Blackhead Treatments: 10 Simple Home Remedies for Clearer Skin
Blackheads are annoying, and frustrating to deal with. Essentially a pimple in an open pore, blackheads are the oxidized accumulation of dead skin cells and sebum, the body’s natural skin oil. While the natural reaction to blackheads may be to scrub your face obsessively, that can actually make the problem worse, as dry skin will encourage more oil production from the sebaceous glands.
Instead, we’ve come up with a list of 10 great do-it-yourself treatments for these pesky pore clogs. By adding any of these to your skin care regimen a few times a week you can have the beautifully clear skin you desire and deserve!
1. ACV & Mint Toner
These two ingredients can combine to work wonders for skin. Apple cider vinegar is a natural astringent while mint helps control inflammation and creates a cooling and soothing sensation on skin.
- 3 tablespoons ACV
- 3 tablespoons crushed fresh mint leaves
- Small bottle
- 8 ounces of water
- Cotton balls
Combine mint and ACV in a small bottle and let sit for a week in a cool place. Strain the mixture and add water. Rinse face with water then apply toner with cotton balls at bedtime. Leave on overnight and rinse and moisturize in the morning. Unused portion can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.
2. Sugar Scrub
Exfoliating skin is a great way to prevent skin problems, as it removes dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to pimples. A good scrub also encourages blood flow to the skin and leaves a soft and healthy glow.
In the following recipe, jojoba oil was selected as it is similar to our own skin’s sebum. However, grapeseed, olive, and sweet almond oil could all be substituted for convenience.
- 1 cup white or brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons jojoba oil
- An airtight glass jar
- Essential oils (if desired)
Combine sugar and oil and mix thoroughly. For fragrance, you can also add a few drops of essential oil if desired. Wet face and gently massage scrub over skin with fingertips in circular motions. Rinse with water and follow-up with moisturizer. Place leftover scrub in jar and store in a cool place for up to 45 days.
3. Homemade Steam Treatment
As indicated earlier, steam can be an effective way to soften up sebum and help flush skin impurities. If you don’t have access to a sauna, you can simulate a good steaming at home.
- Large bowl
- Hot water
- A soft clean towel
Add boiling water to a large bowl. With a towel draped over the back of your head to trap the steam, CAREFULLY lean over the bowl. The steam will help loosen oils trapped in pores. After 5-10 minutes, rinse skin with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Moisturize as usual.
4. Baking Soda & Water
The small, fine granules in baking soda work wonders on unclogging pores and exfoliating skin. This treatment can cause dryness if overdone, so use sparingly and be sure to follow up with a good moisturizer.
- Baking Soda
- Fresh water
Mix about a tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to make a thick but spreadable paste. With clean fingertips, apply paste to skin in a gentle, circular motion. Allow to dry for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly with clean water and pat skin dry. Again, don’t forget the moisturizer after this treatment!
5. Exercise Your Skin
Sweat is the bodies’ natural way to flush the skin. A good sweat naturally flows over skin and softens and flushes pore-clogging sebum and skin cells. The key here is to make sure your face is clean before and after sweating out your blackheads.
- A good workout or sauna
- Fresh water
Rinse your face and pat dry with a clean towel. Work up a good sweat, and follow up with another good rinse and pat dry. Apply your usual moisturizer.
6. Tightening Toner
Lemon juice is an effective astringent that can also serve to tighten pores. With this treatment, keep in mind that lemon juice can lighten skin temporarily and also make you more sensitive to the sun. In the cases of sensitive skin, the lemon juice in the following recipe can be diluted with water.
- 1 lemon
- Cotton balls
- A small bottle
Squeeze lemon juice into a small bottle. Rinse and dry face, then dampen a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply to the affected areas at bedtime, 3-4 times a week. In the morning, rinse your face with warm water and apply your usual moisturizer. Leftover lemon juice can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
7. Cinnamon & Honey Strips
An alternative to the milk in the previous mask, cinnamon is believed to provide additional benefits of increasing circulation to the skin. This increased blood flow will give your skin a smooth and healthy glow.
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
- 1 tablespoon organic raw honey
- Clean strips of cotton
Mix the honey and the cinnamon together into a paste. Apply a thin layer of the mixture over blackheads press clean cotton strips onto the area. Let dry 3-5 minutes then peel off strips, rinse, and moisturize
8. Clay Mask
Common bentonite clay can be an incredibly effective treatment to draw out excess oils and impurities in the skin. A mask of bentonite draws out blackheads and also provides minerals to the skin. There is also evidence to suggest the following mask recipe, which can be made with either water or apple cider vinegar (ACV), can improve circulation and overall health of the skin.
- 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
- Water or ACV
Simply mix in enough water or ACV to form a thick, but spreadable paste. Wash hands then apply a thin layer of paste with your fingertips. Let dry 10-25 minutes depending on personal preference, then rinse with warm water and apply your usual moisturizer.
9. Incredible Egg Mask
Egg whites are rich in nutrients for your skin and can make an easy and effective mask to remove and prevent blackheads. This treatment can be slightly less-drying than a few other home remedies, in my experience.
- 1 egg
- Facial tissue or toilet paper (optional)
- A small bowl
Before starting, rinse and pat your face dry. Separate the egg white into a small bowl and again, with clean hands, spread a thin layer of egg white over your skin. Once it is dry, simply spread another layer of egg white over your skin and repeat 3-5 times. As an alternative, you can apply strips of facial tissue to the egg white covered skin and recoat with egg and tissue up to 3 times.
When dry, either peel away the tissue or just gently wash your face and apply your usual moisturizer.
10. Homemade Pore Strips
Here’s a new use for your milk and honey, both of which are healthy to your skin! Lactic acid in milk is believed to keep skin soft and supple while honey is a natural antibacterial. When mixed together, these two can make a sticky but effective blackhead mask.
- 1 tablespoon of organic raw honey
- 1 teaspoon of milk
- Clean strips of cotton
Mix honey and milk in a small bowl and heat 5-10 seconds in the microwave. Mix thoroughly and allow to cool to a comfortable temperature. Apply a thin layer of the mixture over blackheads then gently pat a strip of cotton onto the area. Let dry 20 minutes, then remove strips, rinse skin with cool water and apply your usual moisturizer.