How to Treat Blackheads: An Expert Weighs In

How to Treat Blackheads

Ladies (and gentlemen, if you’re out there), I have a TMI confession for you… I love to squeeze blackheads. Like, really, really love it! My birthday is a week from today and I’d actually be thrilled if someone gifted me with a pimply teenager and let me go to town on their face. That’s how much I enjoy popping spots. Gross, right?

But whilst squeezing blackheads is a guilty pleasure, living with them is no fun at all. And, if you have oily skin like me, they set up camp on your face with frustrating regularity.

So I reached out to Nicci Anstey, Director of Training and Education at ELEMIS, for her expert advice on how to treat blackheads. ELEMIS is my most trusted skincare brand, and I’ve had many amazing facials at their London spa, so knew they’d be able to help. Here’s what Nicci had to say…

First of all, is it really that bad to squeeze blackheads at home?

Yes, you shouldn’t attempt to get rid of blackheads yourself. It needs to be done in a clean and sterile environment and the skin should be properly prepared and cared for afterwards, so leave this to the experts by asking for steaming and extraction as part of regular facials. Ideally, we would recommend having a facial once every 4 to 6 weeks.

Sometimes the temptation to pop a spot is too hard to resist though. So what should we do in those situations?

If you attempt blackhead extractions at home use a toner immediately afterwards to help close the pores and rebalance the skin’s pH levels. Then follow with the ELEMIS Herbal Lavender Repair Mask to purify and absorb excess oil. You can even leave this on breakouts overnight and it will calm any angry, red spots.

How can we avoid getting blackheads in the first place?  

Consistency is the key to getting rid of blackheads. We need to address cleansing, toning and create a consistent daily routine. Finding the right products for your skin is an important step here, which is why The House of ELEMIS offer Skin Lab consultations, where your skin is mapped and scanned. If you’re getting blackheads, it’s likely that your skin is on the oilier side, so the Balancing Lavender Toner paired with your cleanser would be a great step.

We always hear that regular exfoliation is key to preventing blackheads, but how often should we use an exfoliator?

This is very individual, but we usually recommended 1-2 times a week to ensure fresh skin cells are being stimulated. You shouldn’t exfoliate too often because you can strip the skin and encourage an overproduction of oil.

Do you also struggle with blackheads? If so which skincare products do you like to use? I’m about to start using the Lavender Repair Mask that Nicci recommends, and will report back on the results…

P.S. 4 brilliant face masks for every skin concern and how to care for your décolletage

  • Rianne Mitchell

    Can’t get enough of your blog at the moment! I’mn the same with spots, I just have to squeeze ’em! Elemis have amazing products and they smell so lush

    • cocos_tea_party

      Hi Rianne! Thanks for the lovely comment – always love to hear that.

  • ZB

    I Must Say I Am Not Consistent Enough.. I need to get rid of this problem first 😀 . Anyways, very nice article to get rid of blackheads. Will surely give it a try

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  • My sister just tried a facial treatment and in just one session she got rid of every blackhead!
    I think I’ll try it, too.
    I use to squeeze blackheads when I do a facial sauna (at home).