WHITEHEADS are light-colored bumps on the surface of skin. They are due to clogged pores.

So how are they different from blackheads and other types of clogged pores? Today, let’s compare them with blackheads.


Both whiteheads and blackheads are pores clogged with sebum, dead skin cells, bacteria, and other debris.

1. Blackheads‬ are OPEN pores (there is an opening on the surface of skin). Whiteheads are CLOSED (there is no opening, the follicle opening is blocked).

2. Blackheads appear dark because the opening allows OXYGEN inside the pore. Oxygen oxidizes the sebum inside the pore and gives a blackhead its dark color. (Not dirt – there may be dirt in the pore, but that isn’t making it dark.)

3. Because there is no opening in a whitehead, oxygen can’t reach inside the pore. So the color of a whitehead is FLESH-COLORED (or a bit lighter than your skin color).



1. Whiteheads cannot be extracted (squeezed out). There is no opening in the skin, so you can’t squeeze the clog out.

2. Best way to remove whiteheads is with CHEMICAL EXFOLIATION. Exfoliation removes the outer layers of skin and eventually opens up the pores. Once they are open, the whiteheads will either go away on their own, or they can be extracted.

3. You can exfoliate with a CLEANSER, PAD, TONER, SERUM, EXFOLIANT, PEEL, or MASK. The possibilities are endless!

4. Look for ingredients like AHA’s and ENZYMES. These ingredients break up dead skin, so they shed faster. All acids and enzymes will help. Choose the ones that work well for you. Here is list of common AHA’s and enzymes.

5. To prevent whiteheads, use AHAs, enzymes, or retinoids regularly in your skin care routine.