Getting Rid Of Blackheads With Salicylic Acid | Expert Skincare Advice

Blackheads, the black pits of doom that seem to just appear on your face are not a good look for anyone. They can give the appearance of laziness, immaturity and dare we say it, dirtiness.

Bad Case Of Blackheads
Bad Case Of Blackheads

Blackheads are on most women’s radar, with them adopting skincare routines to get rid of blackheads and prevent them coming back. Whereas, us men don’t seem to do enough to prevent and treat blackheads. Or, maybe we just don’t know enough about blackheads?


What Are Blackheads?

Unlike acne and pimples which are inflamed, blocked pore openings often associated with redness. Blackheads are plugs within your skin which collect excess oil and dead skin cells within the skins pores. The dead skin cells and oil combine, oxidise on contact with air and result in the typical black appearance associated with blackheads. It’s so important to develop a skincare routine which is suited to you, as people produce blackheads at different rates, or not at all in some cases.

As blackheads are plugs, most treatments are temporary unless you decrease the size of the plug pore – if you don’t, the blackhead will simply just return if you were to only clear the pore by squeezing the blackhead. Typical blackhead treatments such as nose pore strips pull the debris from the pore, resulting in a blank space for a new blackhead to form.

We particularly liked Bona-Fide-Skincare‘s analogy of a blackhead using water and sand.

“Squeezing them may work temporarily, it’s like digging a hole in wet sand – the water (oil) and sand (dead skin cells) are still there. To keep that hole completely clear, we need to keep the sand and water away from it (end of analogy!).”

How Do I Get Rid Of Blackheads?

A quick but temporary fix to treating blackheads is to clear out the contents of the pore through nose pore strips or squeezing the pore. After these temporary blackhead treatments, the pores are often large due to the push of the previous blackhead on the wall of the pore, creating an opportunity for more oil and dead skin cells to re-block the pore, resulting in another blackhead.

Squeezing blackheads is just maintaining the problem and not solving it – the long term, permanent fix lies with decreasing the size of the pore over time, thus decreasing the chance and visibility of blocked pores.

Want a quick way to clear out your pores? Then check out our favourite nose pore strips here.

Decrease The Size Of Pores To Reduce Blackheads

To decrease the size of pores, simply keep them clear of excess oil and dead skin. This gives the skin’s natural elasticity a chance to decrease the size of the pore.

A great way to remove excess oil and dead skin cells is by applying salicylic acid to areas of the skin commonly prone to blackheads – typically your nose and cheeks.

Salicylic Acid Blackhead Treatments

Salicylic acid is one of the most effective and efficient ways to prevent and remove blackheads without breaking the bank. It also has the added benefits of treating acne and pimples at the same time – win, win situation if you suffer from both blackheads and acne.

Salicylic acid breaks down the plugs which typically block pores and cause blackheads, which in turn gives the pore a chance to decrease in size over time- exactly what we’re aiming for.

Another skincare benefit of Salicyclic Acid is that it can rebalance the skins natural pH levels to where the skin can thrive and maintain good skin hygiene itself. Excess oil and bacteria can affect the skins pH balance which can result in blemishes, inflammation and excess oil secretion – as we know excess oil secretion can block pores and result in blackheads.

Salicylic Acid 2% Daily Gentle Peel
Salicylic Acid 2% Daily Gentle Peel

How To Use Salicylic Acid To Remove Blackheads

Before you go to bed every night you should be washing your face without fail – if you don’t, start now! Then follow the below steps to remove your blackheads using Salicyclic Acid:

  1. Post face wash is where salicylic acid comes in – apply a salicylic acid based product like Salicylic Acid 2% Daily Gentle Peel on a cotton wool pad and apply to dry skin, particularly areas where blackheads are most common.
  2. L'Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Moisturiser
    L’Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Moisturiser

    Leave on the skin for up to 30 seconds. With your first couple of uses you will feel a tingling/stinging sensation, a great sign that its working –  you may only be able to manage a few seconds the first couple of times. This sensation with dim with increased use over time as the skin becomes accustomed to it.

  3. Rinse off the Salicylic Acid with cold water and pat dry your face.
  4. Apply moisturiser after use, to keep skin well hydrated. A light, non-oily moisturiser is optimum for decreasing and treating blackheads.
  5. You should then start to incorporate this into your daily skincare regimes.


You will start to see the results on your blackheads from the salicylic acid after a few days, for optimum results you should continue to use a salicylic acid based product as much as you can, for along as possible if you want to maintain blackhead free skin – look to incorporate these into your daily grooming routine.