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Cosmetic Flaws

The 5 Best Blackhead Treatments In 2021

Blackhead treatments are the ultimate solution for getting rid of acne and blackheads. Blackhead appears when a hair follicle gets clogged with sebum, which is a waxy substance produced by your sebaceous glands. The sebum contains melanin, which interacts with your skin surface leaving blackheads.

Blackheads are inevitable, we all suffered from them throughout our lives. Extracting or picking them up will make things worse.
They are difficult to remove and will keep appearing unless you found an ultimate solution for them.

The solution is to find the best blackhead treatment for your skin type to exfoliate your skin, remove any dead skin cells, get rid of extra sebum, and clean your skin pores.
Many products on the market claim that they work for blackheads.
In this article, we have chosen the best 5 blackhead Treatments that actually work.

Read our in-depth article on what forehead creases are; their causes, prevention and surgical treatment here.

4.4/5 Rating;
Editor's Pick

Amarte Skincare Daily ExfoliPowder

3.7/5 Rating; Budget Option.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Ha 30ml

1. Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

$13 USD on Amazon

Value For Money

85%
Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Treats acne
  • Smooths the appearance of pores and dark spots

Cons

  • May not work for some people
  • May cause rash

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment is one of the most popular blackhead treatments on the market. Most people use it at night to tackle their whiteheads and blackheads.

The active ingredient in this treatment adapalene, which is a vitamin-A-derived topical retinoid that works by exfoliating the skin and reducing the production of oil. Your pores will no longer be clogged. Also, it works in the early stages of blackhead formation, which means that it can stop them from becoming apparent. (1, 2, 3)
In addition, Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment decreases dark spots, especially in colored skin.
Since it is retinoid-based, it requires regular use to prevent and treat blackheads.

It works for most people, but some customers complain that it may lead to unpleasant effects.

2. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

$16 USD on Amazon

Value For Money

83%
Pros

  • Keeps acne under control
  • Removes pimples
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Some people may be sensitive to salicylic acid
  • Might cause itching for some people
  • Might not be suitable for long-term use

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash is one of the most popular blackhead treatments on the market. It does not include alcohol and Neutrogena claims that it can penetrate the deep skin layers and exfoliate skin pores to prevent the formation of blemishes by removing any excess oil production and preventing oil build-up on the surface of the skin.

Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash contains beta hydroxy acid or 2% salicylic acid, which removes any dead cells on the surface of the skin and improves skin tone and texture. According to Neutrogena, it helps to fight pimples and prevent any future acne breakouts. Your pores will not be clogged. In addition, salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory effects. (4, 5, 6, 7)

Most users are satisfied with it. On the other hand, some customers say it does not work at all and may cause a burning sensation.

3. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Ha 30ml

$12 USD on Amazon

Value For Money

89%
Pros

  • Reduces the appearance of acne/breakouts
  • Makes skin smoother and calmer
  • Retains moisture

Cons

  • Lactic acid may be irritating
  • Not recommended for sensitive skin

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Ha 30ml is a peeling solution, gentle cleanser, and supposed to be one of the best blackhead treatments that can be used to slough away oil buildup and remove and prevent blackheads. It exfoliates dead skin cells and opens the skin pores in order to clean up blackheads.

It contains many active ingredients including lactic acid, which sheds dead cells from the surface of the skin and decreases redness and inflammation, and purified Tasmanian pepper berry, which can reduce the signs of inflammation and soothe sensitive skin which can be irritated during the exfoliation process.
Also, it contains hyaluronic acid, which works as a hydrating agent. Hyaluronic acid improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture. (8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
Notice that lactic acid should be avoided if your skin is too sensitive since it may be irritating.
It works for most users. However, some users complain about the packaging and results. One of the customers said:

I don’t care for this product. Maybe I’m supposed to stack it with something. But as it is by itself I’m not really into it. It’s watery and I’m not impressed. I’m not going to finish the bottle.

