13 Ways To Get Rid Of Blackheads On The Nose

Medically reviewed by Vd. Naveen Sharma, Ayurveda Physician
by Shaheen Naser

Blackheads (a type of acne) are tiny, dark bumps caused by clogged hair follicles (pores) (1). They may appear on your nose, chin, chest, back, and shoulders. To get rid of blackheads, it is important to understand why and how they are formed.

There are millions of hair follicles on your body, including your face. Each follicle contains a hair strand and a sebaceous gland. When the skin sheds dead skin cells, they get collected into the follicle and form a bump called a comedone. If the bump remains closed, it is called a whitehead, but if the skin around the bump opens and allows air to get in, blackheads are formed.

What Causes Blackheads On The Nose?

Some factors that are responsible for the formation of blackheads include:

  • Excessive production of oil by the sebaceous glands (2).
  • A build-up of acne-causing bacteria on your skin (2).
  • Accumulation of dead skin cells, which leads to the blockage of hair follicles (2).
  • Hormonal changes during menstruation or while you are on birth control pills, which leads to increased oil production in your body.
  • Medications like corticosteroids and androgens (2).

Steering clear of blackheads is difficult. But you can control and reverse these effects with the help of some simple DIY home remedies, preventive tips and tricks, and dermatological treatments.

How To Get Rid Of Blackheads On Nose

1. Exfoliate Twice A Week

Although exfoliation is considered harsh for your skin, it can help with the removal of blackheads. Use gentle chemical exfoliants that contain alpha and beta hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs).

These acids are commonly used to eliminate blackheads as they help remove dead skin cells from the pores (3). Beta and beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid are commonly used in the treatment of acne (4), (5), (6). These acids remove a layer of your skin, which may make your skin prone to UV damage. Always apply an oil-free sunscreen when you are going outside after exfoliating with these acids.

Exfoliate with these acids twice a week if you have normal to dry skin and thrice a week if you have oily skin. Make sure to moisturize after every exfoliating session. Remember that these acids cannot be used in equal quantities for all skin types. Hence, consult a dermatologist before starting this treatment.

2. Use Blackhead Removal Strips

This is an excellent method to remove blackheads. The debris and dirt in the clogged pores stick to the strips, which makes it easier to pull them out (7). For best results, steam your face beforehand to open the pores.

You Will Need

Blackhead removal strips

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a blackhead removal strip and stick it on a slightly wet nose.
  2. Make sure that it covers most of the blackheads.
  3. Allow it to dry for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Pull the strip off gently, starting from the corner.

How Often You Should Do This

You can use blackhead removal strips once a week.

Caution: Do not use these strips if you have sensitive skin or are on topical medications like tretinoin.

3. Wash Your Face Twice A Day To Clear Out Dirty Pores

Washing your face regularly goes a long way in keeping the dirt and oil from accumulating in your pores. Rinse your face in the morning to remove the dirt and bacteria that may have accumulated on it the previous night.

At the same time, do not over-cleanse your face as it may strip away the natural skin oils. If you exercise often, make sure to wash your face immediately after to prevent sweat from clogging your pores.

Purchase a gentle face cleanser at a drugstore and use it twice a day.

4. Steam Facial At Home To Open The Pores

The steam helps in opening the pores on your face, making it easy for you to remove blackheads (8).

You Will Need

  • 1 large bowl of steaming hot water
  • A towel

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a big bowl of steaming hot water and bend over it.
  2. Cover your head with a clean towel and stay put for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Wipe your face with a towel and try to extract your blackheads with it.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least once a week.

5. Use Topical Retinoids (Not Recommend For Pregnant Women)

Topical retinoids are creams, gels, and lotions that contain medicinal derivatives of vitamin A. These compounds reduce keratinization (the process by which skin cells mature), thereby delaying aging skin. They are used to treat microcomedones (9). Although retinoids are very effective in treating blackheads, they typically take around 5 weeks to start working. Noticeable changes can only be observed after 6 months of use.

