Allure magazine published an excellent article recently about banishing blackheads.
It contains lots of good advice. Salicylic acid and retinoids top the list of treatments.
If you’ve had difficulty with irritation from retinoids in the past, two retinoid brands, Renova and ReFissa, are less irritating because they have emollient ingredients added.
When you’re using a retinoid, if you have sensitive skin you’ll need to start slowly–maybe every other day or two times a week and then increase as your skin builds tolerance. Peeling is a byproduct of using a retinoid, but its real work is inducing collagen production in the skin (in addition to getting rid of those pesky blackheads).
And, don’t use too many products at once, especially those with active ingredients that have similar effects—such as retinoids and salicylic acid. Try one at a time to select the one that works best for you.