Your No-Fail Guide To Getting Rid Of Whiteheads

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Whitehead. Just scanning your eyes over that word (or the mental image it conjures up) probably gives you instant shudders. When it comes to skin problems, they're the worst — popping up at the most inopportune moments (but really, is there ever a good time for one?), narrowing all focus to that one zit. How can you see anything else but that little (a.k.a. BIG) guy?
Without trying to further gross you out too much, let’s talk for a second about what a whitehead actually is. This particularly bothersome pimple is a combination of sebum (oil) and the dead skin in our follicles, explains Seabron Pelc, senior medical aesthetician at AOB Med Spa. "They stick together, creating a 'plug,' and are then used as a food source for bacteria. The lining of the follicle wall gets irritated, resulting in what we call a whitehead."
So, how do we make sure this never occurs? And, if it does, what is the best way to deal with it? We chatted with Pelc and some other industry experts, and came up with your cheat sheet to living a whitehead-free existence. Wouldn't that be nice?