If you’ve ever dealt with blackheads, you know how frustratingly stubborn they can be to get rid of. Because no matter how much you squeeze them or try to rip them out with insanely painful masks and pore strips (both of which, by the way, are horrendously bad for your skin and can actually make your pores bigger), those suckers will still come back.
Why? Because they’re not really a one-time blemish you can just remove—they’re pores clogged with a mix of oils and dead skin cells that are exposed to the air, which causes them to oxidize and look black on your skin. Basically, it can feel like a cyclical, never-ending battle. So when one woman on Reddit managed to eradicate her blackheads in just a few weeks—with the before-and-after photos to prove it—the internet rightfully lost its freaking mind.
“The difference one month makes: blackheads,” reads the title of Reddit user yoofka’s post. On the left is a close-up photo of her nose with a smattering of blackheads around the crease of her nose and across her cheeks. On the right is her nose with virtually zero clogged pores. Yup, please keep staring with us.
Sadly, this isn’t the result of just one miracle product, though. No, it’s the effects of an incredibly detailed routine that involves cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and acne treatments, though, when asked “what do you think made the biggest difference with your blackheads,” the user responded with, “I think it was the combo of using Neogen exfoliating pads, Differin (for texture) and then the Aquaphor!”
And, yeah, that all checks out. The Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling in Green Tea pads are essentially little nubby little wipes that help gently remove dead skin cells that could be blocking pores (Yoofka swipes them over her skin after removing her makeup, but before washing her face), while the Differin gel—which is a retinoid that helps treat both acne and wrinkles—increases cell turnover, which keeps pores from getting clogged with gunk in the first place. And the Aquaphor helps lock in moisture to keep your skin from getting irritated and dried out, which, in turn, can cause more oil production and blackheads (though it definitely won’t have as much of an impact as the other two). Fun, right?
Hey, we know—in an ideal world, you could use just one product one time and get rid of your blackheads forever. But sadly, this is reality, and if you want clear skin, you’re going to have to use some products. Still, if two steps sound too intimidating, or if your skin is just too sensitive for a retinoid, then try adding a salicylic acid-based toner, like the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfect 2% BHA Liquid, to your routine (which gently clears out clogged pores), and stick with it every single night for at least a month, at which point you’ll definitely see an improvement in your blackheads.