Last Modified on Feb 08, 2014
What Are Blackheads?
The face is often the first thing that other individuals notice about one another. As such, most individuals are especially conscious about the appearance of the face and skin. With as sensitive as the facial skin is it is susceptible to a number of issues and disorders. Acne, in general, affects nearly 50 million Americans, making it the most common skin disorder. One component of acne is the disorder known as blackheads. Appearing much like the name suggests, blackheads are small dark colored bumps that appear on the skin. These bumps form on the skin at clogged hair follicles and look either dark or even black. A relatively mild form of acne, blackheads are usually found on the face; however, they can also form on the back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulders.
Blackheads arise as a clog forms at one of the hair follicles in the skin. Typically, a hair follicle encases just one hair paired with a sebaceous gland that produces sebum, or oil. This oil production gland works to maintain the softness of the skin. The skin constantly sheds dead skin cells which can then mix with oil and collect at the follicle forming a small bump. As the skin covering the bump opens, it exposes a blackhead.
Home Remedies for Blackheads
Blackhead removal is fairly easy and can typically be achieved using any of the numerous home remedies for blackheads. Common blackhead removal treatments include applying apple cider vinegar daily, using a masque composed of two crushed aspirins and one tablespoon of honey at least once a week, and soaking the skin with castor twice a week. Other topical treatment methods include using a combination of grapeseed, lavender, and bergamot oils as a daily moisturizer and using fresh lemon juice as a toner daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar
[YEA] 02/08/2014: Misty from Indiana, Usa: "Blackheads:
Every night, I apply undiluted ACV (organic unfiltered is best but the grocery store stuff will work in a pinch) to my face with a cotton ball. I don't wear makeup on most days, so I usually don't wash my face. I wear mineral makeup, which doesn't clog my pores, on days I bother, so I can get still away with not washing my face. When it dries, it's important to apply a good moisturizer because dry skin can clog pores when it mixes with sebum. I use either extra virgin coconut oil or a mix of 50% castor oil (the cheap pharmacy stuff will work) and 50% extra virgin olive, jojoba, or hemp oil.
This may not get rid of stubborn blackheads, so once or twice a week, I wash my face with medicated apricot scrub (St. Ive's will work, but I just use the store brand) and Dr. Bronner's peppermint. To a dime size dollop of facial scrub, I add a few drops of Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap, then apply to wet face and scrub in circular motion for at least 1 minute, then rinse and apply moisturizer.
It's also important to eat a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and keep sugar, dairy, and wheat to a minimum (I am on the paleo diet with one splurge day a week). Overall, this routine has completely cleared up my face except for maybe one or two pimples near my menstrual cycle."Replies
02/08/2014: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "Hello Misty,
Have you ever used Bentonite clay (green clay) to apply as a mask to get rid of blackheads? I have found to be very effective as a cleanse. Also on the bottle of Bentonite I have, it talks of the use of the clay by also using a capful of ACV to make the mask as very beneficial also. That fits in with your ACV usage."
[YEA] 11/25/2009: Sp from Nashville, Tn: "Apple cider vinegar works to clear out my blackheads and help shrink my pores. After washing your face, apply the ACV. Wait for it to dry before applying moisturizer. If you are using ACV for the first time, you may want to dilute it with some water as it may be too strong for your face. I do this once a day and within a few weeks my pores look so much better. I have used so many commercial products and this works the best and it so much cheaper that the commerical products. Good luck."Replies
[YEA] 10/31/2011: Veronica from Spring Lake, Mi replies: "I've not only had blackheads, but also whiteheads and a bumpy face. After having used ACV after my regular facial cleanser, and moisturizing with Coconut Oil for 5 days, not only are my blackheads gone, but also the whiteheads and the bumps have gone down considerably. I will continue including this in my 'bedtime ritual' as it has worked far better than any beauty products I've tried."
11/07/2013: Perryg79 from California replies: "Once you apply the ACV I know you said to let it dry before applying moisturizer but my question is you don't wash it off after it drys? Just curious, I have black heads really bad on my nose. Thanks, Perry Browning"
Aspirin and Honey
[YEA] 06/02/2010: Regulator555 from Grand Rapids, Mi, Usa: "Blackhead Remedy
I'm 30 and have been suffering from blackheads for years. Aside from extraction, nothing worked. Nearly every pore on my face was blocked. Gross. Anyway, I heard about using aspirin and honey as a remedy on acne.org and thought I'd give it a try. I either use two large aspirin or four low dose aspirin and add a few drops of warm water. Let them dissolve (try to use the uncoated kind otherwise you have to peel the coating off). Add about a tablespoon of organic honey to the dissolved aspirin and mix thoroughly. Gently apply the mixture to a clean face (I use an SLS/paraben/prop. glyc. free soap) on the problem areas and leave on for about 15 minutes. The honey helps the aspirin stay put, or else it will just flake off. After the 15 minutes, wet your hands and gently massage the problem areas and then rinse off with plenty of warm water and your hands. Follow up with a moisturizer. I use just plain hazelnut oil."
