How Do Blackheads Form?: Explained

If you've ever been plagued by zits, pimples, and other types of acne, then you've probably come face to face with a blackhead. It's one of the most common types of skin impurities, and it can make your skincare routine feel like an uphill battle. But what exactly are blackheads, and what causes them? We're going to cover everything you need to know about how to prevent and reduce blackheads through the power of skincare.

What Are Blackheads?

They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. This is true for blackheads; to know how to get rid of them, you need to understand what they are. Blackheads are a type of acne that shows up as small, black spots on the skin, usually on the face, shoulders, chest, back, neck, and sometimes even on the ears. They can be pretty pesky and persistent and can be challenging to get rid of. Blackheads are open bumps known as comedos that are filled with cellular debris, bacteria, and oils.

What Causes Blackheads?

Like other forms of acne, blackheads form when a hair follicle is clogged by dirt, dead skin cells, or oil (sebum). Oily substances and dirt can accumulate in the pores of the skin and can mix together to form a blockage. This blockage is then exposed to oxygen, which causes it to oxidize and turn black, thus resulting in a blackhead. Other factors like hormonal changes, some medications like corticosteroids, skin injury, and stress can also increase the chances of blackheads forming.

How To Reduce Blackheads

Getting rid of blackheads may seem like a daunting task, but there are several steps you can take to reduce or eliminate them:

  • Unclog Your Pores: One of the most important steps is to keep your skin clean. Wash your face in the morning and evening with a gentle cleanser that suits your skin type. For oily skin, choose a water-based, non-comedogenic moisturizer to help to keep the skin hydrated without clogging pores.

  • Try Targeted Ingredients: There are a variety of skincare ingredients available to help reduce blackheads. Some effective ingredients include salicylic acid, retinol, and benzoyl peroxide. Look for products that contain one or more of these ingredients. Spot treatments and serums contain more concentrated amounts of active ingredients and can therefore be more effective.

  • Exfoliation: Exfoliating throughout the week can also help keep blackheads at bay by sloughing away dead skin cells that can accumulate in pores.

  • At-Home Methods: You can also try some at-home methods to help reduce blackheads. Steaming your face is a great way to physically extract blackheads, while masks containing ingredients like clay, charcoal, and witch hazel can draw excess oil from clogged pores.

Best Products For Reducing Blackheads

When it comes to reducing blackheads, skincare products are your best bet. You should look for products that contain skin-clearing and anti-inflammatory active ingredients and choose cleansers and moisturizers that match your skin type. This will help keep excess oil production under control. Finally, remember to exfoliate, which can help keep dead skin cells from accumulating in your pores.

Our favorite pore-friendly cleanser is the Dēpology Cica Redness Relief Nourishing Cleanser, which is fragrance-free and clog-free. It contains cica, which is soothing and anti-inflammatory. As a bonus, it is rich in amino acids and ceramides that improve the skin barrier and hyaluronic acid that moisturizes the skin from the inside out.


Cica is also the star of the Dēpology Cica H.A. Calm & Repair Serum, which is formulated to reduce redness and inflammation that can cause blackheads. It also contains algae, which supports healthy skin and can help to reduce acne.


The Dēpoloy Power C Antioxidant Radiance Serum is full of Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that calms inflammation. This clears up the skin and decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


To keep your skin hydrated and clear, the Dēpology Anti-Aging Retinol Night Cream contains retinol to speed up cellular turnover and improve skin texture. This quickens the healing process required for blackheads to disappear. It also contains niacinamide to reduce discoloration and sodium hyaluronate for maximum hydration and protection against external stressors.

The Final Verdict: How to prevent blackheads?

Blackheads can be tricky to get rid of, but following a consistent skincare routine and using the right ingredients and products can go a long way toward reducing and preventing them. Keep your skin clean and hydrated with the right products, and exfoliate to keep your pores clog-free. Remember to look for products with ingredients like salicylic acid, retinol, and benzoyl peroxide to help fight blackheads. With the right approach, you'll be back to flaunting your clear complexion in no time.