Whiteheads vs. Blackheads

Whiteheads and blackheads are both types of acne blemishes that occur when our skin's natural oil, or sebum, combines with dead skin cells and clogs our pores. Despite their shared origin, there are key differences that set them apart.

Blackheads, also known as open comedones, are characterized by small, dark dots that appear on the surface of the skin. Contrary to popular belief, the dark color is not caused by dirt but rather by a reaction between the trapped sebum and the air. When the pore is open, the melanin pigment in the sebum oxidizes and turns dark, resulting in the characteristic blackhead appearance.

Blackheads are more common in areas with a higher density of oil glands, such as the nose, chin, and forehead. They can be stubborn and may persist if not properly addressed. Fortunately, with the right approach, you can effectively manage and minimize their appearance. skinfo® Clean and Tone Pads (60 Pads, $28) are a great addition to any skincare routine to help control excess oil throughout the day.

Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, are different from their blackhead counterparts in that they remain beneath the surface of the skin. They appear as small, flesh-colored or whitish bumps that are slightly raised. Unlike blackheads, whiteheads are covered by a thin layer of skin, preventing oxidation and giving them their pale hue.

Whiteheads are often more common in individuals with oily or combination skin types. They tend to be more prevalent in areas where sebum production is higher, such as the cheeks, chin, and forehead. While they can be stubborn, adopting the right skincare routine can help prevent their formation and encourage their resolution. Whiteheads can be spot treated with products such as skinfo® Pimple Patches (36 Patches, $12) or skinfo® Blemish B3Gone (2 oz, $48).

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