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Blackheads are pores that become clogged with oil except the oil has oxidized after being exposed to the air, giving it a black or brownish hue. Squeezing them forces the bacteria even deeper and causes trauma to the skin.

The best ingredients in general for dealing with blackheads are salicylic acid and retinol. These exfoliators promote cell turnover, preventing dead skin cells from plugging up your pores. Use once to twice a day to exfoliate and keep pores from plugging. These two ingredients also prevent blackheadsóbut the trick is to not wait until things come to the surface. You should continue to wash once to twice daily as part of a regular prevention routine.

Salicylic acid is ideal for treating non-inflammatory acne because itís able to deeply penetrate the skin and clear out all the sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria thatís clogging our pores. Retinol is great for two reasons: It promotes cell turnover, which helps unclog our pores, and by clearing debris from our pores, retinol ensures that other helpful, acne-fighting ingredients can reach deep into our skin. Plus, it is drying, helping tamp down on problems with excess sebum.

And look for makeup and skincare products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic, to ensure that what you're using on your face won't contribute to any future clogged pores.

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