In order to truly answer the question “how to get rid of blackheads,” you must first know what they are and how they form. These are black or yellowish plugs or bumps that form on the face as a result of excessive oil in your skin pores. They are technically referred to as “open comodones” and they can be detected during the first stages of acne before transforming into an inflammation.
How to get rid of blackheads: Understanding the causes of blackheads
Blackheads form as a result of excessive oil accumulation in the sebaceous gland’s ducts. As the oil is exposed to air, it solidifies as a result of oxidation hence blocking the pores on the skin. The result, the blocked follicles in the clogged pores reflect light, giving the clogged pores a black appearance hence the name blackheads. The difference between blackheads and whiteheads is that blackheads develop as a result of an oily skin while whiteheads can develop from any skin type, oily or dry.
Hormonal changes are the primary cause of increased oil production, especially during puberty. An increase in the production of the male hormone androgen can trigger an increase in oil production in the skin thus causing build up in the pores in the process, and hence development of blackheads.
The other major cause of blackhead formation is the use of oil based make-up and skin care products. The oil in these products mix with your body’s natural oil thus contributing to the build up that blocks your pores further.
How to get rid of blackheads by yourself
If you are trying to figure out how to get rid of blackheads without involving a dermatologist, then never squeeze blackheads out. Instead, use a blackhead remover and follow the directions of use in order to avoid causing scars to your face. In addition, it should go without saying that you should never place a boiling hot washcloth on your face.
Here are some of the products that you can consider when figuring out how to get rid of blackheads
1. Natural scrub/ Exfoliant
You can prepare natural scrubs at home or purchase some from the local store. You can use sugar, sea salt or even coffee as a scrubby base for your face. This is certainly a cheaper option to what you can purchase from the store. Better still, you can customize your scrub with your favorite scent. Ensure that you use your scrub to exfoliate your skin gently once or twice per week.
2. Salicylic acid
This is one of the most common ingredients present in prescription and over the counter blackhead medications. It works by breaking down keratin, the protein that is present in skin cells, thus enabling your body to shed off dead skin cells resulting in loosening and expulsion of blackheads in the process. This ingredient comes in various forms including gels, oils, soaps and lotions. Salicylic acid is your best remedy if you are having mild blackheads.
3. Benzoyl peroxide
This remedy is used as the next line of medication up from salicylic acid when you are suffering from moderate blackhead problem. It works by killing the bacteria that colonize the skin’s pores. In addition, it helps in drying the oil that clogs the pores thus exfoliating the skin while loosening and expelling blackheads. Benzoyl peroxide too comes in various forms, and you can get them over the counter as well.
4. Witch hazel
This is a naturally existing astringent that is extracted from the witch hazel shrub. It works by constricting the swollen blood vessels, restoring them to their normal size. While Witch hazel has a wide range of uses, it treats blackheads by reducing the swelling and tightening of the skin after removing the blackhead. You can find it in the form of creams, oils and even the Witch Stick.
How to get rid of blackheads: Preventing them from developing on your face
The adage “prevention is better than cure” is very true when learning how to get rid of blackheads. Although you can cure this condition, there are ways to prevent blackheads from developing in the first place. This is certainly easier and more cost effective than treating existing blackheads using pore packs, nose strips and other remedies. Here are some of the tips that can help you prevent blackheads from developing on your face.
1. Adopting a hygienic lifestyle
Blackheads do not result from dirt or failure to take regular showers. However, proper hygiene can help keep them at bay. This is because they tend to form on oily skin surfaces. The result, most people are tempted to wash their faces too often, causing blackheads to develop faster.
Incase you do not know, washing your skin too often only promotes the production of more sebum, which then accumulates in clogged pores resulting in development of blackheads. On the other hand, failing to wash your face may cause blackheads because the dirt on the surface can prevent the sebum from leaving the pores.
2. Stay away from oil based make-up
Oil based toners and creams can worsen the existing blackhead condition or create a conducive environment for new ones to develop. If your skin is oily, then avoid using oil based skin products. Instead, use water based creams and make up.
3. Aid your skin to exfoliate
Dead cells can clog your pores causing the blackheads to develop. Thus, if you want to know how to get rid of blackheads, then you should figure out how to aid your skin’s exfoliation process. This will keep your skin clean, smooth and healthy. To achieve this, you can use various peels, scrubs and other blackhead treatment products. A simple homemade baking soda scrub can clean and enable your skin to exfoliate faster. You can also use chemical peels to dissolve the dirt, sebum and the dead cells that are responsible for clogging your pores. However, ensure that you consult your dermatologist before using these chemicals.
4. Adopt healthy eating habits
Some of the foods you take can, and will, destroy your organs, including your skin. You skin can be easily damaged by consuming oily and sweet foods. This is because most toxins contained in oily and processed foods as well as alcohol is eliminated through the skin pores and can contribute to the clogging of these pores. Keep fast, fatty, sweet and processed foods off your diet. Instead, take a lot of fruits, vegetables and drink plenty of water.
Anyone can suffer from blackheads. However, clearing your face of these blemishes is not as hard as you might want to think. The key to removing blackheads permanently from your skin is knowing how to prevent them from forming in the first place. Thus, if you are trying to figure out how to get rid of blackheads, the be sure to take into account the points discussed above.