When it comes to achieving clear and smooth skin, closed comedones are often an unwelcome obstacle. These small, flesh-colored, or white bumps can appear on the skin, especially on the face, and are a type of acne. Understanding what closed comedones are, their causes, and how to get rid of closed comedones can help you in your journey toward healthier, clearer skin.


What Are Closed Comedones?

Closed comedones, also known as whiteheads, are acne lesions that occur when skin pore becomes clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and other debris. The follicle in closed comedones becomes completely blocked. Comedonal acne is one in which most lesions are comedones. 

Blackhead vs Whitehead

Blackheads are open comedones with an open pore where surface bacteria and dead skin cells mix and oxidize in the open air, turning black in the process. On the other hand, closed comedones are closed at the surface, which gives them a white or flesh-colored appearance. They can be tiny or slightly raised and often feel rough to the touch.


Closed Comedones Causes 

As mentioned, closed comedones typically form due to an overproduction of oil (sebum) by the skin glands, which mixes with dead skin cells and clogs the hair follicles. However, several factors can contribute to the development of closed comedones:

Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormones, especially during puberty, menstrual cycles, or hormonal disorders, can trigger increased sebum production.

Diet and Lifestyle: Consuming a diet high in processed foods, sugary items, or dairy, along with certain lifestyle habits, can trigger the occurrence of closed comedones.

Cosmetic Products: Using pore-clogging or irritating skincare and makeup products can contribute to forming closed comedones. Pore-clogging ingredients vary from coconut oil and cocoa butter to spirulina and red algae.

Of course, there are treatments and specific measures we can take to get rid of and prevent closed comedones. 


Closed Comedones Treatment

Regular Cleansing: A crucial step in preventing and treating closed comedones is maintaining a consistent skincare routine. Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face twice daily to remove excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells.

FOREO LUNA™ 4 facial cleansing devices can do wonders here. It is clinically proven to increase blood flow by a whopping 450%, which helps your skin get rid of impurities deep within the pores with the assistance of its ultra-hygienic and soft silicone. Plus, you can customize your cleansing experience with three brush types (for balanced, sensitive, or combination skin), different cleansing modes (gentle, regular, and deep for different areas of the face & neck), and 16 adjustable T-Sonic™ pulsation intensities. It’s no wonder LUNA™ 4 is the most personalized cleansing device on the market!


FOREO LUNA 4 on a nightstand with FOREO SUPERCHARGED serum


Exfoliation: Regular exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, preventing them from clogging your pores. Use a mild exfoliant once or twice weekly to keep your skin smooth.


Incorporating Beneficial Acids: To effectively combat closed comedones, incorporating specific acids into your skincare routine can make a substantial difference. These acids target excess oil, dead skin cells, and pore blockages, helping unclog pores and promoting clearer skin. Salicylic acid and glycolic acid are good examples of these types of acids known for their effectiveness in addressing closed comedones.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) known for its excellent exfoliating properties. It penetrates deep into the pores, dissolving excess oil and dead skin cells while unclogging them.

Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing redness and swelling associated with acne lesions.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) derived from sugarcane. It’s a potent exfoliator that dissolves dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. By promoting cell turnover, glycolic acid helps unclog pores and improve the skin’s texture, making it an effective tool in the fight against closed comedones.


  1. When using these acids, start with a lower concentration to see how your skin reacts.
  2. Incorporate them gradually into your skincare routine, starting 2-3 times per week and adjusting based on your skin’s tolerance.
  3. Always follow up with a good moisturizer and sunscreen, as these acids can make the skin more sensitive to the sun.


Professional Treatments: If closed comedones persist, consider consulting a dermatologist. They may recommend chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or extractions to remove stubborn comedones.

Microdermabrasion is a popular, non-invasive procedure used to rejuvenate the skin and improve its texture and appearance. It involves the exfoliation of the surface of the skin using abrasive materials or a specialized device.

This procedure can be done at home with KIWI™ derma, a microdermabrasion & pore vacuum device with tips made of medical-grade steel and Adamas diamonds. This dynamic combination exfoliates and removes dead skin cells, reduces wrinkles and age spots, and minimizes the appearance of pores while encouraging healthy skin renewal – to reverse flaws like scarring, pigmentation, and signs of aging. 


FOREO KIWI derma on a marble surface in the bathroom, flowers in the background


Prevention of Closed Comedones

There are also a few prevention tips when dealing with closed comedones. 

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while reducing the intake of processed foods, sugary items, and dairy could help with healthier, clearer skin.

Drinking enough water is another crucial part of keeping your skin hydrated, which helps regulate oil production.

Regular cleaning of makeup brushes and avoiding touching your face at any price is another thing to consider. (Dirty makeup brushes are a perfect surface for bacteria build-up.)


Note: Consulting a dermatologist for personalized advice and treatment is highly recommended if you have persistent or severe skin concerns.