Finally! Get Rid of Blackheads

True story: when I was about 12 or 13, I thought blackheads were dirt and I’d wash and scrub my face over and over to try and clean them out. Shocker of the century: that didn’t work so much.

Later of course, I learned that blackheads were simply a variation on the other types of zits I had all over my face (yeah, high school was fun for me …). The difference is that blackheads are open to the air (it’s the oxygen that actually makes them black) and whiteheads or cysts have a layer of skin over them.

Great, so now that we all know what they are, how the heck do we get rid of them? That’s what I asked Lena Bratschi, a CIDESCO (an international beauty therapy association) trained esthetician and founder of Carasoin Spa in Beverly Hills, Calif., and dermatologist and Medical Director of Epicuren, Dr. Harold Lancer. They gave me a ton of skin care tips, which I will of course pass along to you.

Read how to get rid of blackheads for good now.

One cool, or rather, not-so-cool thing: blackheads or comedones (the medical name for them) are an inherited genetic predisposition, so they are genetically programmed to occur or not occur, Lancer says. But even if your grandma passed ’em along — lucky you — your lifestyle choices play a part in whether you get a bad case or not. In short, all the things that we know aren’t good for us: caffeine, alcohol, dairy products and a diet high in carbohydrates and fat can also cause blackheads. Oh, and surprise, surprise … stress also makes them worse because it influences hormone production, which produces little spikes of testosterone, and testosterone predisposes skin to blackhead formation. The longer blackheads go untreated, the more they expand your pores, and the longer they stay expanded, the bigger your pores become. So, basically, you should read how to get rid of blackheads immediately, your pores might just depend on it.

Click for our blackhead removal guide.