Blackheads can be very annoying. They are so pesky that you may end up being frustrated, just for trying to get rid of them.
The problem is that they affect just about anyone, regardless of the type of skin you have. Blackheads when sebum and dead skin cells combine to clog the pores.
Their appearance is black mainly due to the oxidation that takes place during their formation.
Most people who make the mistake of squeezing blackheads end up with damaged skin that is also full of scars. It is for this reason that getting rid of blackheads is not as easy as it seems.
But just what are the best ways to get rid of blackheads?
In this write-up, we discuss some of the strategies that will give you the best results. Read on for more information:
1. Cleanse With the Right Product
Just because many of the skin cleansing products sold over-the-counter are made of benzoyl peroxide doesn’t mean you should use them. Benzoyl peroxide targets the swelling in the blackheads and can give you quick results.
It is not useful for all types of acne and only treats those that come due to inflammation and bacteria.
Blackheads do not fall into any of these categories. Besides, benzoyl peroxide can cause severe irritation in people with sensitive skin.
One of the best ways to get rid of blackheads through skin cleansing is using products containing salicylic acid.
When salicylic acid gets into the blackheads, it breaks down the dead skin cells and oils, thus unclogging the pores.
You can also use your cleanser to remove daily makeup, oil, and dirt, thus keeping your skin healthy.
No matter whether you have blackheads or not, you should wash your skin twice daily. You should, however, use your salicylic acid cleanser only once a day, say before you go to bed.
Once your skin gets used to it, you can start using the detergent both in the morning and the evening.
If you are sensitive to salicylic acid, limit the use of the solvent to only once a day. If the adverse effects persist, stop using the shampoo.
2. Exfoliate In the Correct Way
Don’t fall for the lies. Skin exfoliating is having no adverse impact on acne, except for that caused by inflammation.
If all you have are blackheads, you should exfoliate your skin to remove the numerous dead skin cells that clog the pores. Exfoliation is also useful when it comes to getting rid of already existing blackheads.
You will find AHA in the form of glycolic acid and BHA in the way of salicylic acid. When used on the skin, they help to remove the skin’s top layer, which is usually made of dead cells.
Apart from improving your appearance, this action cleanses the pores, removes age spots and wrinkles, and leaves your skin feeling softer.
3. Physically Exfoliating Your Skin
Instead of AHAs and BHA, you may use a skin brush to remove the dead skin cells. In one week, you can use a skin brush only once.
If you use it excessively, you may end up unnecessarily irritating your skin. If you want, use the exfoliating scrub just on the days when you are not using the AHAs or the BHAs.
The alternative physical exfoliates include beads, salt, sugar, and shells. Scrub your skin using any of these to remove dead skin cells.
Avoid formulas that are too abrasive, since these can put the skin under too much pressure and cause avoidable damage.
Cleansing grains help to remove dead skin cells, impurities, oil, and dirt. That’s in addition to flushing out the pores without irritating your skin.
4. Minimize Oil Using Clay or Charcoal Masks
Do you have oily skin? If ‘yes,’ then using a clay mask is a must. The clay is useful when it comes to retrieving oil, dirt, and other elements from deep down the skin pores.
You can use a clay mask for between 10 and 15 minutes, once a week to reduce the amount of oil on the skin. Since excessive oil on the surface causes blackheads, getting rid of it will help you to get clear skin.
Thus one of the best ways to get rid of blackheads is to use a clay mask once in a while. Once the skin pores are cleared of all the dirt, oil, and dead skin cells, the blackheads would become a thing of the past.
Some of the clay masks available on the market contain sulfur, an element that breaks down dead skin cells thus, getting rid of blackheads.
To get the best results, the clay mask should be used hand-in-hand with an exfoliating treatment, twice-weekly.
The alternative is to use a charcoal mask, which targets the oil that’s held deep down in your skin. It also drives out dirt and dead skin cells.
Compared to clay masks, charcoal seems to do the job much better. You don’t need to use it more than once a week.
