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How to get rid of blackheads


Blackheads have a way of spoiling otherwise perfect skin. Staring at the mirror and seeing a constellation of pesky black spots is never fun.

You may try your normal acne routine. You may try popping them (don’t do that BTW). Whatever you attempt, it’s not working. That’s because blackheads form and operate differently than traditional acne.

They occur when a hair follicle gets clogged by oil and dead skin cells. The black color isn’t from dirt or debris, but rather from the oxidation of what is clogging the hair follicles. So don’t sweat it, you’re skin isn’t dirty — so there’s no need to scrub and rub your skin raw.

But why do blackheads form? Why do hair follicles get clogged? Well, there are many factors that can affect when and how nasty a breakout can be.

  • Certain medications
  • Hormonal changes, which can be affected by: puberty, birth control, menstruation
  • Body overproduces oils
  • Propionibacterium acnes buildup

Blackheads can occur up on more than just your face too. They can also pop up on your:

  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Arms

But knowing how and why blackheads form isn’t why you’re here — you want to get rid of them. Treatments for blackheads vary, and which prevention or remedy is best for you is entirely dependent on what is causing them to form in the first place.

Don’t squeeze

We’re just going to get this no-brainer out of the way. We know it’s tempting, but don’t squeeze. The absolute worst way to get rid of blackheads is to pop, squeeze or scratch at them.

It may be oddly satisfying, but tearing away at the pores causes the bacteria and breakout to spread and become much, much worse.

Salicylic Acid Products

For those of us that suffer from too much oil in our skin, products that contain Salicylic Acid can be a lifesaver. This ingredient can be found in many different types of cleansers and moisturizers and does wonders for getting through excess oils.

Enzymatic Exfoliators

Prevention is often the best method of reducing blackhead breakouts. Although some of us may not be so lucky, preventing blackheads before they occurs or during a rare time of clear skin can is often your best bet.

For those of us that have dry or dead skin that build up in our pores, we have to be extra vigilant but also extra careful with exfoliators. Be on the lookout for products that contain ingredients such as glycolic acid. Not only will this help with getting rid of dead skin cells but it will also dislodge sebum from your pores.

You also want to avoid anything that can possibly irritate or scratch your skin. This includes polyethylene and microbeads. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are a great alternative.

Moisturizers aren’t your enemy

A common myth is that moisturizers cause blackheads. This is simply not true. The truth is — the type of moisturizer you choose matters. Depending on the condition of your skin and your pores, heavy or creamy moisturizers can block pores. But giving your skin a healthy amount of hydration is essential for exfoliating properly and the overall health of your skin.

Lookout for products that:

  • Contain niacinamide
  • Are lighter, and milkier texture creams
  • Say oil-free

Peel-off masks are great for your skin

There are so many different types of masks that it can be hard to choose the right one. To be honest, the right one may be different for everyone.

  1. Charcoal masks do wonders for oily skin — removing debris while improving overall skin textures and help toning your skin.
  2. Cucumber masks with botanical properties are a nice touch from mother nature. The calming properties of cucumber, melon and ginseng make this one of the more comfortable masks out there.
  3. Aloe vera masks are great for those of use that have sensitive skin. Clean and tighten up pores while hydrating at the same time. Oh, and these are also a comfortable mask without too much irritation that often comes from peel-off masks.

This doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the different masks out there. The best way to find the right mask for you is to understand what is causing your blackheads, and to find a mask with properties that can fight off those causes.

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