Let’s state the obvious here: no one wants to be able to see the pores on their face—it’s just not a cute look! Even worse? When those pores are made all the more obvious by the presence of blackheads.
When you look in the mirror and see a blackhead or two appear, you immediately start to brainstorm how to get rid of said blackhead as quickly as possible. Though you may have some old acne tricks up your sleeve, don’t assume that the same treatment that works for other types of pimples will also work for blackheads. As for the treatment that does work—we’ve got you covered.
Wait, though, because that’s not all. The best way to get rid of blackheads is to never experience them in the first place, don’t you think? Read on to learn how to create the right conditions for your skin so that you will never have to deal with blackheads again.
What Are Blackheads, Anyways?
Blackheads are one of the most common types of pimples. Along with whiteheads, you can experience blackheads whether you have severe acne or only get the occasional pimple.
Chances are, you’ve had at least one blackhead in your life. And if you’ve ever seen a blackhead, you’ll understand where they got their name from. Blackheads are typically brown or black in color and appear as little bumps (or heads) on the skin.
To dermatologists, blackheads are also known as open comedones. We’re not trying to get all scientific on you, but this term is actually important for our purposes because it helps explain what exactly blackheads are.
So...what are blackheads, then?
A comedone is a blemish or acne lesion. The term open (from open comedone) refers to the state of your pores (for reference, a whitehead is called a closed comedone). So blackheads are blemishes that occur when the pores of your skin are open. Seems simple enough, right?
Let’s look just a little closer. It is natural for the skin to rack up a certain amount of debris. You are constantly recycling dead skin cells and producing oil that may collect in the pores. Every time you touch your face with your hands, you transfer more oil and dirt onto the skin. Even wearing the wrong type of makeup (or forgetting to remove your makeup at night) can facilitate a buildup of debris.
Now, we’re not saying debris on your face has anything to do with cleanliness. In fact, acne has relatively little to do with hygiene. The more of this debris you have, the more likely it is to get trapped in the pores and block up the hair follicles.
In the case of blackheads, once the pores and hair follicles are clogged, the pore then opens at the base of the skin. These pores are not naturally black or brown, but once exposed to the air, they become oxidized and turn dark.
So, there you have it. Now you know exactly what a blackhead is and can even impress your dermatologist with the term “open comedone” if you’re feeling fancy. But let’s move on to the best part: getting rid of blackheads, once and for all.
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How to Get Rid of Blackheads
We don’t have to tell you that blackheads are an absolute pain. Luckily, experts everywhere have been working to develop the best treatment options, so you’re spoiled for choice. Here are just a few ways to get rid of blackheads and get your skin back to the way you want it:
Try A Clay Mask
Clay masks work to detoxify, enrich, and heal the skin. When it comes to blackheads, clay masks can help drag out debris from the pores, unclogging them in the process. Plus, clay masks are fun, quick, and easy to use!
Our Vitamin C Clay Mask is specifically designed to reduce acne and scarring. Powerful ingredients like Aloe Vera, Turmeric, and Kaolin Clay eliminate any excess oil from the skin while also strengthening, moisturizing, and revitalizing it. Most importantly, our clay mask will give you an instant glow, which will leave your skin looking healthy and nourished as can be.
Just keep your hair out of your face with our Twisted Satin Headband, cleanse your skin, and apply the mask with your super-smooth application brush. It only takes this mask 10 minutes to fight your blackheads and create the conditions for their reduction and ultimate removal.
AHA and BHA Cleansers
Alpha hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid) and beta hydroxy acids (such as salicylic acid) are powerful ingredients that you should look for in any acne-reducing cleanser. If you have oily skin, for example, use an oil-soluble BHA, which will be able to reach well beyond the surface of your skin to unclog the pores.
Aim for 10% of an AHA ingredient or 2-4% of a BHA ingredient in your cleanser. If you need help deciding which is best for your skin, discuss with your dermatologist.
Retinoids usually come in topical form and dispose of dead skin cells, reduce acne and acne scarring, and even unclog the pores. You can use a retinoid with an AHA or BHA for optimal results. Try a salicylic cleanser in the morning and a retinoid cream at night.
Seek Professional Help
If your breakout is severe enough, you may want to speak to a dermatologist to figure out the best treatment plan for you.
A dermatologist can also perform certain procedures to speed up blackheads’ removal, such as manual extraction, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.
Additional Dos and Don’ts
Bye-Bye, Blackheads: Prevention Methods
We get it: it helps to know that there are options available for treating blackheads, but you’d rather not have to deal with blackheads at all. That’s why we made you this list of tips for preventing blackheads completely. Here goes nothing:
Follow a Regular, Consistent Skincare Routine
At a very minimum, you need to cleanse your skin twice a day. And no, soap and water don’t count. Look for a dermatologist-recommended cleanser so that you can remove excess debris and oil from your face.
Be gentle when rubbing the cleanser into your skin—you don’t need to scrub hard to get the intended effects (in fact, being too rough can actually further irritate the skin). Also, be aware that cleansing too often also damages the skin, so stick to the recommended two times a day.
In addition, keep your skin firm and hydrated by using a moisturizer after your cleanser. Look for moisturizers that are non-comedogenic (meaning they won’t clog the pores) and contain sunscreen (preferably SPF 30 or higher).
Pick the Right Makeup Products
As mentioned above, non-comedogenic skin products will not clog the pores and cause open comedones (blackheads). The same is true of makeup, so you should only buy products that have the term non-comedogenic on the label. This is especially vital when it comes to foundation, primer, and blush.
Don’t Wear Makeup to Bed
It’s so easy after a long day to just fall into bed and put off removing your makeup until the next morning. However, even if you use non-comedogenic products, sleeping in your makeup causes debris to build up and lead to clogged pores. However tired you may be, always gently take off your makeup before bed—your skin will thank you!
Identify the Cause
The following is a list of potential causes of blackheads:
Any condition is easier to treat when you identify the cause. If you find out that your blackheads occur due to the makeup you use, for example, throw that makeup out and buy a different (preferably non-comedogenic) kind.
Of course, other causes of blackheads do not allow for such an easy fix. If you have oily skin, you’re simply at a higher risk of developing blackheads and other acne. However, if you use skincare products that are specifically designed for oily skin and follow a routine consistently, you will be able to manage your skin type and minimize breakouts.
Look over the list of causes above and see if anything sounds familiar. If you aren’t sure, your dermatologist can always help you narrow in on a potential cause.
We understand how annoying blackheads are, but there are plenty of things you can try (clay masks, AHA and BHA cleansers, and retinoids, to name a few) to get rid of them. Once you use these treatment options, your skin will be blackhead-free, healthy, and glowing just the way you want it.
Even after you’ve successfully subdued a breakout, you still need to act to prevent future breakouts. By identifying the cause of your acne, practicing a regular skincare routine, and using non-comedogenic products, you’ll achieve better skin health and minimize your risk for blackheads.
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