Newsflash: Blackheads happen to everyone, even top-of-their-class dermatologists. So how do skin experts deal with their own pesky blackheads? Ahead, they share their methods and the trusted tools they rely on to do the trick.
“Every night I apply a retinoid followed by my PSD Turnaround Cream which contains 20-percent glycolic acid in a moisturizing base. This duo topical treatment is miraculous for preventing open (blackheads) and closed (whiteheads) comedones.” –New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD
“Prevention is ideal, even when it comes to blackheads, so I do the preventative work with a nightly gentle retinol-AHA complex: Skinbetter Science AlphaRet ($125). But, since there’s always one (or two) blackheads that may still arise, I usually gently extract those and immediately apply SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense ($92). –Miami dermatologist Annie Gonzalez, MD
“My approach is regular exfoliation to avoid getting blackheads to begin with. Being in my 50s, it’s not as much of an issue as it was in my 20s—one reason I say ‘older is better!’ To exfoliate, I use retinoids nightly and use my Weekly Exfoliating Pads ($33) once a week. I also get regular HydraFacials with my nurse. –New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD
“Extraction followed by prevention! I actually wait until I’ve taken a very warm shower and use a metal comedone extractor. Then I apply my nightly retinol, Skin Better’s AlphaRet ($125) and hyaluronic acid serum, PCA’s Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum ($117).” –Chevy Chase, MD dermatologist Rebecca Kazin, MD
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“I’m a fan of hydrocolloid patches for whiteheads and blackheads as they make it easier not to pick. My favorites are from Hero Cosmetics ($13).” –New York dermatologist Mitalee Christman, MD
“Blackheads are the worst! It is rare that I have a blackhead anymore because of my regular skincare and microdermabrasion with dermalinfusion treatments. When I do, I use a sterile needle that I will carefully poke the top of the blackhead with and then I use a comedone extractor or cotton-tipped applicator to gently express the blackhead. This is the same technique I use in the office with my patients when they have a large blackhead or dilated pores. Honestly though, if I see more than one or two on myself, I know it’s time for a microdermabrasion treatment in the office.” –Covington, LA dermatologist Christel Malinski, MD
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