Blackheads are small bumps that appear due to pores becoming clogged with oil and dead skin. They’re a mild type of acne that usually form on the face, often where they’re most noticeable, such as on or around the nose, but they can also appear on the back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulders, most commonly in teens and pre-menstrual women.
As blackheads can make it feel as if you’ve got a target right in the center of your face, banishing them as quickly as possible is a must, and these 12 all-natural remedies have been found to be the fastest and most effective for getting rid of them.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda isn’t just for baking, or keeping your refrigerator smelling fresh. The antiseptic quality of it makes it a wonderful product for your skin. It not only works as an exfoliant to scrub away dead skin cells, leaving the skin soft and smooth, it’s also an incredible contender against those pesky blackheads. And, as baking soda also helps to neutralize the skin’s pH, it encourages the skin to produce less oil, which means that after regular use, you may be able to say goodbye to those blackheads for good.
Follow these simple directions to use it:
- In a glass or ceramic bowl, mix about a tablespoon of baking soda with just a small amount of water to form a paste.
- Apply the paste to blackheads and allow it to dry for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse with lukewarm water.
Repeat the remedy once or twice a week to remove debris from pores that can cause them to clog, resulting in blackheads.
Cinnamon is an anti-bacterial spice that can be used to make an aromatic face mask that offers all sorts of benefits to the skin, including the removal of blackheads. It also helps to eliminate flaky skin as well as acne, and it can be used as a body scrub for a smoother, more glowing complexion.
- Mix one part organic cinnamon with two parts honey to form a paste.
- Apply a thin layer over blackheads.
- Leave the paste on for at least 15 minutes.
- Wash off with your favorite all-natural cleanser, and then follow up with a moisturizer.
Use this remedy daily for best results.
Oatmeal is more than just a popular hot breakfast cereal. This nutrient-rich grain is safe and effective on a number of skin conditions, including blackheads and sensitive, irritated skin. It works as a gentle natural cleanser and exfoliant, loosening clogged pores that lead to blackheads. It also contains powerful antioxidants and some anti-inflammatory properties too. It soothes irritation, removes dead skin cells, and soaks up excess oil to help clarify the complexion.
To use oatmeal for eliminating blackheads:
- Cook just enough oatmeal per package instructions in order to cover all of your blackheads, being sure to use distilled water that is free of contaminants.
- Allow the oatmeal to cool to room temperature before applying to affected areas.
- Apply to blackheads, allowing it to sit for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.
Apply this remedy at least once per day for maximum results. If you’re looking for a great organic oatmeal that you can eat as well as use on your skin, try these steel cut oats from Bob’s Red Mill.
You’ll also find a number of excellent face mask recipes using oatmeal and other common pantry ingredients in this article.
4. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice contains alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) citric acid which works as a natural astringent to remove dead skin, making it perfect for unstopping clogged pores. Lemon juice is also rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that stimulates collagen production to improve skin health and reduce scarring from acne.
To use lemon juice for a clearer, blackhead-free complexion:
- First, wash your face with your favorite gentle, natural cleanser.
- Squeeze about one teaspoon of juice from an organic lemon into a glass or ceramic bowl.
- Dip a cotton ball into the lemon juice and dab it onto any blackheads that you have.
- Allow it to dry for at least 10 minutes before rinsing with cool water – or leave it on as an overnight treatment and rinse your face off in the morning.
This lemon juice treatment should be used once a day.
5. Green Tea
The vitamins and antioxidants in green tea help to break up excess oil and reduce inflammation in acne-prone skin, as well as to help protect it from future damage.
To use green team to clear blackheads:
- Boil about one cup (8 ounces) of water and then remove from heat.
- Steep two bags or a tea ball containing about two teaspoons of organic green tea for one hour.
- Pour liquid into a glass or ceramic bowl and cool until lukewarm.
- Dab liquid onto blackheads and allow it to dry for at least 10 minutes.
- Rinse with cool water, pat dry and then moisturize with an all-natural moisturizer.
This treatment can be used once per day.
Honey is both antibacterial and antiseptic, properties that help remove blackheads by destroying germs or impurities that clog pores, making it another great choice for those with acne-related blackheads. Honey also acts as a natural antibiotic, helping to pull dirt from the pores of the skin to clear blackheads as well as tightening and hydrating the pores for a clearer complexion.
If you have an allergy or sensitivity to honey, use one of the other methods suggested instead, as even applying it topically can cause a reaction in some people.
Remove blackheads with honey by:
- Heat about a tablespoon of pure raw honey in a small jar until it is warm to the touch (placing the jar of honey into a bowl of very hot water will do the trick).
- Dab some of the warm honey onto any blackheads and allow it to soak in for about 10 minutes.