Borax, Apple Cider Vinegar, Homemade Serum
01/05/2012: Beatrice from Vancouver, Bc/canada: "The only thing that has ever helped me to disolve blackheads is borax ( used on wet face as an exfoliator - gentle circular motion and wash off). After that I follow with straight apple cider vinegar ( just a few drops on my palms an tap on my face). Then I moisturize with a home-made serum (equal parts of lemon juice, rose water and vegetable glycerine). My acne-prone has never felt better."Replies
06/15/2013: Mortyscastle from Queen Creek, Arizona replies: "When I was younger I would use Borax (or baking powder), then rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide. I will now use ACV. Thanks."
[YEA] 01/24/2010: Tim from Berkeley, Ca: "Castor oil as Blackhead Remedy
After reading about castor oil for reducing wrinkles and improving complexion, I tried it and found that it is wonderful for reducing blackheads and making skin feel soft and clean. What I do is take a facecloth and wet it with hot water. I put the cloth on my face for a few minutes and let the steam open the pores, then apply the castor oil all over my face. I let the castor oil soak in for about 15-30 minutes and then remove it with the facecloth and hot water. After the oil has been removed I then splash cool water on my face to close the pores. This leaves my face feeling clean and smooth. I repeat this process every 3-4 days."Replies
[YEA] 12/24/2011: Absa from Salmiya, Kwt replies: "Tried this method today and it does help :) ...."
04/05/2010: Anonymous from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Usa: "Are blackheads a fungal infection? Athlete's foot causes a buildup of dead skin cells beneath the nail. The nail turns yellow and peels. Eventually it is destroyed. Is it possible that blackheads are a similar fungal infection affecting the hair folicles?"Replies
05/19/2010: Jennifer from Long Island, N.y replies: "in response to anonymous manitowoc, winsconsin- yes u are absolutely right! i am a holistic lifestyle coach and work with ppl including myself to rid themselves of fungus. there is such an ailment called Candida. it is a yeast overgrowth that starts in the gut and intestine and expresses its self as different fungal infections such as dandruff, rosecea, psoriasis, dermatitis, stomach bloating, yeast infections, athletes foot, allergies, ibs, nail fungus. another side effect of candida is that you dont process fats properly so it comes out of your pores. u will never rid yourself of these infections without addressing the roots cause of candida. candida is a precursor to cancer which means if you do not take care of your present state of illness it will at some point in your life turn into some form of cancer. cancer is a fungus! i encourage everyone who reads this to plz look this up and understand it as most ppl have it b/c of excess usage of antibiotic, processed foods, and sugar. i hope this helps :)"
09/15/2012: Thomas from Ann Arbor, Mi replies: "To Jenn from Long Island, I understand that naturopathy is a new thing for the modern world, but we need to maintain some degree of scientific perspective. The statement that "cancer is a fungus" is wholly unsupported by any reputable scientific establishment, and even stronger, there is solid evidence that cancer is not a fungus though the two may co-occur, or increase the liklihood of one another, OR even be treated with similar medications. I can treat many things with the same medications but that doesn't amount to saying they are equivalent.
I wholly respect this community and naturopathy, but for it to be respected by others and developed further we need higher standards that are in accord with our scientific process, and I would at least appreciate sources when making radical claims."
12/16/2012: Nahlo from Clearwater, USA replies: "If you really think about it science doesn't prove anything! Most science is just trying to out smart nature! You cannot out smart nature I think ever body would agree that regardless of what cancer really is WE cause it WE bring it upon ourselfs from all the bull everybody has some how come to believe it's okay to eat and things we do to out body as simple as putting lotion on in the morning. We are created from the earth we should be using it not going against it. Sorry if you disagree but science means nothing when it come to most health issues it just makes it so complicated when everything is so simple and right in front of your face on the ground you walk on. Earth is the answer whether it comes to a black head or cancer!"
01/22/2013: Pi from Anon replies: "After all these years, what has science done in regards to cancer? We have more cancer than ever and look at how unnatural the modern Western lifestyle has become and is spreading in the world. Most of our food is either adulterated or crap and most of us rarely get out in nature except to go to work or shopping. We're too busy on the net or TV or other electronic gadgets. Doctors hardly study any nutrition and more just push pills. I know because my bf is a doctor and he agrees.
