N o woman wants to look into the mirror only to see that unwanted blackheads have taken center stage. It doesn’t matter if they are sitting ‘quietly‘ on the side of your cheeks, behind your nose, or right at the edge of your lips. The fact that they are there is annoying enough.
Blackheads are small black growths (hence the name) on the skin that happens due to clogged-up hair follicles. They are popular for their mainstream cameo appearances on the face, but can still be found gracing other spots on the body like the back and chest regions. They are a milder form of acne and can sometimes be tricky to pop; but don’t worry, it’s nothing deliberate skincare can’t handle. Inhale, exhale!
Causes of Blackheads
Blackheads form when a hair follicle in the skin becomes clogged or plugged. Dead skin cells and excess oil collect in the follicle’s opening, which produces a bump. If the skin over the bump opens, the air exposure causes the plug to look black, thus forming a blackhead.
Some factors can increase your chances of developing blackheads, including:
- Naturally producing too much body oil
- Irritation of the hair follicles when dead skin cells don’t shed on a regular basis
- Undergoing hormonal changes that cause an increase in oil production during the teen years, during menstruation, or while taking birth control pills
Here’s how to get rid of blackheads for the clear skin you always dreamed of…
#1. Cleanse with salicylic acid
Salicylic acid breaks down excess oil and dead skin cells that are the culprits behind blackheads. Therefore, it’s advisable to use a facial cleanser that contains this miracle worker. Experts recommend that you should cleanse twice a day, using your salicylic acid cleaner once each day preferably at night.
#2. Consider chemical peel
Chemical peels often contain AHAs or BHAs, that are great for exfoliating the skin and also getting rid of blackheads. In addition to this, they are also a trusted anti-aging method for women looking to reverse the signs of time. The results are smoother skin, reducing enlarged pores, while also treating blackheads in the process.
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Exfoliating regularly help unclog pores, gets rid of dry skin cells, and ultimately clears the skin of dirt, oils, and unwanted substances. Leaving behind healthier and smoother skin.
#4. Use tomatoes
Can we ever run out of the wonders tomatoes bring? We are yet to exhaust the gazillion tomato recipes (I doubt we ever will), talk more of its skincare potency. Dear tomatoes, we will never take you for granted again. The Vitamin A, C, K, and acidic properties contained in tomatoes reduce open pores and help to get rid of the buildup that causes blackheads to form.
How To: Slice a tomato into round shapes and rub it on your face, ensuring an ample amount of juice stays on your face. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes, then wash off with cold water.
#5. Apply retinoid creams
To get rid of more stubborn blackheads, use retinoid creams. Retinoids have found use in medicine to regulate epithelial cell growth as they’re rich in vitamin A. They prevent the cells from getting clogged up and facilitate the regeneration of the skin. Simply put, when used in the right quantity, retinoid creams help to unclog hair follicles. This can be used as a preventive measure as well.
We recommend these retinoid creams
#6. Try professional extraction
Book an extraction appointment with a dermatologist who will help get rid of blackheads by professionally removing them. While there are extraction kits sold over the counter, it is advisable not to pull a DIY stunt at home.
#7. Use activated charcoal
Occasionally using charcoal face masks will eventually get rid of blackheads and other forms of acne as activated charcoal helps extract dirt and oils from the skin. Apply as a mask on the skin for about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to moisturize after washing off.
- Make a habit of washing your face twice daily to prevent an accumulation of dirt and oils, which eventually lead to clogged-up pores. You could wash off more times, especially after sweating
- Steam your face and moisturize before extraction. This softens the blackheads and allows for an easier procedure.
- Drink lots of water
“Beautiful skin requires commitment, not a miracle”—Erno Lazlo.
Watch blackhead removal on YouTube
Featured image: Temi Otedola | Instagram
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