While they might not be as conspicuous as the obvious form of acne, blackheads can be a difficult and embarrassing skin condition to have to deal with. Most of us experience them, in varying degrees, yet not all of us know the best forms of attack.
It’s important to understand that the core of a blackhead is made up of a mixture of dead skin cells, oil and bacteria. As the pore itself is open to the surface of the skin, this core, as it gets pushed upwards, turns a darker brown/black colour as it oxidised upon reaching air.
With this in mind, we’re looking at some of the most efficient steps to treat blackheads and prevent them coming back.
Firstly, exfoliating is key. It’s so important to keep your skin free of unnecessary gunk and debris. Maintaining a good exfoliation routine will assist in skin cell turnover and leave less ‘stuff’ to clog your pores. There are so many ways to exfoliate, either physically or chemically, just be sure that you don’t over do it with a scrub. You want your face to look fresh, not rubbed raw!
You might also consider your cleansing routine. Yes, we all know that you should be taking your make-up off before bed. However, just one swish of water isn’t going to make the cut. For a thorough nightly clean, you ought to be cleansing twice, regardless of your skin type. The first cleanse removes the bulk of the make-up, oil and grime that sits on top of your skin, and the second cleanse thoroughly cleans it so that you can go to bed without anything clogging your pores.
Don’t forget the importance of cleansing in the morning as well! Just because you haven’t been wearing make-up overnight doesn’t mean that your skin has stopped producing oil or quit its turnover of cells!
Another popular treatment that you may have seen in your quest to beat blackheads is a regular clay mask. There are some fantastic products on the market that don’t strip the skin, yet gently draw out the gunk and unwanted oils that contribute to blackheads and other blemishes. A simple weekly ritual, using a good quality clay mask, can assist in preventing future clogged pores.
A further step in your skin care routine is to look for products containing salicylic acid. This ingredient is common in a lot of over the counter products and is very effective when treating blackheads. It works by gently encouraging your skin’s cell turnover which, again, diminishes the formation of blackheads. Just be aware of the amount you’re putting on and of your own skin’s sensitivity levels.
Finally, if you find that blackheads are a regular issue and you find that much of the above steps aren’t making the impact you’re looking for, you might consider a professional extraction. Under no circumstances should you do this at home, regardless of how tempting the little guys are to squeeze! A professional beauty therapist can offer extractions as part of a facial. Just be sure that they are not under the ‘no pain, no gain’ camp. Some discomfort is to be expected, but you should not be leaving with welts! A trained beauty professional can leave you with a completely fresh face, blackhead free and all!
Main Image Credit: Kendall Jenner