Stores & Services
Find a Sephora

Happening at Sephora

View all


From makeovers to personalized skincare consultations

Free Classes

Get inspired, play with products & learn new skills

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Post in Skincare Aware

*gulp*... Blackheads

Hello everyone!


I am in some serious need of assistance regarding blackheads! Specifically around the nose area, I am a bit oilier (which is normal for most people), and I these gross spots are developing. 


I'm not sure if I should purchase an extraction tool or go for some products recommendations? If anyone can reply with some personal experience (or product recommendations, lol) it would be much appreciated!



Re: *gulp*... Blackheads

Seconding @RGbrown and @RNGesusPls  's advice. Think of like-for-like, balm and oil cleansers will help dissolve the oils/gunk trapped in your pores, then follow up with a nice water-based cleanser (these are your traditional cleansers, my favorite is NEOGEN DERMALOGY - Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser).


The AHA's and BHA's will work over time and are great for maintenance of clean pores as well. But if you're looking for something to clear out the pores ASAP, aside from a professional facial, I'd avoid extractions myself. You're more likely to cause little scars or dark spots unintentionally. Go with a mask! Clay and charcoal based masks are usually targeted towards exactly this. I've got combo skin with an oily nose, so I apply clay masks only on my lower T-zone, as I find them drying on my cheeks and forehead. Double cleanse, tone, clay mask, swipe with Son & Park Beauty water (to remove any stray bits of mask), hydrating serum, then moisturizer.


My all time favorite clay mask is the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask

Pink clay based, it dries down to a light pink color that shows the oil it's pulled as deeper colored spots. Leaves my skin looking absolutely pore-less, it's kinda amazing. For a slightly less pricey option, Origins has a great charcoal mask as well.


And then a final product rec, OLEHENRIKSEN Invigorating Night Transformation™ Gel 1.7 oz/ 50 mL

is my AHA of choice, I rotate through so many products, but always come back to this for maintainece. And how could I forget Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Extra Strength Daily Peel 30 Treatments + 5 Bonus

Holy grail for generally awesome skin 🙂


Good luck!

Re: *gulp*... Blackheads

Awesome! Thank you so much for the detailed response. Not sure why I didn't think of clay masks? I appreciate the recommendations 🙂

Re: *gulp*... Blackheads

@dnoeltner In addition to AHAs/BHAs products that @RGbrown and @ather mentioned, check out oil cleansers!  


Oil cleansers can help with removing those sebaceous filaments (SFs). Massage the oil onto dry skin, especially around the areas where you have SFs until you feel "grits" coming out. Then add water and massage to emulsify the oil. Then you can also follow it up with your regular cleanser to remove the oil. Some oil cleansers (and balms):  

Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Oil Cleanser 5.1 oz/ 150 mL

-CLINIQUE Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm 3.8 oz/ 125 mL

^Good for removing makeup too. Melt between your fingers to melt the balm into an oil, and massage it into your face. Helps remove makeup and SFs. Best to follow it up with your regular cleanser.

-Hada Labo Gokujun Cleansing Oil


Oil cleansing + AHAs/BHAs can help clean out your pores over time. Clay masks can help too 

Re: *gulp*... Blackheads

I went ahead and bought the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL that @ather mentioned since I have heard so many great things about the brand's products. So, the AHA/BHA situation should be handled now. As for a cleanser, I have been using several different kinds including CAUDALIE - Instant Foaming Cleanser and Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser 5.41 oz/ 160 mL as well as one recommended by my dermatologist, (which is the one I use most often), but I have never tried an oil cleanser so I will give that a shot here sometime soon. I'll probably shoot for Tatcha since, like Drunk Elephant, the brand never stops being raved about. Thank you for your reply!

Re: *gulp*... Blackheads

@dnoeltner Hope it works out for you!  


Yeah, find an oil cleanser that suits you, then follow with your regular cleanser to wash it off (this is a double cleansing method) and proceed with your normal skincare routine! I double cleanse daily every evening since I wear makeup and/or SPF (you don't need to oil cleanse in the morning), but it's nice to use on the daily for those SFs.

@RNGesusPls I'm struggling to get a black head or SF out...

@RNGesusPls I'm struggling to get a black head or SF out of my cheek!! how long does it take?? 😂 I've been using tarte knockout, clay masks, peels, even cutting pore strips in half and applying on the sucker,,, still there 🤯 uughhhh

Re: @RNGesusPls I'm struggling to get a black head or SF out...

@lmaster Oh they can be stubborn at times! Have you tried massaging the area with a facial oil, like squalane oil, or an oil cleanser? If not, try doing that after your clay mask, after a peel, or about 20-30 minutes after using a BHA (you don't have to do any of these for your entire face, just on the area of concern).


I also like massaging with an oil cleanser every evening to help keep my pores clear because it's normal for those pesky SFs to come back every several days.

Re: @RNGesusPls I'm struggling to get a black head or SF out...

@RNGesusPls no I have not 😁 I'll try that, do you just leave the oil on after massaging?

Re: @RNGesusPls I'm struggling to get a black head or SF out...

@lmaster Wash it off unless you don't mind the itty bits of SF grits floating around 😛 You can add water and massage a bit more to emulsify then use your regular cleanser to wash it all off, then proceed with your usual skincare routine!

Re: *gulp*... Blackheads


Salicylic Acid, also known as BHA, is your best bet. It's the only oil-soluble acid, meaning it can penetrate through and under the gunk to clean pores from the inside out. AHAs are good for surface cleaning and removing dead skin before it becomes buildup in your pores (but they are water soluble and can't penetrate like BHA can). Both go hand in hand to treat current problems and help prevent future issues. 


Cleansers don't stay on your skin long enough to provide much treatment...I'd advise looking at leave-on versions instead.


I highly recommend Paula's Choice for multiple formulations and strengths of BHA, but it is also a pretty popular ingredient and can be found in a variety of brands these days. If budget is an issue, look for Stridex pads at most any drugstore. Just watch for alcohol in whatever you settle can make your skin worse over time, negating the benefits of the BHA (PC and Stridex are both alcohol-free). 

@RGbrown I'm struggling to get a black head off my cheek,...

@RGbrown I'm struggling to get a black head off my cheek, I've been using tarte knockout and clay masks and peels and a few times I've used a pore strip on the bugger with no luck whatever!! am I doing something wrong? or does it just take time to clear out? please help this is just getting annoying 😂

Re: *gulp*... Blackheads

Thank you so much for your reply! Super helpful. 🙂

Re: *gulp*... Blackheads

@dnoeltner  I have the same issue. I bought an extraction tool but it’s very easy to damage your skin. I started using Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL

and I noticed mine started to diminish. 

Re: *gulp*... Blackheads

Yes, I have heard that it is easy to damage the skin with such tools. Thanks for the reply and the product recommendation!

14 Replies
Conversation Stats
  • 14 replies
  • 21 Hearts Given
  • 6 Contributors