The 11 Best Blackhead Removers, According to a Skin Expert
Say goodbye to those annoying little blemishes once and for all, thanks to expert-approved pore vacuums, spatula scrubbers, facial steamers, masks, and more.
If you’ve ever found yourself in front of a mirror pinching your skin to squeeze out an unwelcome blackhead, you’re certainly not alone. Blackheads (which occur when pores become clogged with oil and dead cells and then oxidize when they're exposed to oxygen, turning black) are not only one of the most annoying skin issues, but they’re also one of the most common. Oof. And without taking the necessary steps, you can actually do more harm than good trying to purge your skin of dirt, oil, and makeup buildup.
To properly get rid of blackheads, you need to thoroughly wash your face with a blackhead-specific cleanser; follow up with a facial steamer to open up your pores; and apply a clay mask, which will gently pull dirt, dead skin, and oil from your face, says Gretchen Frieling, M.D., a board-certified Boston dermatopathologist and CEO of GFaceMD. Then, employ a blackhead removal tool to extract those stubborn dots, and polish off your face with a clarifying toner.
While the beauty market is totally saturated with blackhead treatments—from face washes to pore removal strips—only so many of these products truly make a difference, no matter how religiously they’re used. Luckily, Dr. Frieling has several recommendations for tools that will unclog even the most blackhead-prone skin. From pore vacuums and spatula scrubbers to facial steamers and masks, here are the best blackhead removers, according to an expert. (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Getting Rid of Blackheads)
Lonove Blackhead Remover Vacuum Pore Cleaner
Unlike traditional suction methods, this blackhead remover vacuum is designed to target and suck out stubborn blackheads without hurting your skin, explains Freiling. Thanks to the five different power settings, this tool can accommodate sensitive, dry, neutral, combination, and oily skin.
Buy It: Lonove Blackhead Remover Vacuum Pore Cleaner, $24, amazon.com
HailiCare Ultrasonic Skin Scrubber
This spatula-like tool works to exfoliate and remove dirt, oil, and grime trapped in your pores through high-frequency vibrations. It also features three settings to cleanse, moisturize, and lift skin. The cleansing mode removes even the deepest impurities; the moisturizing setting preps your skin so that it is able to absorb your skin-care products (like serums) better; and the lifting mode helps to firm, plump, and reduce wrinkles. (Related: The 11 Best Anti-Aging Serums, According to Dermatologists)
Buy It: HailiCare Ultrasonic Skin Scrubber, $30, amazon.com
Sephora Collection Double-Ended Blemish Extractor
For fans of Dr. Pimple Popper, it will come as no surprise that a loop extractor made the list.
Dr. Frieling recommends this tool for hard-to-reach areas—like ears or near the side of your nose—since it features a small loop to remove whiteheads and a flat side to extract blackheads. “The key is to not put too much pressure on the skin by dragging the tool across the surface of the skin, which can cause tearing,” she points out.
Buy It: Sephora Collection Double-Ended Blemish Extractor, $17, Sephora.com
Sephora Collection Diamondbuff by Bee Stunning
Exfoliation is necessary for both blackhead prevention and treatment, and this professional microdermabrasion tool has a head that’s made of crushed diamonds to gently remove dead skin cells. The buffer is small, which allows it to target more difficult areas around your nose, and you can use it weekly to eliminate blackheads, soften fine lines, minimize the appearance of pores, and give skin a healthy glow.
Buy It: Sephora Collection Diamondbuff by Bee Stunning, $60, Sephora.com
Amconsure Facial Steamer
A facial steamer is absolutely critical when it comes to getting rid of blackheads, according to Dr. Frieling, since the heat gently opens pores to allow for better penetration with your extraction tool. (Speaking of, this steamer comes with five!) On top of removing lingering makeup and clearing clogged pores, facial steamers also improve the absorption and effectiveness of your skin-care products and boost blood circulation, which helps promote collagen and elastin production to make skin appear younger-looking. Just hold your face over a facial steamer designed for treating blackheads for 5-8 minutes, instructs Dr. Frieling.
Buy It: Amconsure Facial Steamer, $40, amazon.com
Gufan Beauty Lamp Blackhead Remover
This pore vacuum incorporates LED lights to help kill blemish- and blackhead-causing bacteria and uses five vibration frequencies to deep clean blackheads. It has three light settings (blue, green, and red), which are intended to shrink pores, increase nutrient absorption to skin, balance oil secretion, and help lighten pigmentation to give skin a more hydrated and youthful look. (More on light devices: Can At-Home Blue Light Devices Really Clear Acne?)
Buy It: Gufan Beauty Lamp Blackhead Remover, $30, amazon.com
Fresh Umbrian Clay Pore Purifying Face
Alternate between a face mask and your extraction tool to prevent skin from becoming irritated. Clay-based formulas are known to target blackheads, as they're a gentle way to remove oil and dirt from the skin, says Dr. Frieling. This one by Fresh features Umbrian clay to purify the appearance of your complexion (read: bye-bye, blackheads), while sandalwood oil, chamomile flower, and lavender water calm and soothe skin. (Related: This $10 Face Mask Has a Cult Following—and the Before-and-After Photos Prove Why)
Buy It: Fresh Umbrian Clay Pore Purifying Face, $58, Sephora.com
There’s a reason why Clarisonic has a cult following: The brush works to cleanse, exfoliate, and dramatically improve skin tone and the appearance of blackheads. The device is great for all skin types since it has a sensitive skin cleansing mode and a smart mode with a timer that guides you through each zone of your face, so you don’t concentrate on one area for too long.
Buy It: Clarisonic Mia, $169, amazon.com
Eunon Blackhead Remover Pore Vacuum
With a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, this vacuum is a win with Amazon reviewers. They rave about how it gently yet effectively removes blackheads and makes even large pores appear noticeably smaller. It boasts a large, easy-to-read LCD display that can be adjusted between three suction modes to unclog pores—whether due to makeup residue, acne, or blackheads.
Buy It: Eunon Blackhead Remover Pore Vacuum, $43, amazon.com
Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner
Toners can help cut down on oil and bacteria. This one, in particular, features salicylic acid, which reduces shine and removes excess oil for a matte finish. “A good anti-blackhead and -acne toner will also soften the pores and dislodge deep blackheads,” notes Dr. Frieling. To use, just soak a cotton ball with the toner and apply it to your face, she adds. (Related: Is Salicylic Acid Really a Miracle Ingredient for Blackheads and Acne?)
Buy It: Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner, $24, Nordstrom.com
Bioré Charcoal Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
While not all dermatologists and skin experts recommend pore strips (since they can also remove skin along with blackheads), it can be super satisfying to see the tiny mountains of oil and impurities they extract from your nose after ripping one off. These strips contain charcoal, which (similarly to clay) behaves like a blackhead magnet, leaving you with clear pores after use.
Buy It: Bioré Charcoal Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, $8, amazon.com