They’re simply clogged pores at the surface of the skin. A blackhead’s dark color is not due to dirt—it’s actually the oxidation of oil.
They start with excess oil. When there’s too much oil, it can mix with dead skin cells and clog pores. Clogs at skin’s surface oxidize and darken, resulting in blackheads. Sub-surface clogs appear as bumps under the skin or as whiteheads near the surface.
Start with the source of problem: unclog pores with exfoliation, and cleanse skin of excess oil and debris. A consistent skincare routine for oilier skins helps keep blackheads from making an appearance.
Squeezing causes visible skin damage, especially if it’s a daily occurrence. It can also stretch the elastic around the pores, which makes them wider and larger, and they won’t bounce back into shape. Ultimately, your pores will look larger and become increasingly more visible. Squeezing or picking can also cause inflammation, hyperpigmentation and scarring. It may even create more blackheads, since your hands can introduce bacteria, oil and dirt into your pores. The bottom line: don’t squeeze. Use Clinique’s gentle Blackhead Extractor to remove blackheads.