’fragrant pear (Pyrus sinkiangensis).” International Journal of Food Microbiology 362 (2022): 109485. ↩︎
  2. Ji, Shuaifei, et al. “Functional hair follicle regeneration: an updated review.” Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy 6.1 (2021): 66. ↩︎
  3. Chaudhary, Namit, Drew Weissman, and Kathryn A. Whitehead. “mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases: principles, delivery and clinical translation.” Nature reviews Drug discovery 20.11 (2021): 817-838. ↩︎
  4. Rosenberg, Emily A., et al. “Testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, bone density, and hip fracture risk among older men: the Cardiovascular Health Study.” Metabolism 114 (2021): 154399. ↩︎
  5. Sharifi-Rad, Mehdi, et al. “Lifestyle, oxidative stress, and antioxidants: Back and forth in the pathophysiology of chronic diseases.” Frontiers in physiology 11 (2020): 694. ↩︎
  6. Glatter, Kathryn A., and Paul Finkelman. “History of the plague: An ancient pandemic for the age of COVID-19.” The American journal of medicine 134.2 (2021): 176-181. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Suchi


  1. I have learnt a lot through this article and also came across some very good ways to remove blackheads. The reasons of blackheads are so common that we generally can’t even think can be reason behind them. But if we are aware of the reasons it will be easy to avoid the blackheads

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