Q&A: How Do I Treat Blackheads?
ANSWER: No matter what your age, blackheads can be a pesky, persistent problem. They occur in part because skin on the nose is oilier than that on the rest of the face, and the pores on the nose are large. If dead skin cells and excess sebum clump together in these large pores, plugs form; when the air hits those plugs, their tops turn black. The result: a sea of blackheads.
Avoid the temptation to squeeze blackheads. Because they're located under the skin, squeezing can force the pore's plug even deeper into the skin, causing redness, swelling and, in some cases, infection.
Instead, try this once-a-week removal technique: Begin with clean skin. Apply a facemask containing clay, often called kaolin, to the blackhead-prone area; clay helps draw impurities (read: pore plugs) out of the skin. Allow the mask to sit for 10 minutes, then rinse. Next, apply a peel-off pore strip (like those from Bior) to the area. Give it time to harden -- about 10 minutes -- then quickly peel it off. You'll see the remnants of blackheads on the strip. Rinse off any strip residue, and follow with a soothing, oil-free moisturizer.
If your blackheads are particularly stubborn, see a dermatologist. He or she can prescribe a strong topical antidote, such as Retin-A, Renova or Differin.