4. Amarte Skincare Daily ExfoliPowder

$48 USD on Amazon

Value For Money

91%
Pros

  • Has a healing and soothing effect
  • Softens dull, flaky skin and rough patches
  • Helps with clogged pores, whiteheads, and blackheads

Cons

  • Requires product mixing that can be tricky to balance
  • Might not be strong enough for some users

Amarte Skincare Daily ExfoliPowder is a plant seed-based polishing cleanser, which claims that it is a gentle solution for removing dry and dull skin cells. According to the package, it should be used twice daily in the morning and before going to bed. It is on our list of blackhead treatments because of its active ingredients.

The main ingredients in Amarte Skincare Daily ExfoliPowder are arbutin and genistein, which are powerful antioxidants. Arbutin is usually used in skin conditioners since it has whitening, soothing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. It is derived from berries. Therefore, it is safe to use.
Genistein is derived from soy. It has brightening and lightening properties and decreases damage from UV rays at a cellular level.
They both work directly on melanin. Arbutin reduces the accumulation of the pigment in the skin by decomposing and excreting it while Genistein reduces the quantity of melanin and relives erythema.
Also, it contains Purified Nano-Sulfur, which is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent that can prevent acne breakouts and treat rosacea, and seborrheic dermatitis. Also, it can reduce sebum production and brighten the skin. (13, 14, 15, 16, 17)

It is a gentle product. However, some users say it is not strong enough. It leaves skin smoother and may reduce the appearance of blackheads and relieve congestion, but it may be perfect if your condition is mild.

5. Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay

 

$32 USD on Amazon

Value For Money

86%
Pros

  • Tightens pores
  • Does not dry out your skin
  • Exfoliates skin well

Cons

  • Highly fragranced formula puts skin at strong risk of irritation
  • The formula doesn’t rinse easily once it dries
  • Ingredients are not strong enough

Our final product on this list of blackhead treatments is Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay. The mask is pink, thick, smooth, and creamy. It also has a gritty sensation and smells floral.
It is supposed to cleanse the deep layers of the skin and open the skin pores to make the skin glow.

The main ingredients in this mask are Mediterranean rose clay, Canadian willow herb, and exfoliating jojoba beads. The Mediterranean rose clay enhances the regeneration of the skin and lightens skin dullness. Canadian willowherb or Epilobium Angustifolium has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is used as a treatment for irritated and acne-prone skin. Jojoba beads have the same effects as sebum. It is a natural exfoliating agent that lubricates and moistens the skin. (18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23)

Most users say that it makes their skin smoother and brighter. Also, it removes small acne and blackheads. Also, it works as a spot treatment.
On the other hand, some users do not like the cracking and drying of it as it is a clay mask.

Citations:

