Whiteheads arise out of absolutely nowhere and can be such a pain to get rid of. Don’t you agree? Regular scrubbing seems to be almost ineffective against stubborn whiteheads and the result? You are left with an irritated, textured and angry looking skin. Ugh!

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! With just a few expert tips by Dr. Niketa Sonavane (@drniketaofficial) from Ambrosia Aesthetics, Mumbai and a few simple home remedies, you can get rid of those pesky whiteheads in no time. Yay! So if you too, like us, are constantly wondering how to remove whiteheads, then read on, because we have just the most awesome tips and tricks for you.

But before we look at the remedies, let’s find out what whiteheads are and what causes them.


1. What are whiteheads?

What are whiteheads?

Simply put, whiteheads are nothing but a type of acne. A whitehead looks like a really small, soft bump with a white centre and does not appear red and inflamed like a normal pimple. Even though it is commonly believed that whiteheads and blackheads are usually formed on the nose, that is not always the case.


2. What causes whiteheads?

What causes whiteheads?

Whiteheads are caused when dead skin, oil and bacteria get trapped into a single pore. Dr. Sonavane explains, “Whiteheads form when your natural oils (called sebum) and dead skin cells clog your pores. In addition to this, whiteheads can contain dirt and makeup. Contrary to the popular belief that whiteheads form because of unclean skin, recurrent whiteheads may, in fact, be due to a hormonal imbalance such as PCOS.”


3. Is there any difference between blackheads and whiteheads?

Is there any difference between blackheads and whiteheads?

The basic difference between whiteheads and blackheads is that whiteheads are closed pores while blackheads are open pores. “Whiteheads are also called 'closed comedones' because the pore is closed with a thin layer of skin. Blackheads are 'open comedones' and their black colour is due to sebum being oxidized when it comes in contact with air. Blackheads can be pushed out by special tools while whiteheads feel stuck under the skin,” says Dr. Sonavane


4. Home remedies for whiteheads

Home remedies for whiteheads

Now that you know what whiteheads are, let’s find out about some amazing home remedies that will help you get rid of those pesky stubborn whiteheads once and for all.


i) DIY exfoliating mask

DIY exfoliating mask

This DIY exfoliating face mask is something Dr. Sonavane personally swears by to eliminate whiteheads from the comfort of your home. Here, she tells us exactly how to make it, “To make this mask, start by mixing together five drops of lemon juice or three teaspoons of tomato juice, one teaspoon of honey, one egg white, a drop of tea tree oil and two teaspoons of rice flour in a mixing bowl. Apply it to freshly cleansed skin and leave it on for 20 minutes. Once your mask is dry, splash water and massage your face for three to five minutes. Rinse with plenty of water and apply moisturizer. Follow up with a day cream or night cream.

Why this works:

“The reason why these exfoliating mask works are that the tomato/lemon juice helps remove whiteheads as it contains citric acid. Egg white contains protein and helps tighten your pores. Tea tree oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial. Honey is a natural moisturiser and rice flour works as a skin scrub.”


ii) Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

In order to use apple cider vinegar to get rid of whiteheads, start by mixing together two tablespoons of ACV with about one cup of warm water. Apply this mixture to the areas of your face or body where you have whiteheads and allow it to work for about 20 minutes. Wash it off with water and follow it up with your skincare products.

Why this works:

The main reason why apple cider vinegar works like a dream to remove whiteheads is basically because of its potent astringent properties. These properties help to effectively cleanse the skin and reduce inflammation, while the antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities kill germs and help to keep your skin thoroughly clean.


iii) Witch hazel

Witch hazel

If you are wondering how to remove whiteheads safely and quickly at home, then look no further than witch hazel. To make a witch hazel toner, mix together half a cup of witch hazel with a quarter of a cup of filtered water. Add to this a few drops of any essential oil and one tablespoon of pure aloe vera gel and mix it all together. Transfer it to a spray bottle and use it twice a day after washing your face.

Why this works

Witch hazel, just like ACV, is an amazing astringent that effectively reduces the size of your pores. It helps to get infections and bacterial spread under check. Over time, and with regular use of this toner, the size of your pores will keep getting smaller and all the dirt that has been trapped inside the pores will automatically be pushed out.


5. Everyday skincare habits to remove whiteheads

Everyday skincare habits to remove whiteheads

1. Cleanse your face twice a day

2. Incorporate ingredients such as AHAs and BHAs in your skincare routine

3. Start double cleansing at night

4. Use salicylic acid-based products

5. Steam your face once a week

6. Include a weekly clay masking session

7. Use a retinol-based night serum

According to Dr. Sonavane, following these simple everyday skincare habits will make a huge difference. She says, “Cleanse your face at least twice every day with a gentle, soap-free cleanser. Look for ingredients such as AHA, BHA or benzoyl peroxide. These help by dissolving sebum, dead skin cells and dirt on a daily basis. Include double cleansing with micellar water in your nighttime skincare routine. Steam your facial skin once a week. Besides this, a weekly clay mask and a night serum containing retinol also help get rid of whiteheads.”


6. Cosmetic procedures to remove whiteheads -

Cosmetic procedures to remove whiteheads -

According to Dr. Sonavane, there are many effective skin treatment procedures that prevent whiteheads. Here are some that you can easily try...


It helps remove dead skin cells and whiteheads with powerful vacuum suction. Perfect for people who want smooth and bright skin.

Chemical peel:

Glycolic acid and salicylic acid peeling reduces oiliness and dissolves whiteheads. You can opt for chemical peels once a month if you want a flawless complexion.

Carbon peel:

Involves the application of activated carbon on the skin followed by Q-Switched laser skin rejuvenation. This laser facial effectively treats blackheads, dead cells and pigmentation.


7. Frequently asked questions about how to remove whiteheads

Frequently asked questions about how to remove whiteheads

1. How do you get rid of whiteheads overnight?

A. Mixing baking soda with a little water to make a thick paste is a great and effective way to get rid of whiteheads quickly. But it is advised not to do so because baking soda can be harsh for your skin and could leave it feeling sore and raw.

2. Should I pop a whitehead to get rid of it?

A. Absolutely not. Just like how you should never pop a pimple, you should avoid doing the same to a whitehead as well. This can lead to a spread of whiteheads leading to more pimples and can even leave behind scars.