Blackheads are slightly rough, bumpy, and oily acne spots that mostly appear on your face. These form when dead skin, sebum, and bacteria block pores; their exposure to the air is what turns them black. So what causes blackheads, and how can we prevent and treat them?

Causes of Blackheads

Blackheads are a non-inflammatory form of acne. What does cause them, however, is: 

  • Excess testosterone, especially when it converts to its super-charged form, DHT
  • Hormonal imbalances during menstruation or PMS 
  • Profuse sweating
  • Restrictive clothing, such as hats or headbands, that prevent sebum and sweat from clearing
  • Insufficient washing with a cleanser and toner 

Blackhead Removal

The best procedure to remove blackheads depends on your individual needs and choices. For example, glycolic acid (an AHA) won’t dry your skin out, but it can make you more sensitive to sunburn. Beta-hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid do have a drying effect, but effectively removes excess oil, wax, and dead cells without increasing sensitivity to sunlight. Retinoids prevent the build-up of dead cells by increasing their turnover rate. 

For a gentler alternative, masks made of charcoal, kaolin clay, or bentonite clay help to draw out impurities from your pores. On the other hand, an aesthetician or dermatologist can use a pore vacuum after they have been loosened by exfoliating products. This is part of the HydraFacial treatment. 


The HydraFacial is one of the best blackhead removal and prevention treatments available in Chicago. It helps to clean out clogged pores without drying your skin out, so there’s no need for it to produce excess oil and sebum to compensate. 

Our HydraFacial offering involves four steps. A vortex-like wand cleanses your skin, before an exfoliating peel is used. The vacuum-like extraction tool then removes dead skin cells from your pores, before your clinician applies an antioxidant serum.  


Preventing the Appearance of Blackheads

Even with the most effective blackhead removal treatment available, prevention is better than cure. Simple ways to prevent blackheads include: 

  • Using a cleanser, preferably with salicylic acid, and a toner with natural astringents every day. This is the best way to prevent blackheads on your nose developing from the much smaller sebaceous filaments. 
  • Exfoliating or using a clay face mask once every week 
  • Eating zinc-rich foods including red meat and pumpkin seeds, which reduces the conversion of testosterone to DHT. 
  • Reducing intake of refined carbs and dairy, as they cause an excessive rise in insulin. 
  • Consuming more omega-3 fatty acids, such as through oily fish, hemp, and flax. 

Blackhead Treatment Prices

Before you spend big at a dermatologist for blackhead removal, consider Bella Sana Med Spa’s more cost-effective options: 


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Our Med Spa clinic is conveniently located at the intersection of Golf Rd and N Des Plaines River Rd, close to route 294. Bella Sana is located in the professional medical building and has convenient parking for its customers. We will be happy to welcome you here!

  •  1400. Golf Rd #205, Des Plaines IL 60016
  •  (847) 576-0505
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Working hours

Monday – Friday:  10:00 AM – 6:00PM
Saturday:  10:00 AM – 4:00PM
Sunday:  Closed