adult breakouts

3 mins read

How to clear and prevent blackheads

How to clear and prevent blackheads

How to clear and prevent blackheads

adult breakouts

3 mins read

Find out how to clear blackheads and to prevent them coming back, without damaging your skin. This how to will share why blackheads form and how you can effectively treat them at home and with professional treatments.

What causes blackheads?

Blackheads form when the hair follicles, or pores are filled with excess oil, dead skin cells and breakout-causing bacteria know as cutibacterium acnes (formerly known as P. acnes).

The oil (sebum) and skins natural pigment (melanin) react to the air by oxidising and this causes the black colour at the surface. When it comes to clearing blackheads, prevention is key. Untreated blackheads can become breakouts, so it’s important to keep pores clear.

16 Tips to Manage & Prevent Blackheads

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Eat a balanced diet
  3. Utilise a professional skin treatment
  4. Change your pillowcases often
  5. Sanitise your mobile phone regularly
  6. Wash out hair products thoroughly
  7. Shield your face when spraying hair products
  8. Do not use Comedogenic ingredients on your skin
  9. Do not pick and squeeze blackheads
  10. Do not use harsh skin products
  11. Do not over wash
  12. Do not regularly touch your face
  13. Do not use make-up with artificial pigments
  14. Do not use dirty make-up brushes

Follow our 3 simple steps to prevent blackheads: Prep, Treat and Glow 

Prep: Deep Clean and Exfoliate

Get the basics right! At Dermalogica we recommend double cleansing. This means cleansing your skin twice. Why? This simple step removes excess oil, dead skin cells, make up and pollution that can build up on the skin and cause blackheads and breakouts to form or become worse.  

Our Professional Cleanser Recommendations are:

Precleanse: This deep-cleansing oil melts off make-up and impurities, removes dead skin cells, oils, sunscreen, make-up (including waterproof) and pollution particles to achieve an ultra-clean and healthy-looking skin. Ideal for all skin conditions including oily skins. PreCleanse contains conditioning essential fatty acids of Borage Seed and Kukui Nut to nourish. The first cleanse enables your prescribed Dermalogica cleanser to work more efficiently. 

Follow with Special Cleansing Gel, a gentle foaming cleanser that washes away impurities without stripping or drying the skin’s natural moisture balance. It contains naturally foaming Quillaja Saponaria for a refreshing lather, Balm Mint and Lavender to calms and purify the skin leaving it feeling balanced and refreshed. 

After Double Cleansing, clear away excess dead skin cells with a powder exfoliant containing salicylic acid. 

Our Professional Exfoliant Recommendations is:

Daily Microfoliant:  

This iconic rice-based enzyme powder smooths and brightens, whilst Salicylic Acid deep dives into pores to clear and prevent blackheads, breakouts, and congestion. 

Treat: Control Bacteria and Rehydrate

Once or twice a week, apply a masque designed to help soften and clear blackheads. Why? This will help blackheads to soften and dislodge without skin damage.  

Rehydrate the skin topically before applying targeted serums, boosters and moisturisers. Why? Skin can become easily dehydrated, which in turn means tight pores that trap debris and more oil production to compensate for moisture loss. This will exacerbate blackhead formation and congestion.  

Treat the skin daily by using a targeted antibacterial booster or serum, Why?  To help kill breakout-causing bacteria (cutibacterium) which can exacerbate blackheads, breakouts and congestion. Look for ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Azelaic Acid, and Thymol with Terpineol. 

Our Professional Blackhead Treatment Recommendations are:

Sebum Clearing Masque: 

This masque soothes and clears breakouts whilst minimising premature skin ageing. Kaolin and Bentonite clays combined with Salicylic Acid, Menthol and Safflower Oil.  Work to absorb excess oils, leaving the skin’s texture more refined, refreshed, and balanced. 

Multi Active Toner 

This spritz action toner hydrates and refreshes. It conditions and preps skin for proper moisture absorption with soothing Arnica, Balm Mint and Lavender leaving skin refreshed. 

Age Bright Clearing Serum: 

This active two-in-one serum clears and helps prevent breakouts while reducing visible skin ageing. AGE Bright™ Complex works with the skin’s natural microbiome for clearer, brighter skinThis formula hydrates and smooths with Resurrection Plant, Niacinamide and White Shiitake Mushroom to brighten and promote an even skin tone. 

Glow: Hydrate and Defend


Wear a moisturiser every day, even if you have oily skin. Why? When your skin’s moisture levels are imbalanced, your skin produces excess oil to compensate. A moisturiser helps regulate sebum production to prevent excess oil from clogging your pores. 

Wear a Sun Protection Factor daily. This will protect the skin against environmental assault, premature skin ageing and hyperpigmentation.

Our Professional Glow Recommendation is:

Active Moist 

This effective, oil-free moisturiser provides hydration without a greasy feelingIt smooths skin and helps improve textureThis sheer formula absorbs into the skin quickly. Featuring Dermalogica’s Prebiotic Moisture Complex to work with the skin’s natural microbiome and balance breakout causing bacteria. Lemon, Cucumber and Burdock help to refine to leave the skin feeling comfortable and balanced. 


How to treat and prevent your blackheads professionally

Existing blackheads maybe hard to clear at home. Squeezing them with your fingernails not only damages your skin but spreads breakout-causing bacteria, which can lead to more inflamed breakouts.  

To quickly clear existing blackheads, see a Qualified Dermalogica Skin Therapist for a Professional Skin Treatment including blackhead extractions.  

For best results please find your nearest Dermalogica professional skin therapist. Or to get Personalised advice on your skin live chat with  one of our Experts or book a virtual 1 to 1 consultation with face mapping.


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