  1. Piskin S, Uzunali E. A review of the use of adapalene for the treatment of acne vulgaris. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2007;3(4):621-624.
  2. Waugh J, Noble S, Scott LJ. Adapalene: a review of its use in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Drugs. 2004;64(13):1465-78. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200464130-00005. PMID: 15212561.
  3. Percy SH. Safety and efficacy of adapalene gel 0.1% in acne vulgaris: results of a post-marketing surveillance study. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2003 Jul-Aug;69(4):277-80. PMID: 17642911.
  4. Kessler E, Flanagan K, Chia C, Rogers C, Glaser DA. Comparison of alpha- and beta-hydroxy acid chemical peels in the treatment of mild to moderately severe facial acne vulgaris. Dermatol Surg. 2008 Jan;34(1):45-50; discussion 51. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2007.34007.x. Epub 2007 Dec 5. PMID: 18053051.
  5. Kornhauser A, Coelho SG, Hearing VJ. Applications of hydroxy acids: classification, mechanisms, and photoactivity. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2010;3:135-142. Published 2010 Nov 24. doi:10.2147/CCID.S9042
  6. Lu J, Cong T, Wen X, Li X, Du D, He G, Jiang X. Salicylic acid treats acne vulgaris by suppressing AMPK/SREBP1 pathway in sebocytes. Exp Dermatol. 2019 Jul;28(7):786-794. doi: 10.1111/exd.13934. Epub 2019 May 15. PMID: 30972839.
  7. Moghimipour E. Hydroxy Acids, the Most Widely Used Anti-aging Agents. Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod. 2012;7(1):9-10.
  8. Garg T, Ramam M, Pasricha JS, Verma KK. Long term topical application of lactic acid/lactate lotion as a preventive treatment for acne vulgaris. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2002 May-Jun;68(3):137-9. PMID: 17656910.
  9. Sachdeva S. Lactic acid peeling in superficial acne scarring in Indian skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2010 Sep;9(3):246-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2010.00513.x. PMID: 20883299.
  10. Salehi B, Upadhyay S, Erdogan Orhan I, et al. Therapeutic Potential of α- and β-Pinene: A Miracle Gift of Nature. Biomolecules. 2019;9(11):738. Published 2019 Nov 14. doi:10.3390/biom9110738
  11. Dierickx C, Larsson MK, Blomster S. Effectiveness and Safety of Acne Scar Treatment With Nonanimal Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid Gel. Dermatol Surg. 2018 Nov;44 Suppl 1:S10-S18. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001689. PMID: 30358630.
  12. Halachmi S, Ben Amitai D, Lapidoth M. Treatment of acne scars with hyaluronic acid: an improved approach. J Drugs Dermatol. 2013 Jul 1;12(7):e121-3. PMID: 23884503.
  13. Bandyopadhyay D. Topical treatment of melasma. Indian J Dermatol. 2009;54(4):303-309. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.57602
  14. Davis EC, Callender VD. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation: a review of the epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment options in skin of color. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010;3(7):20-31.
  15. Riyanto P, Subchan P, Lelyana R. Advantage of soybean isoflavone as antiandrogen on acne vulgaris. Dermatoendocrinol. 2015;7(1):e1063751. Published 2015 Jul 20. doi:10.1080/19381980.2015.1063751
  16. Riyanto P, Subchan P, Lelyana R. Advantage of soybean isoflavone as antiandrogen on acne vulgaris. Dermatoendocrinol. 2015 Jul 20;7(1):e1063751. doi: 10.1080/19381980.2015.1063751. PMID: 26413190; PMCID: PMC4579974.
  17. Verma S, Utreja P, Kumar L. Nanotechnological Carriers for Treatment of Acne. Recent Pat Antiinfect Drug Discov. 2018;13(2):105-126. doi: 10.2174/1574891X13666180918114349. PMID: 30227825.
  18. Orchard A, van Vuuren S. Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:4517971. doi:10.1155/2017/4517971
  19. Kosalec I, Kopjar N, Kremer D. Antimicrobial activity of Willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium L.) leaves and flowers. Curr Drug Targets. 2013 Aug;14(9):986-91. doi: 10.2174/13894501113149990177. PMID: 23796429.
  20. Shikov AN, Poltanov EA, Dorman HJ, Makarov VG, Tikhonov VP, Hiltunen R. Chemical composition and in vitro antioxidant evaluation of commercial water-soluble willow herb (Epilobium angustifolium L.) extracts. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 May 17;54(10):3617-24. doi: 10.1021/jf052606i. PMID: 19127734.
  21. Pazyar N, Yaghoobi R, Ghassemi MR, Kazerouni A, Rafeie E, Jamshydian N. Jojoba in dermatology: a succinct review. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2013 Dec;148(6):687-91. PMID: 24442052.
  22. Meier L, Stange R, Michalsen A, Uehleke B. Clay jojoba oil facial mask for lesioned skin and mild acne–results of a prospective, observational pilot study. Forsch Komplementmed. 2012;19(2):75-9. doi: 10.1159/000338076. Epub 2012 Apr 19. PMID: 22585103.
  23. Habashy RR, Abdel-Naim AB, Khalifa AE, Al-Azizi MM. Anti-inflammatory effects of jojoba liquid wax in experimental models. Pharmacol Res. 2005 Feb;51(2):95-105. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2004.04.011. PMID: 15629254.
Dr Khaled Mahmoud

Dr Khaled Mahmoud

A medical researcher with more than 5 years of professional academic and medical writing experience. My main goal is to provide readers with evidence-based, data-driven, detail-oriented content to help them make the best choices.

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