The 12 Best Blackhead Removers of 2022

The Hydra Medic Sea Mud Perfecting Mask penetrates deep to decongest pores and restore balance

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 Best Blackhead Removers of 2022

Amazon

Blackheads are a common skin concern that create the appearance of small, dark bumps on the skin. Though they can occur anywhere on the body, they’re most commonly found on the nose, chin, and forehead—also known as the T-zone. While blackheads aren’t inherently harmful, they can be difficult to get rid of and may cause the skin to appear dull or unhealthy.

Reviewed & Approved

The Hydra Medic Sea Mud Perfecting Mask contains seaweed, a natural detoxifier, to help cleanse and decongest pores. For a budget-friendly option, CeraVe SA Cleanser combines salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides into a gentle, everyday formula that helps reduce the appearance of blackheads while keeping skin hydrated.

A number of factors contribute to the formation of blackheads, including excess oil production, dead skin cells, and makeup buildup. And while some people are more prone to blackheads than others, anyone can get them. Luckily, a proactive skincare routine and the right blackhead treatments can help.

“Blackhead removal is possible at home and can be safe under the right circumstances," explains Nadir Qazi, DO, board-certified physician, cosmetic dermatology surgeon, and owner of Qazi Cosmetic Clinic Irvine, California. "For example, using the right tools and products rather than squeezing or popping the blackheads out with fingernails—as that method can cause permanent scarring to the skin." We researched dozens of products and consulted dermatologists to find the best at-home treatment options for stubborn blackheads.

Here are the best blackhead products—according to expert advice and thorough research.

Best Overall: Repêchage Hydra Medic Sea Mud Perfecting Mask

Repêchage Hydra Medic Sea Mud Perfecting Mask

Repêchage

Why We Like It: The Sea Mud Perfecting Mask has a luxurious, creamy feel without being heavy on the skin.

It’s Worth Noting: The mask should only be used twice a week.

Give your pores a nice, deep clean with our top pick, the Hydra Medic Sea Mud Perfecting Mask. This mask is made with seaweed, which contains several essential vitamins and minerals including B12, C, E, and K. It's also rich in amino acids which are vital for maintaining the hydration and overall health of your skin.

The mask also contains kaolin clay, which is known for its ability to absorb excess oil and remove impurities from the skin. The combination of these ingredients makes the Hydra Medic Sea Mud Perfecting Mask an excellent choice for those with oily or combination skin. It can be used twice a week to help control breakouts and improve the overall appearance of your face.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: Combination or oily
  • Key Ingredients: Ascophyllum nodosum (seaweed) powder, kaolin, zinc oxide, Eucalyptus Oil
  • Size: 4.6 oz
  • Price at time of publication: $35

Best Budget: CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

4.8
CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

Ulta

Why We Like It: This non-comedogenic cleanser contains salicylic acid, an essential ingredient for those with blackhead-prone skin.

It’s Worth Noting: It may leave a film-like residue on your face.

CeraVe SA Cleanser is an affordable, non-comedogenic cleanser that contains salicylic acid. According to Dr. Qazi, this ingredient is vital for blackhead-prone skin as it helps to exfoliate and remove impurities from the pores. "Depending on the concentration, it is safe for every skin type. It's effective in removing blackheads and preventing new ones from forming."

CeraVe SA Cleanser also contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides which work together to hydrate and restore the skin barrier. This cleanser is gentle enough for daily use on the face and body. It's also fragrance-free and recommended by dermatologists—all for just over $10.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: Normal
  • Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, ceramides
  • Size: 8 oz
  • Price at time of publication: $13

Best for Oily Skin: First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Deep Cleanser with Red Clay

First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Deep Cleanser with Red Clay

Amazon

Why We Like It: The combination of red clay and rosemary leaf oil helps absorb excess oil and balance sebum production.

It’s Worth Noting: This cleanser may be too drying for those with normal to dry skin.

Oil production is necessary for healthy skin, but when it's out of balance, it can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. The First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Deep Cleanser with Red Clay is formulated to help control excess oil production and keep the skin looking clear and matte.

The cleanser contains red clay, known for absorbing excess oil and creating a balanced complexion. Rosemary leaf oil, a powerful antioxidant, helps improve the appearance of pores while protecting the skin from environmental damage. This brand is free of alcohol, artificial colors, fragrances, gluten, soy, and nuts, so it's also great for those with sensitive skin.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: Combination or oily
  • Key Ingredients: Red clay, rosemary leaf oil, glycerin
  • Size: 4.7 oz
  • Price at time of publication: $22

Best for Sensitive Skin: Pure Daily Care NanoSteamer Luxe

Pure Daily Care NanoSteamer Luxe

Amazon

Why We Like It: Steam helps open pores and loosen buildup without harsh products or physical exfoliants.