The most potent topical retinoids available are:

  1. Tretinoin (9)
  2. Isotretinoin (9)
  3. Adapalene (9)

You can purchase topical retinoids online or at a pharmacy. 

6. Charcoal Mask

Activated charcoal has the ability to absorb a wide variety of substances (10). Thus, it may help absorb the loosen the dirt and debris clogging the pores, thereby making the removal of blackheads easier. However, there is no scientific evidence that the topical application of activated charcoal has any skin benefits.

You Will Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon of activated charcoal
  • 1 tablespoon of unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the gelatin water and heat the mixture for 10 to 15 seconds.
  2. When the gelatin paste thickens, add the activated charcoal and mix well.
  3. Apply this paste to your nose and allow it to dry.
  4. Peel the dried charcoal mask from your nose and wash your face thoroughly.

How Often You Should Do This

Apply this mask 1 to 2 times a week.

7. Clay Mask

Various types of clay masks have been used since ancient times for healing skin infections as they are packed with antibacterial properties. Clay removes dirt and oil from clogged pores. By absorbing impurities from the skin, the clay helps cleanse and refresh the skin surface, thereby reducing the appearance of blackheads (11).

A study conducted on rats found that clay also helped increase the collagen fibers in the skin (12). Therefore, it has the potential to make your skin look younger.

Bentonite clay is extensively used as a detoxifying agent (13). It has a high toxic absorption capacity and bacterial properties (14). Thus, it is a potent ingredient that may be used in the treatment of acne and blackheads.

Purchase clays masks for blackheads online or at your local beauty/drugstore.

For most people, using clay masks once a week is enough. But, do not exceed this frequency as it can irritate your skin.

8. Egg White Mask

When egg whites harden on your skin, they stick to the pores and help pull out all the dirt clogging them along with the blackheads. 

You Will Need

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • Tissues

What You Have To Do

  1. Separate the egg whites from the yolk and beat them in a bowl with two teaspoons of lemon juice.
  2. Apply a thin layer of this mixture around your nose, focusing more on the areas with blackheads.
  3. Allow the first layer of the mixture to dry, and then place a tissue over your nose.
  4. Apply a second layer of the mixture on top of the tissue and allow it to dry.
  5. You may go ahead with a third layer if you have many blackheads.
  6. Once dried, you can pull off the layered tissues from your nose, along with all the blackheads.
  7. Wash your face thoroughly to get rid of the raw smell of eggs.

How Often You Should Do This

You can apply this mask twice a week.

9. Gelatin And Milk Mask

Gelatin is a bioadhesive that is effective for closing skin wounds (15). Its unique glue-like texture may be beneficial in the removal of blackheads. Adding milk to gelatin helps in balancing the pH of the skin and controls the excessive production of oil.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the gelatin with the milk and heat it for 10 to 15 seconds in a microwave or saucepan. Do not boil.
  2. Apply this mixture to your nose.
  3. Allow the mask to dry for 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Peel the mask gently from its edges.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 2 to 3 times a week.

10. Lemon And Honey

The combination of honey and lemon has been in use for ages to treat a variety of skin problems. While vitamin C in lemon helps tighten the skin pores, honey acts as an antibacterial agent that has the potential to fight acne- and blackhead-causing bacteria (16), (17).

Note: Avoid this remedy if you have dry or sensitive skin as it can aggravate the dryness and cause redness and irritation. 

You Will Need

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey 

What You Have To Do

  1. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon and add honey to it.
  2. Apply this mixture to your nose. You can also apply it to the entire face.
  3. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.

How Often You Should Do This

You must apply this face pack 2 to 3 times a week for best results. 

11. Baking Soda And Lemon

Baking soda can be used as a physical exfoliant to scrub your skin and unclog the pores that are causing blackheads. Adding lemon juice to this mixture can help in tightening your skin pores and prevent the formation of blackheads (16). 

Note: While baking soda is generally not harmful, it can irritate the skin if used in excess. Therefore, do a patch test before using it on your face. Avoid this remedy if you have dry or sensitive skin as it can aggravate the dryness and cause redness and irritation.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with enough lemon juice to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply this mask on your nose and let it dry. You can also apply this paste to the entire face.
  3. Wash your face thoroughly.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once a week. 

12. Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera has natural astringent properties that can help tighten open pores, thus preventing the formation of blackheads (18). 

You Will Need

1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do

  1. Massage your nose with aloe vera gel.
  2. Allow it to dry before washing it off with lukewarm water.

How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least twice daily. 

13. Glue Stick

The glue acts in a fashion similar to blackhead removal strips. It sticks to all the dirt and debris inside the pores and pulls them out. However, you must make sure that you are using a non-toxic glue as some ingredients in glue can cause an allergic reaction.

Note: There is no scientific evidence to support the ability of glue in the removal of blackheads.

You Will Need

A non-toxic glue stick

What You Have To Do

  1. Wash your face with warm water and then apply a little non-toxic glue to your nose.
  2. Let it dry completely.
  3. Peel off the glue from your nose, and watch your blackheads come along with the dried glue.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this twice a week. 

Once you succeed in getting rid of your stubborn blackheads, take the following precautions to make sure that they do not reappear. 

Prevention Tips

Do’s For Blackheads On Nose

  1. Use Oil-Free Sunscreen And Cosmetics: Opt for an oil-free sunscreen formula that will not clog your pores. This will prevent an oil film from forming on top of your skin, which can aggravate the blackheads. 
  2. Don’t Forget To Moisturize: Moisturizing is a must as some of these topical retinoids, gels, acids, and remedies can strip away the natural oils from the skin. Besides, moisturizing will allow you to use these products on your skin without worrying about them drying your skin out. You can find some non-comedogenic moisturizers on the market that are specially formulated to not clog your pores. 
  3. Use A Sonic Cleaning Brush: Sonic cleaning brushes are meant for deep cleaning. They penetrate your skin to clear out your pores and prevent blackheads. 

Don’ts For Blackheads On Nose

  1. Scrubbing: Excessive scrubbing can actually worsen the problem as it may strip away the natural oils from your skin and leave your pores open and vulnerable to dirt and pollution.
  2. Self-Extracting (Popping): This is a strict no-no! The bacteria on your fingers can inflame your skin, which can worsen the blackheads.
  3. Avoid Over-Washing Your Face: Washing your face several times a day throws the sebum production of your skin out of balance, leading to not only more blackheads but also a host of other skin problems. 

If you are looking to get rid of your blackheads quickly, you can try out the medical treatment listed in the next section. 

Medical Treatments By Dermatologists

You can go for one of the following treatments to remove your blackheads after consulting a dermatologist.

  1. Over-The-Counter Treatments (For Mild Blackheads): OTC blackhead treatments are available in the form of creams, gels, pads, and serums. These often contain salicylic acid.
  2. Prescription Medicines: Your dermatologist may suggest medications that contain AHAs, BHAs, and retinoids to prevent pore plugs from forming in your hair follicles. 

When it comes to blackheads, there is a wide variety of treatments to choose from. You can go for natural remedies like an egg white mask or a medical treatment like AHA or BHA creams. Make sure that you consult a dermatologist before trying any chemical treatments on your skin.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is the right treatment for open pores?

The first step to treat open pores is to follow a good skin regimen. Use a mild cleanser to keep your skin clean. Also, apply a good natural astringent to shrink your pores. Exfoliate your skin at least once every week to close open pores.

Do blackhead vacuums really work?

They work at removing surface-level blackheads and some sebaceous filaments.

Can toothpaste and salt remove blackheads on the nose?

Although toothpaste is used for cosmetic purposes, it is not clear exactly how it helps in treating skin issues (19). While there are rumors that it helps treat pimples, it can also cause severe skin reactions (20). On the other hand, the grainy texture of salt might help exfoliate the dead skin cells that cause blackheads.

20 sources

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Shaheen Naser

Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling. Her passion for writing and her educational background have assisted her substantially in writing quality content on topics related to health and wellness. In her free time, Shaheen loves to explore the world and the different flavors/cuisines it has to offer. Photography is another hobby she has developed of late.
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