The little dots that speckle your nose might drive you wild but if you think scrubbing them viciously will get rid of them, think again. Eliminating blackheads requires the right products and a little know how. Here, your 101 primer on everything you need to know to get rid of blackheads for once and for all. “Blackheads are the colloquial term for what dermatologists call open comedones,” says O3+ Global Skin Expert Priti Singh. Translation? Basically the pore gets clogged with bacteria and skin debris, like dead cells. Unlike whiteheads (a.k.a. a pimple and a closed comodone), this opening allows the bacteria to be exposed to oxygen. “This process causes oxidation and turns all that gunk black – hence, the term blackhead,” says Priti.

Oily complexions are more likely to get blackheads but even normal skin can get spotty since the t-zone tends to produce more oil than other areas. First, make sure to cleanse both night and day. Rather than reaching for aggressive scrubs that contain nut shells or manually pressing hard, use a cleanser that contains chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid. “All of these ingredients are keratolytics which will help dissolve the plug and clear it more easily,” says Priti. Exfoliating your complexion regularly is key to preventing blackheads since it prevents buildup. While pore size is genetic, you can make them appear smaller by keeping them clear.After cleansing, apply a toner that helps unclog pores with salicylic acid and glycolic acid.

After applying serum,opt for an oil-free lotion to hydrate skin. Twice a week, you can apply a cooling mask (try o3+ sulfur cooling mask )to help draw out sebum and impurities. If you tend to have combination or dry skin, spot treat in blackhead prone areas like your nose and chin.

Overly aggressive extraction and squeezing can lead to hyperpigmentation. If you’re really inclined to extract, try steaming skin or exfoliating prior so debris is more easily removed, says traditional beautician Tina. Then, gently press a looped extractor tool over blackheads to help dislodge them. Alternatively If you’re partial to blackhead strips, make sure to limit use to once a week.

However if you want the easiest and the softest way of taking out blackheads, apply the O3+ Descaling lotion leave on for 3 mins and follow it up with the O3+ Meladerm Peel scrub . This treatment is very popular in O3+ Salons, adds Priti. At home, apply the O3+ Blackhead clearing scrub for clean and clear skin. You may also want a 3 way step system O3+ Pore Clean Up Kit for a twice weekly use at home to help avoid future blackheads & whiteheads.