It’s Worth Noting: This product is best used with a gentle blackhead-targeting cleanser.

Finding the right blackhead remover can be challenging for those with sensitive skin. Many products contain harsh ingredients that can irritate and inflame the skin. The Pure Daily Care NanoSteamer Luxis a facial steamer that uses ultrasonic technology to generate nano-sized steam particles. These particles penetrate deep into the pores to remove impurities in decongested areas of the face.

The steamer features six steam modes: cold steam, hot steam, smart steam, cleanse, hydration, and oil-control—each designed to provide a specific benefit. Hot steam mode loosens congestion and opens the pores, while cold steam helps close and tighten pores after cleansing. While it's an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin, it's best used in combination with gentle blackhead cleansers, like CeraVe SA Cleanser, to help prevent future breakouts.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: All skin types
  • Key Ingredients: Nano-sized steam particles
  • Size: N/A
  • Price at time of publication: $60

Best for Dry Skin: Ma:nyo Pure Cleaning Oil

Ma:nyo Pure Cleaning Oil

Ma:nyo

Why We Like It: The silky texture of this cleansing oil breaks up makeup and leaves the skin feeling nourished and hydrated.

It’s Worth Noting: Ma:nyo products must be purchased online.

The Ma:nyo Pure Cleaning Oil is a luxurious, lightweight cleansing oil that's perfect for those with dry skin. The oil is formulated with argan kernel oil, jojoba oil, and several other nourishing ingredients that help remove makeup and impurities while leaving the skin feeling hydrated and silky-smooth.

This cleanser is unique in that after applying it to the skin, it becomes milky white as it breaks down makeup and other impurities. It rinses clean with no oily residue, leaving the skin feeling clean, soft, and hydrated—without the tightness associated with many facial cleansers. It comes in a pump bottle for easy dispensing, and a little goes a long way.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: All skin types
  • Key Ingredients: Argan Kernel oil, jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil, tea tree oil
  • Size: 6.7 oz, 10.14 oz, 13.52 oz
  • Price at time of publication: $29

Best for Combination Skin: Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash

Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash

Amazon

Why We Like It: Vitamin C and sunflower seed oil brighten and nourish the skin while gentle exfoliators slough away dead skin cells.

It’s Worth Noting: The product container makes it difficult to get the cleanser out.

Philosophy's Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash is a two-in-one product that cleanses and exfoliates the skin. Unlike many exfoliators, this wash contains micro-sized beads that help gently loosen and remove congestion without damaging the skin. The beads are suspended in sunflower oil and vitamin C-rich cleanser that helps brighten and nourish the skin—leaving a smooth surface behind.

Because of its gentle exfoliating and brightening properties, it’s a great daily option to help achieve a toned and polished complexion. The wash is suitable for all skin types, but those with combination skin will especially benefit from its ability to remove excess oil without stripping the skin. Aside from its pore-perfecting benefits, this product also helps with fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, and uneven skin tones.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: All skin types
  • Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, orange peel extract, sunflower seed oil
  • Size: 8 oz 
  • Price at time of publication: $29

Best for People with Acne: Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Masque

Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Masque

Ulta

Why We Like It: Sulfur-based products are some of the most effective OTC acne treatments for blemishes.

It’s Worth Noting: This mask may cause dryness, so it's best to use it only twice a week.

The Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Masque from Peter Thomas Roth is a must-have if you frequently get blemishes. The mask contains 10% sulfur, a potent acne-fighting ingredient that helps dry out pimples and prevent new ones from forming. In addition to sulfur, it also contains kaolin clay and bentonite clay to help further treat acne and absorb excess oil—all while aloe vera soothes and calms the skin.

The mask can be used on the face, chest, and back up to three times a week. Those with sensitive skin may want to start with one to two times each week and increase as tolerated. If you find the mask too drying, try reducing the time you leave it on or using it less frequently. Overall, this is an excellent product for acne sufferers that helps clear blemishes fast.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: Acne-prone skin, oily skin
  • Key Ingredients: Sulfur 10%, bentonite clay, kaolin clay, aloe vera
  • Size: 5 oz
  • Price at time of publication: $52

Best Gel: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Cleanser

4.8
La Roche Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser

Courtesy of Amazon 

Why We Like It: This non-comedogenic cleanser reaches deep into pores to remove dirt, oil, and makeup without using oil-based ingredients.

It’s Worth Noting: The Effaclar Medicated Gel Facial Cleanser isn't a good fit for those with dry skin.