- Remove with a warm, damp cloth.
You can leave this treatment on overnight for even greater results, rinsing it off in the morning. Repeat daily.
Turmeric is one of the best medicinal spices there is, offering powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The popular cooking spice will stain skin if applied to treat blackheads, but by using Kasturi turmeric, a non-edible variety, you can avoid that as it is non-staining.
To use Kasturi turmeric for eliminating blackheads:
- Mix a small amount of Kasturi turmeric with water or coconut oil to form a paste.
- Dab the paste onto blemishes and let it soak in for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse with lukewarm water.
While organic Kasturi can be hard to find, most local Indian markets sell it, and you can also find it Amazon.com here. Use this treatment daily to get rid of and prevent future blackheads.
8. Epsom Salts
Epsom salts are not only great for easing sore muscles, they can also help to remove blackheads. While most of the treatments on this list dissolve the dead skin and oil, this Epsom salt mixture actually pulls the plug out of each clogged pore so they simply wash away.
- Start off by exfoliating around all of your blackheads to remove any dead skin that may interfere with this cleansing process.
- Mix one teaspoon of Epsom salts in a half-cup of hot water and four drops of iodine.
- Stir until all of the salts have dissolved, and then let the solution cool until it is warm, but no longer hot.
- Massage the mixture into the affected areas of the skin and let it dry completely.
- Wash your face with warm water and pat dry with a clean cloth.
This treatment can be used as often as you’d like.
9. Bentonite Clay
Bentonite is a type of absorbent and powerfully healing clay that was discovered in the late 19th century near Red Rock, Wyoming at Fort Benton, hence its name. It’s known to contain over 60 natural trace minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and silica, which make it an especially rich substance that’s been used for centuries to treat a number of conditions, mainly skin related.
Bentonite is particularly good at drawing out oils and other impurities that get locked in the pores. By applying it as a mask, the skin soaks up the minerals while the clay draws out blackheads.
To use Bentonite:
- Mix about a tablespoon of the clay with just enough water or apple cider vinegar to form a thick paste – it should be thick, but not so thick that it’s difficult or impossible to apply.
- Wash your hands.
- Using your clean fingertips, apply a thin layer of paste to your face and allow it to sit for 10 to 25 minutes, or until dry.
- Rinse with lukewarm water and moisturize as you normally would, preferably with an all-natural cleanser.
Use this treatment two or three times per week for best results.
10. Egg whites
Egg whites offer numerous benefits to the skin. They’re rich in protein and albumin, which offers skin toning properties and helps to promote wrinkle-free skin. Due to their ability to tighten skin and minimize pores, using egg whites is especially good for oily skin and reduces the chances of future blackheads while removing current blackheads at the same time. This method draws out sebum and pulls out any gunk stuck deep within the pores.
To use egg whites:
- Gather an egg, some facial tissue or toilet paper, a small bowl and a clean towel; separate the yolk from the white.
- Rinse your face and then pat it dry.
- Apply a thin layer of egg white all over your face and then place a strip of toilet paper or facial tissue over it, pressing it gently onto your face. Allow it to dry.
- Next, place a second layer of egg white over the tissue. You can dip your fingers in the egg white and then onto the tissue to make it easier. Allow that layer to dry as well.
- Once the mask has dried, peel the tissue off and then rinse to remove any residue.
- Pat dry and moisturize with your favorite all-natural moisturizer.
Just about all of us could benefit from cutting down on sugar, so why not use what you’ve got to make a sugar scrub instead of pouring it into your morning coffee. Sugar is a great exfoliant, and when added to a carrier oil it’s especially effective for clearing out clogged pores that can lead to those nasty blackheads. Jojoba oil is best used as a carrier oil as it’s the one that most closely mimics the skin’s sebum, though olive, sweet almond and grapeseed oil are all good alternatives.
To make and use a sugar scrub, follow these instructions:
- 1 cup white or brown sugar
- 4 tbsp jojoba oil (olive, sweet almond and grapeseed oil can be used instead)
- Aromatic essential oil for fragrance, optional
- Mix the oil into the sugar until thoroughly incorporated. Add essential oil for fragrance if desired.
- Wet your face and massage some of the mixture onto your skin using your fingertips, rubbing in circular motions.
- Rinse with cool water and then moisturize.
This mask can be used up to three times a week, but no more as using it too often could irritate your skin.
12. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid known to break down tough buildup in the skin and also balances the pH in your body to prevent further blackhead and acne issues. You can use apple cider vinegar sparingly on its own, applying it daily to your face as a toner. Or add three tablespoons of crushed mint leaves to three tablespoons apple cider vinegar to make a toner that offers a cooling sensation that also helps to tighten the skin and tame inflammation.