5. Use Topical Retinoid
One of the best ways to get rid of blackheads is using topical retinoids. They work by removing the oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that clog the pores.
The good thing about retinoids is that they can be used even by individuals with sensitive skin. If you have an off-the-counter product, increase its skin penetration effectiveness by combining its use with that of topical retinoids.
That’s because retinoids open up the follicles, thus making room for the other products.
6. Use Chemical Peels
Traditionally, chemical peels have been used to get rid of fine lines and age spots. They have a lot of anti-aging benefits. Most chemical peels make use of AHAs to remove the dead top layer of the skin.
At the end of it all, your skin should look smoother, younger, and refreshed. Of course, chemical peels do not primarily target blackheads.
However, by getting rid of dead skin cells and shrinking pores, this method is an effective treatment for blackheads. Individuals looking for a younger, fresher skin, while also treating blackheads should go for this treatment.
7. Use Only Noncomedogenic Products
What kind of face products and makeup do you use? If it is the noncomedogenic variety, the effects of using the right exfoliator, mask, and cleanser will be significantly enhanced.
Noncomedogenic skin products rarely cause clogged pores or comedones. But it is tough to tell which products are noncomedogenic.
Make a habit of thoroughly reading the label, and you will get exactly what you are looking for, if not better.
8. Avoid Sleeping In Your Makeup
Oh! How tired you feel at the end of a busy day. The last thing on your mind is taking off your makeup.
Tired as you are, summon the courage and wash off the makeup you applied in the morning.
Make the mistake of sleeping in it, and you will end up with an even greater breakout of blackheads. It doesn’t matter if the makeup is noncomedogenic or not.
Sleeping in it will leave your skin pores clogged. The result is a breakout of blackheads. If eye makeup is left on at night, it can cause eye infections and irritations.
That’s why you should use a skin cleanser or makeup remover to open up the skin pores in readiness for bedtime.
9. Take Acne Medication
Although bacteria do not cause blackheads, you can still use acne medicine to get rid of them. The best medication for this task includes spironolactone and contraceptive pills, which work by preventing the clogging of the skin pores.
If you already have blackheads, these will be gotten rid of. Also, the medication will prevent the future occurrence of acne.
If all you have is moderate blackheads, you should avoid taking these medicines. Your doctor will prescribe them for you if what you have is acne that looks more serious.
10. Use a Moisturizer
While most of the other methods are the best ways to get rid of blackheads, they may leave the skin dried up.
That’s because they remove oil and leave the skin less-moisturized. That’s why you should consider applying a moisturizer. This ensures you maintain the right balance in the skin.
Also, moisturized skin is less reactive to exfoliating products and face masks. If you find a retinoid to cause excess drying, apply it on top of a moisturizer.
This will help to minimize the drying effects of the retinoid. To avoid clogging the skin pores, use only noncomedogenic moisturizers.That way, you won’t have to worry about blackheads now and in future.
11. Ask For Help from Your Dermatologist
Treating acne is not something from which you can expect a result on the same day. It will take you between 6 and 12 weeks of continuous use to see results.
If you have used it for a considerable length of time and the blackheads persist, book an appointment with a dermatologist. They have special tools, which they will use to remove the blackheads. One of the methods they use is known as dermabrasion.
A dermatologist also knows the kind of medication to prescribe. For instance, they may require you to try different retinoids to get rid of existing blackheads and prevent the occurrence of new ones.
Still, there are specific prescription formulas which promote the better exfoliation of the skin. In short, if you cannot do it yourself, enlist the help of a professional dermatologist.
Persistent blackheads usually require concerted efforts to fight. Often, a combination of different methods and consultation with a dermatologist should help. But it all boils down to how you take care of your skin. If you leave in all the oil and dead skin cells, then you will suffer from persistent blackheads. Regular exfoliation, masking, and moisturizing should do the trick. If you must use any skincare products, pick those that do not cause any clogging in the pores. That way, you will be able to get rid of blackheads permanently.