How to Get Rid of Blackheads, Once and for All

Because they happen to the best of us. Sigh.

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Blackheads are perhaps the most annoying of all skin blemishes. Whereas acne, pimples, and zits will go away with some strategic creams and washes, blackheads are exceedingly stubborn no matter how many masks you do. So in the spirit of "new year, new you" we asked board certified dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe to spill her secrets on how to get rid of those pesky, terrible dots once and for all. Below, her top tips to get clear, glowing skin in 2016. 

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1. Keep it consistent. 

The number one thing that Dr. Bowe recommends is sticking with your skincare routine. The best regimes to get rid of blackheads include using a salicylic acid cleanser and exfoliating multiple times a week (she suggests around twice a week for sensitive skin, and tree times a week for oily skin). 

2. Look for these ingredients. 

The top two things to scan a label for are salicylic and glycolic acids, which are both exfoliators. Dr. Bowe also recommends looking for silicone dioxide, a dirt-removing mineral power, Ejitsu rose, a pore tightener, and Flaxseed extract.  

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3. Don't solely rely on the nose strips. 

According to Dr. Bowe pore strips can be useful for immediate removal of blackheads, but "usage of these should be followed up with a proper skincare regimen consistently to avoid the blackheads from reappearing."

4. Try these at-home treatments. 

Don't have time to make it to Dr. Bowe's office? Fight the good fight against blackheads with a mechanical skin brush, like a Clarisonic, steaming your face, and using retinoid products. 

5. Use a mask. 

Clay purifying masks will help control oil, and Dr. Bowe also suggests using an exfoliating mask like Dr. Brant Skincare's pore's no more vacuum cleaner ($45). 

6. Take it easy with the facials. 

If you are going to head to the spa, Dr. Bowe has some pointers. "Make sure it's someone very experienced who is extremely gentle," she says. "You shouldn't walk out red and inflamed. I've seen people scar as a result of aggressive extractions during a facial!"

7. Find the right cosmetics. 

Using overly emollient cosmetics, and "thick, creamy, or solid formulas" can trigger blackheads, so opt for breathable makeup. 

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