- Whiteheads are a form of acne that occur when a pore becomes clogged.
- They can develop on any part of the body, but are most commonly found on the face.
- There are a number of products on the market that can effectively treat and prevent whiteheads.
Whiteheads are a mild form of acne that resemble small, white bumps that develop on the surface of your skin.
Managing whiteheads can be quite frustrating as they often seem to appear for no reason. Thankfully, there are a number of over-the-counter skin care products you can use to not only get rid of whiteheads, but also prevent them from developing again in the future.
Why You Are Getting Whiteheads
Whiteheads can appear on any part of the body, but they are most commonly found on the face, including the nose, chin and lips. They can also develop on the neck, shoulders, chest and back.
Whiteheads are caused by clogged pores. Pores are tiny openings in your skin that oil and sweat pass through. When a pore becomes clogged with oil, dead skin cells or other debris, it can lead to the formation of small bumps, called comedones.
If the comedone is covered with a layer of skin, it appears white and is known as a whitehead. On the other hand, if the comedone is open, oxidation turns it black, creating a blackhead.
Genetics are believed to be an important risk factor for acne and whiteheads. In addition, high levels of stress, hormonal changes and poor hygiene can also contribute to whiteheads.
» Learn more about the differences between whiteheads and blackheads, and how the treatments differ
Get Rid of Whiteheads on Your Nose
It’s no secret that the nose is particularly prone to whiteheads. When it comes to getting rid of whiteheads on the nose, look for products that are both gentle to the skin and that contain quality ingredients proven to help acne.
Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner
Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner is designed to rejuvenate your facial skin while breaking down the debris that can lead to whiteheads. Formulated with glycolic acid, grapefruit extract and aloe vera, this is an excellent option for anyone looking for a gentle, yet effective toner to help combat whiteheads.Check price
- Gentle on the skin.
- Breaks apart dirt, debris and dead skin cells.
- Brightens the skin.
- May not be suitable for dry skin types.
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution helps treat whiteheads by exfoliating deep within the walls of your pores. In addition to fighting acne, this product also promotes smoother skin texture and can help reduce the appearance of minor blemishes.Check price
- Competitively priced.
- Easy to apply.
- Lasts for a long time if used correctly.
- Can be too harsh for people with sensitive skin.
- Very popular and highly reviewed product.
- Made using safe, natural ingredients.
- Leaves the face feeling clean and refreshed.
- Can be a bit tricky to remove.
Get Rid of Whiteheads on Your Chin
Every time you touch your chin, you may be inadvertently spreading dirt and oil. This is an everyday gesture for many people, and as a result, whiteheads on the chin are very common.
Products containing benzoyl peroxide can be very effective at managing breakouts on the chin area, while spot patches can be used to stop small whiteheads before they get the chance to become a bigger problem.
DRMTLGY Acne Spot Treatment
Formulated with benzoyl peroxide 5%, DRMTLGY Acne Spot Treatment penetrates deep within the pores to remove excess oil while increasing cellular turnover to reduce the risk of scarring.Check price
- Absorbs into the skin quickly.
- Does not contain sulfates or parabens.
- Results are visible within days.
- Some users report a tingling feeling that may be uncomfortable.
- Absorbs oil and dirt.
- Blends in with a wide range of skin tones.
- Protects the skin while it heals.
- The product comes with a few large patches which are too big to use discreetly.
COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid
With glycolic acid as the main active ingredient, COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid is made to relax your pores, extract debris and eliminate whiteheads.Check price
- Gently exfoliates the skin to improve complexion.
- Fast acting.
- Doesn’t dry out the skin.
- Can increase sun sensitivity.
Get Rid of Whiteheads Around Your Mouth
The skin around your mouth is also highly susceptible to whiteheads. The following products were chosen for their value, ingredients and ability to control whiteheads.
TreeActiv Acne Eliminating Face Cleanser
One of the most effective natural face cleansers on the market, TreeActiv Acne Eliminating Face Cleanser contains a range of quality ingredients including activated charcoal, vitamin C, peppermint essential oil and more.Check price
- Unclogs pores to remove whiteheads and blackheads.
- Helps balance oil production.
- Suitable for sensitive skin.
- Some people don’t like the smell.
Beauty By Earth Face Wash
Beauty By Earth Face Wash contains no harsh chemicals and instead uses natural ingredients including aloe vera, green tea and a variety of fruit extracts.Check price
- Leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshed.
- Lathers up well.
- Vegan friendly.
- Can irritate dry skin.
Humane Acne Wash
Humane Acne Wash is not designed for sensitive skin, but those who can handle the 10% benzoyl peroxide can expect fewer breakouts, smoother skin and great value for the money.Check price
- No parabens, fragrances or animal products.
- Clears skin and prevents future breakouts.
- Very popular and positively reviewed product.
- Not suitable for sensitive skin.
While there are many products that can help remove whiteheads, ideally you should aim to stop them from appearing in the first place. Here is a simple routine to help prevent whiteheads from developing.
Step 1: Stop using comedogenic products
Certain skin care products contain oil that can clog pores and cause breakouts. Review your current products and start investing in non-comedogenic products specifically designed to not clog pores.
Products to try:
Step 2: Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser
Regularly washing your face with a gentle cleanser helps remove oil and dirt from the surface of your skin and reduces the risk of a pore becoming clogged.
Products to try:
Step 3: Exfoliate once or twice a week
Exfoliating the skin removes dead skin cells and promotes the growth of new cells. Remember to use a gentle exfoliant, as scrubbing too vigorously can irritate the skin.
Products to try:
Step 4: Use a face mask once a week
Face masks help remove impurities, absorb excess oil and hydrate the skin. A face mask can be quite drying on the skin, so limit your use to once a week.
Products to try:
There are dozens of products on the market that can help you get rid of whiteheads. Active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and glycolic acid can help break down oil and debris, and keep your skin looking clear and fresh.
Taking a proactive approach to skin care by investing in a gentle cleanser and non-comedogenic makeup, plus exfoliating once a week can also be very effective at preventing whiteheads.
Speak to a Dermatologist
While anti-whitehead products can help you manage breakouts, they only go so far. If you have tried some of the products on this list and are still unhappy with your skin, it might be time to enlist professional help.
Use the Zwivel doctor search tool to connect with dermatologists in your area who can help you devise a personalized skin care routine based on the unique needs of your skin.