When the skin becomes too dirty, the pores may be clogged with bacteria, oils and dead skin cells, leading to the development of blackheads which look like small black dots and are mostly found on the face. This can happen to anyone at any age, but those in their teenage years are more prone to developing blackheads. The causes may be genetic, hormonal imbalance or the lack of proper hygiene. It is much easier to prevent blackheads than to treat them. This article will detail how to prevent blackheads as well as methods to remove them.
How to Prevent Blackheads
1. Clean Your Skin Regularly and Gently
To prevent blackheads, it is important that you wash your skin regularly and properly. The water should be lukewarm as hot water can strip the natural oils away from the skin, leaving it dry and flaky. Try to find cleansing agent with salicylic acid which can be very helpful in preventing pores from becoming blocked. It is also important to remember that too much washing of the skin can lead to unwanted irritation. Washing your face twice a day is enough to maintain good hygiene.
2. Remove Makeup Before Bed
Avoid going to sleep with makeup as this may seriously clog your pores and irritate your skin. Use non-irritating makeup remover before you go to sleep. It may also be wise to wash or change your makeup applicators every month or so to eradicate any bacteria that may have built up on them.
3. Apply Moisturizer
When ascertaining how to prevent blackheads, it may be wise to try moisturizers that are specific to your skin type (normal, dry, oily or combination). Ensuring that your skin is hydrated by applying a proper moisturizer can prevent blackheads. If you are unsure about your exact skin type, visit a skincare professional for further guidance.
4. Exfoliate Skin Regularly
Find a gentle (and preferably natural) exfoliating cream and apply it as directed by the manufacturer. Skin exfoliation can remove dead skin cells and prevent the manifestation of blackheads. When choosing the exfoliating products, avoid those containing harsh chemicals.
5. Absorb Excess Oil
This is especially useful for those with oily skin. You can buy products specifically for the purpose of absorbing excess oil from most pharmacies, such as oil absorbing sheets. Ensure to follow the manufacturers guide and do not overuse the product.
6. Choose Skin Products Wisely
When using skin care products, such as exfoliators and moisturizers, select ones with the label of “non-comedogenic”. These products have been specifically tested for people who are prone to skin conditions, such as acne and blackheads. Products which are labeled as “hypoallergenic” have been specifically tested for those with sensitive skin, so they are a good option when you need to avoid skin irritation.
7. Eat Balanced Diet
If you want to know how to prevent blackheads, it may be as simple as changing your diet. Avoid eating fatty and sugary foods. Opt for vegetables, fruits and lean meat as well as drink plenty of water. Try to consume plenty of natural vitamins, especially vitamin A which is found in carrots and raspberries, to help you attain healthier skin.
How to Remove Blackheads
1. Comedone Extractor
Comedone extractor is a device that can be purchased from most pharmacies and can be helpful in removing blackheads. Firstly, clean your skin and then open your pores by placing a hot towel on your face or by using a facial steamer. Always follow the instructions to ensure the safety. If the blackheads are stubborn and can’t be easily removed, do not force it. Wait a few days and try again.
2. Natural Remedies
A good home remedy you can try is egg whites and facial tissue. Dampen the tissue in egg whites and gently apply it to your desired area, leaving it to dry. Once dry, add another layer of egg whites onto the tissue. When the mask is totally dry and begins to feel tight, peel it off. Then wash your face thoroughly to remove any leftover residue. Other home remedies that may be beneficial in removing blackheads include: honey, cinnamon, milk and clay. Lemon juice can be used as after-care as it can be effective in shrinking pores and toning skin.
3. OTC Treatments
You can try pore strips which you can apply to your chosen area and then strip off to remove blackheads. Chemical ingredients to look out for are resorcinol, sulfur, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These ingredients can be effective to cleanse your pores and remove blackheads. If you are unsure which one to use, see a skin care specialist for medical advice.
4. Talk to Your Doctor
If your condition is really severe, you know how to prevent blackheads and how to remove them but none of the methods works for you, you may need to see your doctor or a dermatologist. They will be able to offer professional guidance on treatments and help you deal with your condition. They may also prescribe you more powerful medications that are not available over-the-counter.
Avoid rubbing your face (especially the areas that are affected by blackheads). Rubbing the area will only lead to unwanted irritation, inflammation and possibly spread bacteria, leaving your skin even more prone to blackheads.