La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Medicated Gel Facial Cleanser targets blemishes and acne-prone skin. It contains 2% salicylic acid, which helps unclog pores and prevent new blackheads from forming. In addition to salicylic acid, the cleanser contains lipo-hydroxy acid to exfoliate and renew the skin and glycerin to hydrate and soothe.

This cleanser is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores or cause breakouts. It's also fragrance-free, dermatologist tested, and safe for those with allergies and sensitive skin. The gel formula works well for all skin types, but those with oily or acne-prone skin will particularly benefit from its pore-clearing and blemish-preventing properties.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: Normal, combination, oily
  • Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid 2%, lipo-hydroxy acid, glycerin
  • Size: 6.76 oz
  • Price at time of publication: $16

Best Extractor: Dermaflash Dermapore

Dermaflash Dermapore

Dermaflash

Why We Like It: Its gentle, ultrasonic vibration helps break up congestion in your pores without irritating your skin.

It’s Worth Noting: You should only use extraction tools if you have the proper training—otherwise, you risk damaging your skin.

The Dermapore by Dermaflash is an at-home pore extractor that uses ultrasonic vibration to break up congestion and remove blackheads, sebum, and dirt from the pores. The device features two modes: extract for a deep cleanse and infuse to enhance your moisturizer's absorption. After cleansing your skin and removing makeup, you can use the Dermapore to target blackhead-prone areas like the nose, chin, and forehead.

The rounded tip of the device is gentle on the skin during extraction, and the ultrasonic vibration helps loosen sebum and debris beneath the skin. The Dermapore is also water-resistant and can be used up to three times per week. For best results, you should follow it up with a serum or moisturizer to hydrate and restore a healthy glow.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: All skin types
  • Key Ingredients: N/A
  • Size: N/A
  • Price at time of publication: $99

Best Face Wash: TULA Skin Care The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser

TULA Skin Care The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser

Amazon

Why We Like It: The purifying ingredients and probiotic-rich formula helps balance the skin's microbiome and prevent breakouts.

It’s Worth Noting: This cleanser has a dewy finish, which some users may not prefer.

TULA Skincare's entire line harnesses the power of probiotics, and their Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser is no exception. This gel-based cleanser contains pre- and probiotic technology to help balance the skin's microbiome to maintain a healthy, clear complexion. 

The cleanser also contains a blend of purifying ingredients like turmeric and white tea to improve skin texture and clarity. This clinically proven formula is free of harsh chemicals, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances—so those with sensitive skin or a clean beauty routine can feel good about using it.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: All skin types
  • Key Ingredients: Chicory root, probiotics, turmeric, green tea, white tea, blueberry extract
  • Size: 6.7 oz
  • Price at time of publication: $34

Best Scrub: Eight Saints Zen Out of Ten Bamboo Detox Face Scrub

Eight Saints Zen Out of Ten Bamboo Detox Face Scrub

Amazon

Why We Like It: This plant-based facial scrub contains bamboo to exfoliate the skin gently.

It’s Worth Noting: Natural products don't contain the more potent blackhead-busting ingredients like salicylic acid.

Scrubs have a bad rap for being harsh on the skin, but this one from Eight Saints is unique. It uses bamboo to exfoliate, which is gentler on the skin than other exfoliating ingredients. Plus, it’s rich in organic silica, which helps to detoxify and renew the skin. Other ingredients like vitamin E and shea butter help moisturize and protect the skin from harmful elements and damage.

Rich in antioxidants, Zen Out of Ten Bamboo Detox Face Scrub from Eight Saints removes dead skin cells, dirt, and oil while providing the skin with powerful minerals and nutrients.  After a few minutes, your skin will feel softer, smoother, and more radiant.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: All skin types
  • Key Ingredients: Bamboo, vitamin E, antioxidants, olive seed, cranberry seed, vitamin E
  • Size: 2 oz
  • Price at time of publication: $28

Best Mask: The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

Sephora

Why We Like It: Salicylic acid, charcoal, and kaolin clay work together to remove dead skin cells and oils from pores.

It’s Worth Noting: This mask should only be used twice a week.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque is a powerful acne-fighting mask that contains several active ingredients to help clear and brighten the skin. Salicylic acid helps exfoliate the skin and unclog pores, while charcoal and kaolin clay work to absorb excess oil and draw out impurities. Additionally, the ingredients work together to target skin tone and texture, leaving you with a more even complexion.

This mask is ideal if you have normal skin types and those prone to stubborn clogged pores and blackheads. Because of its powerful ingredients, it’s best to use it twice a week to help detoxify and renew the skin. This pick is vegan, gluten-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free—and still budget-friendly.

