Your blackheads shouldn’t deter you from embracing and appreciating your not-so-perfect skin. If you’ve been trying everything under the sun to treat those pesky little invaders but they’re still firmly planted on your nose, chin, or forehead it’s not surprising. They can be quite stubborn hence why we keep writing about them. The issue can get a little personal as I’m always trying to figure out ways to beat blackheads. So below is a little blackhead cheat sheet containing the latest research that can help you prevent and treat blackheads so let’s see what’s new in this regards.
What Are Blackheads
Blackheads are not a sign that your skin is dirty; they’re simply open pores with oil buildup and the black color comes when the oil oxidises from the air. Keep in mind that there is a genetic predisposition involved and it has nothing to do with your current skincare routine. Although it is crucial to tweak your skincare routine if you’re planning on tackling your blackheads. The good news is that blackheads can be manually removed, but the bad news is that once the pore fills up with oil again and it oxidises it will turn black again. This only means that extraction and maintenance should become a crucial ritual.
Extraction At Home
You will need plastic wrap, facial tissue, a heavy moisturiser, an extractor tool or tweezers, and two washcloths. You will need to do this immediately after you shower.
— After your shower apply a heavy moisturiser so that you can trap the heat inside your skin which is necessary for extraction.
— Cover the area with nylon wrap and apply a hot damp washcloth, now apply the second hot damp washcloth on top of the first one. This will help the washcloth that’s touching the skin to stay hot longer. Keep them on for a few minutes.
— Apply moisturiser again in case it got wiped off.
— If using your fingers for extraction, wrap a tissue around each finger and squeeze the clogged pores. Don’t position your fingers too close to the blackhead so that you can allow for proper deep extraction. Rotate the positions of your fingers to avoid squeeze marks; you can start with positions 3:00 and 9:00 and then move on to 5:00 and 10:00, or 2:00 and 7:00. Keep in mind that if the blackhead doesn’t come out after three squeezes stop right there or you’ll end up damaging the skin.
— If you’re using an extraction tool do it gently by placing the tweezers on both sides of the blackhead, perpendicular to the area, and by pressing gently with slow even pressure till the blackhead is released. Pinch the tweezers lightly to pull the blackhead out. Terminate the process if the blackhead doesn’t release easily.
Take time to research and try out the best estheticians in your area to help you with extracting your blackheads. If you fear that doing the job yourself is a waste of time and perhaps a hazard to your face then leave it to the professionals. Depending on your case, you might need a few monthly visits to clear up the problem so have patience.
To maintain blackhead-free skin, chemical exfoliants such as glycolic and salicylic acids should be used on daily basis. These exfoliants can be used in the form of cleansers, pads, or toners. Aim to use a cleanser with salicylic acid, use a glycolic exfoliant nightly, as well as a glycolic toner twice a day. Physical exfoliation is another important step to incorporate and it should be done three times a week at the end of your shower when the oil inside your pores has softened.
Another important tip to help you maintain a blackhead-free complexion is to incorporate antioxidants such as vitamins C and E into your skincare routine. The main role of these antioxidants is to prevent the oxidation process that turns blackheads into black. They encourage collagen production, help with discolouration, and prevent oil from oxidising.
Ditch The Pore Strips
Finally, it’s time to ditch those useless pore strips as they are pulling away your skin, causing broken capillaries and are NOT removing any blackheads. Your best bet is to use detoxifying masks such as charcoal or clay instead.