Man washing face at sink
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Nothing puts a damper on a clear complexion quite like stubborn blackheads. Caused by an accumulation of dirt and oils on the surface of your skin that get trapped in your pores, blackheads can be difficult to remove. When blackheads crop up on your chin, resist the urge to squeeze them in an attempt to extract them. Instead, follow a regular skin-care regimen aimed at clearing your pores and removing dirt and bacteria from your face.

Wash your face daily with an exfoliating cleanser. Using a slightly grainy cleanser each night before going to bed helps to remove the dirt, oil and bacteria that has built up on your skin throughout the day to prevent it from settling in your pores.

Use products containing salicylic or glycolic acid. These acids exfoliate your skin to increase skin-cell turnover, helping to clean out your pores. They also act as anti-inflammatory agents to treat breakouts while working to soothe and calm the irritated areas.

Apply retinoid creams. These vitamin-A-based derivatives increase the speed at which the outer layer of your skin sheds, thus preventing dead skin cells from clogging pores and forming blackheads. You can purchase regular-strength retinoids over-the-counter in the drugstore, but more powerful varieties are available by prescription.

Spot-treat blackheads using pore strips. This at-home treatment can be purchased at the drugstore, and can provide immediate relief for some visibly clogged pores. Consult the package for instructions and warning. Pore strips are not a replacement for maintaining a regular skin-care routine, so only use them as a supplement.


Avoid picking at or attempting to extract blackheads on your own. This can create bacteria on your skin and lead to breakouts and infection. If you wish to have blackheads extracted professionally, consult your dermatologist.