how to avoid and remove blackheads

Do you have problems with blackheads, those tiny black spots on your face? How do you get rid of them and make sure they do not return?

How do you get blackheads?

Hormones cause the pores to produce excessive sebum, which prevents the sebum from getting to the surface of the skin normally and results in an overfull pore. Accumulated dead skin cells on the skin and in the pores narrow the “exit” of the pores so that the sebum cannot be secreted naturally. If the pore is still slightly open, the combination of excess sebum and dead skin cells is exposed to oxygen, which oxidises the mixture and turns it black.

Step-by-step plan to treat blackheads

  1. Use a mild, water-soluble cleanser on a soft, clean facecloth. Use this to gently exfoliate the surface of the skin.
  2. Choose skincare products that are in a gel form or light, liquid lotions whenever you can. Thick lotions and creams get their thick texture from ingredients that can block the pores.
  3. Every day, use a good exfoliant containing salicylic acid (also called BHA).
  4. Remove the excessive sebum. Absorb sebum by using a clay mask regularly on the oily parts of your face.

Avoid irritating ingredients

Many skincare products can actually encourage sebum production and make the problem worse. This is caused by ingredients that irritate the skin, such as alcohol, peppermint, menthol, lemon, lime or eucalyptus. Avoid products containing these ingredients. Do not use bars of soap either: the ingredients used to give soap its solid form can block your pores, irritate and dehydrate the skin.

Scrubbing?

Blackheads cannot be scrubbed away. They are too deep in the pores to be removed by scrubbing. Rubbing or scrubbing hard only causes irritation. And this, in turn, can lead to increased sebum production. Neither can you get blackheads out of you pores using a special strip. These strips only remove the part of the blackhead that is on the surface of the skin. Microdermabrasion does not help either; any visible improvement will be short lived.

How to remove blackheads

  • Wash your face with a mild, water-soluble cleanser and then use a toner containing niacinamide that will help improve the shape of your pores.
  • Place a warm (not hot), damp facecloth on the areas of your face where you want to remove the blackheads for two to three minutes. Then gently pat the skin dry.
  • Use a comedone spoon. Place it over the blackhead, then gently apply downward pressure while pushing the spoon forwards.
  • Remove more of the blackhead by putting a tissue over your finger top and gently and evenly pushing down against the side of the blackhead.
  • Only do this once. If it does not work, then it means the blackhead cannot yet be removed. Don’t force it: if you do you risk wounding you skin and a creating a scab, which can lead to scar tissue. Try again in a few days.
  • Finish your treatment with a good exfoliant containing BHA (salicylic acid) and apply a product with sunscreen during the day to protect your skin from UV rays.

Make sure you never squeeze, push or scrape your skin too hard.

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