Definition: Blackheads

I throw around terms like pimples, acne, blackheads, and milia pretty loosely, but there are distinctions between these various forms of bumps on your face. Since we already know all about acne and milia (those pestering deep white bumps), I thought I'd explain exactly what blackheads are so that you'll have a better understanding of your skin and the best products to use for your specific trouble areas.


Blackheads are comedones (clogged pores) that are blocked by excess oil and dead skin cells. The black color isn't because of dirt or makeup (a common misconception); rather it is from sebum that has been oxidized by the air. They are a type of acne vulgaris and typically appear in the T-zone. Blackheads are easily removable by extractions and by regular exfoliation.

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