Putting Blackheads on the Blacklist
Dealing with blackheads can put a damper on anyone’s day. They’re unsightly, stubborn, and sometimes downright embarrassing. If you experience persistent blackheads, you’re not alone. Regardless of body shape, an estimated 50 million Americans face acne and blackheads in the mirror each morning. As a result, the cosmetic market is rife with products that claim to banish blackheads, but which actually work? Here are some home remedies, prescription, and over-the-counter methods that can help you to beat blackheads both safely and effectively.
Just What Are Blackheads?
Blackheads form when your pores become clogged with oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. When this mixture meets the air it oxidizes, causing particles to turn black and give these blemishes their characteristic color. While they aren’t necessarily dangerous, blackheads can be unsightly and lead to long-term damage to your skin if not dealt with properly.
Use Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is one of the most common treatments used for blackheads and acne. It has lipophilic properties, meaning that it attracts oils that cause blackheads. You can find salicylic acid in cheap, over-the-counter products as well as prescription medications. Daily use can help to clear out pores and prevent future blackheads from forming.
Try Out a Retinoid
Retinoid products are best known for their anti-aging properties, but they can also help to prevent blackheads and breakouts. Vitamin A derivatives help to improve the way that skin cells shed and regrow, which can reduce the occurrence of acne and oil buildup. Retinoids may result in skin peeling at first, but this effect should disappear eventually. Still, people with sensitive skin may want to stick to lower-strength products.
Exfoliate Twice a Week
Gently scrubbing your facial skin can help to loosen dirt clogging pores and clean out blackheads. You can use an enzymatic exfoliator or facial mask containing papaya, charcoal, pineapple extract, or clay to help remove surface skin cells and unblock your pores. For a slightly cheaper option, try kitchen baking soda mixed with water. Brushes and sponges are also a good way to exfoliate skin, but be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can end up doing more harm to your skin than good.
Don’t Skimp on the Moisturizer
When treating your skin for acne or blackheads, cleansing products may be stripping you of essential sebaceous oils. Dry skin can lead to even more severe acne and blackheads, and so a daily moisturizing routine is critical to keeping your skin clear and healthy. It’s a good idea to choose non-oily moisturizers to prevent your pores from clogging.
With a little bit of time, patience, and TLC, you can keep your skin looking bright and beautiful no matter what your age. It’s important to maintain a rigorous skincare routine to prevent dirt and debris from clogging your pores. There are both home remedies and professional products that you can use to fight the onset of blackheads.