Know what you’re dealing with
Blackheads are a bit different from the typical red bump that comes to mind when you think of acne. A blackhead forms when a pore or hair follicle fills with debris or dead skin cells and the skin covering the bump that’s produced in that area opens. “It turns black because it’s exposed to oxygen and oxidizes,” says board-certified dermatologist Sandra “Dr. Pimple Popper” Lee, MD. Those clogged pores make a cozy home for bacteria, which is why blackheads tend to lead to more acne. (Learn Dr. Pimple Popper’s best advice for fighting red bumps too.)
Step away from the harsh scrubs
Scrub hard enough and you can rub the gunk right out of your pores, right? Not so fast. Because the dark spots you see are clogged pores, serious scrubbing won’t do much good. “You can’t scrub them off,” says Dr. Lee. In fact, exfoliating mistakes like scrubbing too hard could just irritate the area and make the problem worse.