You have them, I have them, everybody has them (save a golden few — I’m looking at the Koreans). Blackheads are a fact of life, but nobody wants specks of black dotting an otherwise clear face. Even if they make for satisfying extraction videos.
So here are a few ways you can banish blackheads and post that perfect, filter-free selfie.
Why Do We Get Blackheads?
It’s easy to correlate its black color with dirt, but blackheads aren’t black because they’re dirty.
Blackheads are open comedones, which are pores clogged with dead skin cells and dirt. Once exposed to air, this blob of cells and oils oxidizes, which causes it to look black. Extracting this clog leaves the pore clean and clear.
Other factors cause blackheads to appear:
- Cosmetics that block or cover pores
- Stress and certain health conditions, like PMS and polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Intense sweating
- Medications that prompt skin cell turnover rapidly
- Shaving, which opens hair follicles
Rule No. 1: Never Squeeze Them with Your Hands
There are many ways to remove blackheads, but experts agree on one thing: never use your hands — especially your fingernails — to remove your blackheads. Yes, it removes the glob of oil and dead cells, but it comes at a heavy price.
Your nails traumatize the skin, leaving redness and permanent scars. And, based on personal experience, it can be very, very painful.
Trust me, this method is not worth the convenience.
I know it’s tempting to squeeze each black clog out of your nose, but please keep your hands away from your face.
Nose Pore Strips
Pore strips work like a stronger, cleaner kind of tape. It sticks to the skin and the blackheads, and, when peeled off, plucks the blackhead out from the pores.
A word of caution: pore strips don’t cure or treat blackheads.
This blackhead remover simply removes the clog. The skin will still shed its dead cells and accumulate oil, as skin does. Pores will get clogged, as pores do. It’s highly possible that after some time, you’ll see blackheads back on your nose.
But a temporary fix isn’t so bad. A blackhead-free skin makes a world of difference when you’re on that date or attending that big event.
Here’s how you can make the most of pore strips:
- Prep your skin with warm water. Warm water opens up the pores and makes the pore strip’s job easier.
- Pay attention to the instructions on the packaging. Don’t leave it on for too long.
- Don’t overdo the pore strips — once or twice a week is enough.
The best blackhead remover tools will vary with your skin. I prefer the Body Treats Green Tea Nose Pore Strips because they really suck the gunk out of my nose. I also like the Biore Black Pore Pack for its cooling feeling.
For a more sophisticated solution, consult a dermatologist, who can perform extractions only licensed professionals do. Inquire about chemical peels or microdermabrasion.
Health Habits to Bid Blackheads Adieu
Reduce the possibility of blackheads returning to your skin with these habits:
Use non-comedogenic make up and skin products.
Non-comedogenic products are less likely to clog your pores. As much as possible, use products that are labeled “non-comedogenic.” My go-to moisturizer, for instance, is the Celeteque Hydration Facial Moisturizer. So far, it’s true to its word.
Give AHA and BHA some room in your skin care routine.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) break down the bonds of the skin cells, which trigger the natural skin shedding. It helps slough the dead skin cells off. Meanwhile, the Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) removes the oil that clog the pores. Including them in your skin care routine can help keep the blackheads at bay.
Blackheads are frustrating, and it’s comforting to know that there are ways to get rid of them, even just for a while.
How about you? Do you have any tips to remove blackheads? Share them with us on Facebook page.
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