You've seen the YouTube tutorials (google "Blackhead Removal SHOCKING Video" — or don’t), the DIY facial-scrub recipes, and yes, even the little black dots all over your nose in your 10x magnifying mirror. Blackheads are exceedingly common. But, why are they so irksome?
"I think it's partly because they feel rough to the surface," says Doris J. Day
, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist and author of 100 Questions & Answers About Acne
. "There's the idea that blackheads are stuck in your skin — and if you remove them, there's a sense of gratification and relief that they're gone. Blackheads just seem so manageable in that way: You just get them out, and then you're done."
That perception couldn't be further from the truth. Getting rid of blackheads — for good — is a process that requires the right products (hello, salicylic acid), a regular skin-care regimen, and sometimes even the help of pros. Ahead, we spoke to Dr. Day about her most effective tricks.