I think there is some link with the pimples and blackheads on the body and the high sugar and processed foods many eat all the time. It's like clogging us up and blocking our hormones or something. I think fungus/candida is the root of it. I had what semed to be hidradenitis suppurativa, boils under the breast, on the tummy, in the groin, on the buttocks and even the strange blackheads in the groin area that some people with HS have talked about.
If I took acidophilus capsules, I would have stuff coming out from under my breasts and it was like bread dough. I think it was the dying candida. My whole body broke out in a rash and itched for weeks, an Id Reaction (Autoeczematization): The body got allergic to its own toxins coming out. If you take care of the fungal infection, this secondary ones goes away.
I especially had one groin boil that wouldn't go away from half a year, it would be a marble beneath the skin and them come to head and close back up and cycle like this for months. It was so painful. It disappeared magically one day and all I did was spray an OTC anti-fungal spray on it. In fact, I sprayed it on the other pimple like bumps and they dried up and went away. There is some connect to all of us this HS and candida and bad diets. I don't know why now it's all coming to a head (no pun intended) or why not everyone on a bad diet has this. I do know as a teen I was more prone to acne when I hit puberty, amybe some of us are more sensitive to bad diet over time.
And if some people keep sticking to backwards thinkings and wanting to rely solely on science who looks at medicine as more of a business than permanant cure, we will just keep getting sicker and sicker."
06/15/2013: Andie from Aurora, Co replies: "I'm sorry, but "what has science done in regards to cancer"? What about early and more advanced recognition so that someone with cancer can be treated, as opposed to less than a century ago when cancer went unnoticed and just killed the patient. And what about advanced treatment that is saving more and more people daily? Yes, some of the technology we have today is harmful, but hopefully that will change with the much needed rise of alternative energy industries (and hopefully not nuclear energy).
I agree that as a culture we need to look more to herbal or natural remedies, and I even agree that the addatives in food are harmful to the body and rediculous, but losing the scientific progress and abandoning the scientific method would be even more detremental than continuing on the path we are on now.
Cancer is not a fungus. Cancer is a mutation of a body cell so that it reproduces without regard for whether it needs to reproduse or not. A fungus can become an infection, which would damage cells and reak havock on the body, but it is not a cancer."
12/14/2013: Brad from Ft Galloway, Tx replies: "To Thomas, Cancer is a fungus. MSM well kept secret."
01/09/2014: Jeri from Colorado replies: "It’s kind of funny this conversation is taking place in the Blackheads Cures section, but I wanted to add my two cents.
I think an increasing number of people in our time have been let down by our current scientific community and our medical community, and as a result, have become mistrustful and cynical regarding them. Too much of our current “science” is backed by people with money wanting a certain result. Whenever I hear that “a new scientific study discovered so and so”, my first question is who paid for the study and what do they gain by the outcome. I’m not against the scientific method. And I don’t think all scientists are bad people. I’m sure there are many frustrated scientists wishing they could get funding for things that actually have potential to help people. But more often than not, those scientists are not funded and downright discredited because they will not bring in the desired profit. Apparently curing people doesn’t make as much money as keeping them sick until they die. We’ve been indoctrinated to believe that no major sickness has a cure. All that can be done is to treat symptoms with chemicals that cause other symptoms, causing one to be prescribed even more chemicals to battle those symptoms. Then when the patient dies from all these issues, they call it “natural causes”. And here, that’s considered normal.
Yet, I can come to a site like Earth Clinic and find people who have managed to cure themselves of nearly anything you can think of for much less money with little to no side effects. But our scientific community disregards such things and has been taught to look down upon them. Why? When ACV clears out my sinus infection, is that not science? Just because no one paid millions to concoct it in a lab and then charged me an arm and a leg for it, it doesn’t count? When a banana peel makes a wart go away, is that not science? Our current scientific community wouldn’t take something like that seriously or explore it whatsoever. It would just be discounted, labeled as snake oil and forgotten. And if someone did take the time to study it, they’d be ridiculed, and the powers that be would do their best to get said item taken off the shelves or harder to come by. I’m not against science. But I’ve become very suspicious of what we’re currently told is “science”. So when someone posts on Earth Clinic that cancer is a fungus, I am much more likely to look into it, then just to brush it off because “no reputable scientific establishment” supports it. I no longer consider them reputable. But this is a good thing in my opinion. The more the scientific community disappoints people, the more people will take it upon themselves to do their own research and learn new things instead of waiting for preselected “knowledge” to be spoon fed to them.
