How to treat and prevent blackheads

August 27,2022

Here are some tips on how to treat blackheads and prevent them from returning.

In this how-to guide, we will cover how to remove blackheads at home, as well as how to treat them at a professional level.

Why do blackheads appear?

Cutibacterium acnes (formerly P. acnes) causes breakouts when excess oil, dead skin cells, and acne-causing bacteria clog the hair follicles or pores.
Skin's oil (sebum) and pigment (melanin) oxidize in the presence of air, causing a black surface colour. The blackhead will grow in size and become more visible as the skin pushes it up. Blackheads can be cleared by preventing them. Our guide will help you prevent breakouts by keeping your pores clean.

Here are 14 tips for managing and preventing blackheads

1. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is the first step to maintaining healthy skin. Dehydration can have a number of negative effects on your skin, including dryness, wrinkles, and acne breakouts.

2. Balance your diet
Eating a balanced diet is important for healthy-looking skin and for reducing the risk of developing health problems. All food groups should be included in a balanced diet, such as fruit, vegetables, grains, and protein sources like meat and beans.

3. Invest in a professional skin care treatment
The skin is the largest organ in your body, and it is critical to take care of it. Professional skin treatments are vital for maintaining healthy skin and preventing damage. Instead of masking or ignoring problem areas, professional treatment will focus on them directly.

4. Frequently change your pillowcases
Pillows are one of the dirtiest things in your bedroom. They are constantly collecting dust, hair and skin cells. Change your pillowcases every other week or so to avoid breakouts and greasy hair.

5. Regularly sanitise your mobile phone
Over 2,600 times a day, people touch their phones.
Use a wet wipe to regularly sanitise your mobile phone to remove dirt, grime, and bacteria from its surface, as well as to prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading.

6. Thoroughly wash out hair products
Hair products should always be thoroughly washed out. It will prevent any residue and build-up from causing clogged pores, which can lead to acne breakouts.

7. Shield your face when using hair products
The chemicals in hair products may harm your skin and cause irritation, so use a towel or your arm as a shield to protect yourself.

8. Use non-comedogenic skincare products
Non-comedogenic skincare products are specially designed to be gentle on the skin. They do not contain ingredients that can clog pores, which means that they are less likely to cause breakouts.

9. Avoid picking and squeezing blackheads
This is a common misconception that picking and squeezing blackheads will make them go away. It does not work because the blackhead is actually a clogged pore in the skin. Picking and squeezing blackheads can lead to infection, scarring, and permanent damage to the skin.
If you are tempted to pick, make sure you sterilise your tools before using them on your skin; also wash your hands afterward to avoid spreading bacteria around your face or body.

10. Avoid harsh skin care products
The skin is very sensitive, and it reacts to all kinds of products that we put on it. Harsh skin products can damage the skin and irritate it, leading to additional problems.

11. Avoid overwashing
Frequently washing your face can strip the skin of natural oils, making it more prone to acne. It can also dry out your skin, leaving it tight and uncomfortable.

12. Avoid touching your face frequently
Acne sufferers tend to touch their faces frequently.
When you touch your face, you transfer all the dirt and oil from your hands to your face, which can lead to acne, breakouts, and other skin issues. Touching your face also disrupts the natural balance on the surface of the skin that helps protect against acne-causing bacteria. You can prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses by washing your hands regularly.

13. Avoid using make-up with artificial pigments
Artificial pigments are made from heavy metals and they can even cause skin irritation, acne, and even skin cancer. Do not share cosmetics with anyone else, as this can lead to infections or allergic reactions from products that are not suitable for you.

14. Avoid using dirty makeup brushes
If your make-up brush bristles are dirty, you run the risk of spreading bacteria to your face, leading to breakouts, redness, inflammation, and other skin problems. Make sure you clean them properly before and after every use.

What you can do?

Step 1. Double Cleanse

Our Dermalogica product line recommends double cleansing with Dermalogica Precleanse and Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel. By doing so, excess oil, dead skin cells, make-up and pollution are removed from your skin. This step prevents blackheads and breakouts from forming.
With this deep-cleaning oil, makeup and impurities are melted off, and dead skin cells, oils, sunscreen, make-up (including waterproof), and pollution particles are removed, leaving your skin looking ultra-clean and healthy. This PreCleanse contains conditioning essential fatty acids from Borage Seed and Kukui Nut to nourish your skin and make it work more efficiently once it has been cleansed. Ideal for all skin conditions, including oily skins.
Using this cleanser, you will not have to worry about stripping or drying your skin's natural moisture balance as you remove impurities. In addition to Quillaja Saponaria for a refreshing lather, Balm Mint and Lavender calm and purify your skin, leaving it feeling balanced.

Step 2. Exfoliate

Remove dead skin cells after Double Cleansing using a salicylic acid powder exfoliant.
Rice-based powder activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain, Salicylic Acid, and Rice Enzymes to polish the skin to perfection. A Skin Brightening Complex of Rice Bran, White Tea, and Licorice balances uneven skin tone with Phytic Acid, while Colloidal Oatmeal and Allantoin soothe skin. It is gentle enough to be used every day.

Step 3. Control bacteria

If you suffer from blackheads, breakouts or congestion, try using antibacterial skincare products which can kill breakout-causing bacteria such as Cutibacterium, which can cause blackheads, breakouts, and congestion on the skin. Look for ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, Azelaic Acid, and Thymol with Terpineol.
With soothing Arnica and Balm Mint, this spritz action toner hydrates and refreshes skin.

AGE BrightTM Complex works with the skin's natural microbiome to clear breakouts and reduce visible aging of the skin. This active two-in-one serum clears and helps prevent breakouts. The formulation brightens and evens your skin tone with the help of Resurrection Plant, Niacinamide, and White Shiitake Mushroom.


The combination of Kaolin and Bentonite clays with Salicylic Acid, Menthol, and Safflower Oil soothes and clears breakouts while minimising premature skin aging.

Step 4. Hydrate and Protect

When your skin's moisture levels are out of balance, it produces excess oil to compensate. Moisturisers, therefore, help regulate sebum production, which prevents oil from clogging pores.

Providing hydration without a greasy feeling, this oil-free moisturiser smooths the skin and improves its texture, and this sheer formula absorbs quickly. Dermalogica's Prebiotic Moisture Complex, works with the skin's natural microbiome and balances breakout-causing bacteria. In addition to lemon and cucumber, burdock refines the skin, leaving it feeling comfortable and balanced.


On oily, breakout-prone skin, broad-spectrum sunscreen prevents shine and aging. The lightweight, ultra-sheer formula contains an advanced blend of zinc gluconate, caffeine, Niacinamide, biotin, and yeast extracts. Oil absorbers keep skin matte for the entire day, preventing shine without leaving a powdery residue. UV light protection is provided by a sheer formula.


With a long-lasting matte finish that does not clog pores, this ultra-lightweight formula protects breakout-prone skin from environmental stress. Patented TT technology works with the skin's natural microbiome while tapioca natural extract helps reduce shine. Willow Bark Extract, Green Tea Extract, and Vitamin C protect breakout-prone skin from pollution's irritating effects.

If you would like to receive the best results, please visit our Dermalogica professional skin therapist in Cullercoats or Newcastle.


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