Blackheads are a common skin problem that can occur at any age. They are caused when pores become clogged with sebum, dead skin cells and other debris. As a result, they look black because the material within the pore oxidises when exposed to air.
There are several different ways to treat blackheads. Some of these include using physical exfoliants, retinoids and other topical treatments. Others involve avoiding certain habits that can contribute to them developing.
Exfoliate Regularly – Cleansing your skin regularly is the most effective way to keep your complexion clear and blackhead free. Make sure you’re using a cleanser that contains salicylic acid or niacinamide, which help remove excess oil and debris that can clog pores.
Apply Exfoliating Scrubs or Masks – A weekly exfoliation can help reduce the appearance of blackheads and promote smoother, healthier skin. Details: ProActive’s clay-based scrub is formulated with kaolin to help refine pores and minimize oilyness, while Origins’ Active Charcoal Mask helps draw out environmental toxins that can lead to breakouts.
Use Lighter-Weight Makeup Products – Choosing makeup that is non-comedogenic will help prevent clogged pores and acne. Avoid heavy formulas that can aggravate your skin and cause blackheads to form.
Try Natural Treatments – A natural treatment like baking soda can help clear up blackheads on its own. The baking soda helps to remove dead skin cells and impurities that may clog the pores and lead to blackheads, says Massick.
Drink Water and Reduce Alcohol Consumption – It’s important to drink plenty of water every day as this will help keep your skin healthy and clear. It will also help your skin maintain its natural moisture level and reduce inflammation.
Eat Healthily – A diet that is low in salt and sugar can help keep your skin looking fresh and radiant. It’s also a good idea to consume a wide variety of fruit and vegetables and limit your intake of processed foods, which can exacerbate acne.
Wear Sunblock – The sun’s rays can irritate the skin and make it more susceptible to acne. So, protect your face by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
Don’t Tweeze or Pluck Blackheads – Doing this can actually worsen your condition, as it can damage the skin and leave it more vulnerable to break outs. Seeing a dermatologist is the best option for more severe cases of acne, as they can perform professional extractions and other treatments that will get rid of blackheads and other types of pimples.
Icing After Extractions – Ice should be used immediately after extracting any blackheads, which will reduce redness and irritation. It will also help decrease inflammation and the chance of scarring, according to Dr. Nussbaum, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Take Care of Your Hands – Touching your face can add excess dirt and grime to your pores, making them more likely to form blackheads. This is why it’s important to use a clean hand towel or cloth when washing your face.