Thomas, you express the need for the natural community to gain support and acknowledgement from the scientific community. I think no matter what the natural community did in an effort to gain such recognition, it would not sway the scientific community to acknowledge them. However, I think that at some point, the scientific community will have no choice but to recognize the merits of natural healing because the balance of people who’ve been let down by science and helped by natural healing will have shifted to the point that the scientific community will be the ones who are frowned upon for the ridiculous exclusivity that has been so prevalent in their studies. I think the ridicule they are so good at dishing out will ironically be their undoing."
01/10/2014: Om from Hope Bc Canada replies: "Jeri from Colorado from Om:
Thank you for your post which will help many people, I hope. As an addition, I just want to mention the ayurvedic way of making beautiful skin by using turmeric powder or juice. It is available in detail on youtube. Age old remedy and now being discovered by the West.
Also read: http--www.bioponic.com-pdfs-Turmeric. A favourite of mine. A gift from God. Can be found in India everywhere especially in the temples. Good luck in your endeavour to look like a goddess asap. Om"
01/10/2014: Om from Hope Bc Canada replies: "Jeri from Colorado from Om: just wait the nose dive is coming soon."
Grapeseed, Lavender and Bergamot Oils
[YEA] 01/16/2010: Pb from Halifax, Ns: "Blackheads
Just thought I would share this as I was surprised to see how much it helped me. I ran out of moisturizer and decided to try using an oil blend. After some research online I mixed about 30 ml of grapeseed oil (available in some grocery stores or organic food stores) with about 4 drops of lavender essential oil and 2 drops of bergamot essential oil (available at most pharmacies). I applied it to my face, chest and back every morning (shake before using). It does feel greasy on the face but if you have to apply make-up you could blot after 15 min or so to get rid of the excess. Anyway, I was surprised to notice that after a few days my existing blackheads seemed to dry up completely or were greatly loosened, and there have been no new breakouts of acne in general. I'm in my mid-30s and have had acne all my life so find this quite remarkable & hope it helps someone else."
[YEA] 01/27/2012: Ryan from Redlands, California: "I didn't see a section for lemons or lemon juice on blackheads so I wanted to contribute.
The acidic compounds found in lemon juice are amazing for breaking down oils and clearing up those embarrassing blackheads. I have been using the following remedy for about 3 days now and have noticed quite a difference in my complexion!
I take a warm shower (opens pores) every morning before work and every early evening. After shower, I push up on my nose from underneath to try and clear out as much loosened blackhead 'plugs' as possible.
I then apply lemon juice to a cotton ball and dab it on my nose and around the 'T-area'. It may sting a bit at first and direct sunlight should be avoided for about 30 minutes after applying.
This has netted me substantial results, although people with sensitive skin may have reactions to the nature of the acidity."
[YEA] 01/28/2010: Cured from Niceville, Fl: "I continue to be amazed with more and more home remedies I try. Last night I made a paste out of baking soda and water to use as a natural exfoliator on my face. It worked beautifully but with a side effect. I did use it twice, last night and this morning. I thought I was seeing things last night but was definitly confirmed this morning after using this paste again just because it was there in the shower. My blackheads are gone! I can't find a single one.
I must add details of my current daily regimine. I use:
- ACV as a toner - if too strong then dilute half with water and use on a cotton ball
- VCO as a moisturizer
- Turmeric capsules I make myself for anti-inflammatory
This regimine was and still is working great for the last 2-3 months. All three listed above also are great for acne and evening out skin tone. Before last night my acne was gone except these pesky black heads. Two washes with the baking soda paste and my face is completely clear, pores even look a little better I think. Plus when I applied the VCO this time it was oh so smooth. I plan to continue with my daily routine and add the exfoliator in 1-2x maximum per week. My paste was 3T baking soda and about 1 1/2T water. The first time was a bit runny. I forgot to close the lid last night and this morning it was a nice thicker paste. The thick paste will be perfect to use on the rest of my body again no more than 2x a week."
04/07/2010: Marie from Crowthorne, Berkshire replies: "Please can you tell me what VCO stands for? Looking forward to trying it."
EC: VCO is the acronym for Virgin Coconut Oil.
01/22/2013: Bea28 : "Help!!! I have struggled with something very similar to white and black heads all over my body and I don't know how I can treat it. It's embarrassing any help would be highly appreciated."Replies
01/22/2013: Wendy from Columbus, Oh replies: "To Bea28: Please read carefully the information at link below, which is the same area where you posted your questions. You may have Candida, so, read this link and do your research: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/blackheads.html#GF"