Photo credit by Chapendra
Having skin with unsightly blemishes and blackheads can be a major blow to your self-confidence. While it can be tempting to face the day with a paper bag on your head, don't fret! With these tips for getting rid of blackheads feeling good in your own skin can begin with great skin care.
The Problem First things first, it is time to clear up a common misconception about blackheads. The black coloring of this type of non-inflammatory acne does not result from a buildup of dirt. It is actually caused by the oxidation of the sebum, which contains melanin, rising to the surface of the skin through an open pore. Therefore, blackheads cannot simply be washed or scrubbed away like dirt under your fingernails.
The Solution Above all else, there is one cardinal rule the exists in the world of blackhead removal: Don't pick and squeeze your skin! Dermatologists and mothers around the world have been right all along. Although it can be tempting, picking and squeezing blackheads can cause a rupture in the skin and lead to inflammatory acne like papules and pustules. Those not only sound disgusting, but also add to the acne problem when the goal is to get rid of it. Right? Instead of picking and squeezing your skin, try the following tips for how to properly remove blackheads:
Cleansers and creams: It is easy to become overwhelmed at the sight of the skin care aisles where every product claims to be the right solution to your problem. Stay focused! Blackheads are such a common type non-inflammatory acne that numerous products specifically target blackheads. While it is up to you to choose your favorite brand of skin care product, there are certain components that you should look for in the cleanser or cream that you use. Look for products that contain benzoyl peroxide. This is a common ingredient in facial cleansers because it is an anti-bacterial agent. Also, products with salicylic acid have commonly been shown to aid in the treatment and removal of blackheads. Salicylic acid aids in exfoliation and the opening of pores, which allows the gunk in blackheads to come to the surface to be removed.
Exfoliate: This is key to removing dead skin cells that can contribute to blackhead formation. Common methods of exfoliation include facial scrubs that you can purchase at a drug store or department store; homemade scrubs commonly made from sugar, oatmeal, or cornmeal; and microdermabrasion. Many exfoliants are so mild that they can be used daily.
Pore strips: This product is especially gratifying because you can actually see the immediate results. Have you ever picked up lint or hair with a lint roller or piece of sticky tape? Pore strips work in much the same way. These strips are applied to the face, especially the nose, and when removed pull out the surface level blackheads. You can actually see the blackhead material on the strip! While pore strips are not a long-term fix for removing blackheads (blackheads are a medical condition), they are a nice alternative for improving the look of your skin for a prom, wedding, first date, etc. Just follow the instructions on the the type and brand of pore strip that you choose.
Avoid oil: Using oily makeups, creams, and moisturizers can cause blackheads. Look for makeups and other skin care products that do not contain oil, and always cleanse your face at the end of the day to remove these products. Oil clogs the pores, and clogged pores lead to blackheads and other acne woes. It has also been suggested that cutting back on the oily foods in your diet can aid in the decline of blackheads and help the overall appearance of your skin.
Hydrate: Drinking water is beneficial not only to your general health, but also to your skin. It helps flush out the toxins in your body, and it creates a healthy digestive system. Both are key to healthy skin and fewer blackheads.
Everyone has different skin and different acne, but blackheads are one of the most common forms of non-inflammatory acne plaguing the population. While blackheads can be frustrating and can make you want to give the lifestyle of a hermit a try, with these tips you will be on your way to clearer skin. Remember, these are only suggestions, and if your blackheads persist or you develop other forms of acne please consult a dermatologist. For more information on acne and acne resources you can visit acne.org.