Product Details:

  • Skin Type: Normal, Acne-prone
  • Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid 2%, charcoal, kaolin clay
  • Size: 1.7 oz:
  • Price at time of publication: $12

How We Selected

We reviewed dozens of options before narrowing down the best blackhead removal products on the market. We looked for formulas that target blackhead formation, such as those containing powerful acne-fighters like salicylic acid and charcoal. We considered scrubs and masks with exfoliating ingredients that help unclog pores, detoxify the skin, and brighten the complexion. Devices like skin spatulas and steamers that physically remove blackheads were also reviewed.

We consulted with dermatologists to get their professional opinions on what ingredients and formulas are most effective for blackhead removal. Dermatologists we spoke to included:

  • Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist, chief medical officer at Ideal Image, and co-founder of Modern Dermatology in Connecticut
  • Nadir Qazi, DO, board-certified physician, cosmetic dermatology surgeon, and owner of Qazi Cosmetic Clinic Irvine, California

What to Know About Blackhead Removers

Key Features

When looking for a blackhead remover, consider the following features:

  • Ingredients: The most effective blackhead removal products contain ingredients like salicylic acid, charcoal, sulfur, alpha hydroxy acids, and retinoids.
  • Exfoliation: Scrubs and masks with exfoliating ingredients help slough away dead skin cells, dirt, and oil that can clog pores and lead to blackheads. It's important to use gentle exfoliators to avoid irritating the skin.
  • Skin Type: Most blackhead removal products are suitable for all skin types, but some may be more suitable for specific skin types—such as acne-prone or sensitive skin. Be sure to read the product label to see if a product is right for you.
  • Size: Blackhead removal products come in various sizes, from small tubes to large jars. Choose a size that will best suit your needs.
  • Frequency of Use: Some blackhead removal products, such as gentle cleansers, can be used daily as part of your skincare routine. Others, such as ultrasonic devices, should only be used a few times weekly.
  • Price: Blackhead removal products can range from under $10 to over $100. Consider your budget and whether you'll be able to afford the product long-term.

Ingredients

The best blackhead removal products contain active ingredients that target blackheads and the factors contributing to their formation. These include exfoliating agents like salicylic acid and clarifying ingredients like sulfur and charcoal.

"When selecting a blackhead remover, people should look at the ingredients. Some ingredients, like alcohol, can strip the skin of its protection and moisture," explains Dr. Qazi. "Without that protection, the skin is exposed to bacteria. The sebaceous glands then try to replace the protection by producing more oil than lost, leading to more clogged pores."

Some of the most common ingredients used in blackhead products include:

  • Salicylic acid: A type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that helps exfoliate the skin, unclog pores, and reduce inflammation.
  • Benzoyl peroxide: A powerful acne-fighting ingredient that helps kill bacteria and unclog pores.
  • Sulfur: A natural antiseptic agent that helps dry out excess oil and calm inflammation.
  • Charcoal: A natural detoxifier that helps draw out impurities and absorb excess oils
  • Glycolic acid: An alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that binds to dead skin cells and helps break them down, resulting in brighter, smoother skin.
  • Retinoids: Vitamin A derivatives that help improve cell turnover and reduce the stickiness of sebum, which can help prevent clogged pores. Retinoids are available by prescription only.

Your Questions, Answered

How do blackhead removers work?

Products that target blackheads typically contain ingredients like salicylic acid, sulfur, charcoal, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), and retinols. These ingredients work in different ways to exfoliate the skin, unclog pores, absorb excess oils, and clarify the complexion.

What is the best way to remove blackheads?

Gentle cleansing, exfoliation, and regular use of blackhead removal products can help prevent and reduce the appearance of blackheads. Dr. Robinson advises against using most tools and extractors, such as powered suction devices, as they can cause inflammation and broken blood vessels—essentially causing more damage than good.

At-home blackhead removal treatments can be effective, but it's important to use them as directed. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and start with once or twice a week to see how your skin reacts. If you experience any irritation, discontinue use.

Can you safely remove blackheads at home?

Yes, however, you should take caution when using any type of blackhead removal product, as some ingredients can be harsh on the skin. According to Dr. Robinson, removal is helpful but won't prevent blackhead formation. "The blackhead will likely return without a regular skincare routine targeting sebum, bacteria, and the build-up of dead skin cells."

Who We Are

As a nurse and public health professional, Lindsay Modglin is an experienced journalist who covers the rapidly evolving health and medical field. Her byline has been featured in global publications like Forbes, Insider, Verywell, and more. She enjoys researching and writing about the latest developments in health, wellness, and medical technology. Her goal is to help readers make actionable and informed decisions about the products and services they use to improve their lives.

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