Blackheads are so insidious - creeping up onto our skin so that, almost without our noticing, they are suddenly there for all to see.
But what can we do about them?
The sebum in your pores contains melanin, and when it hits the surface of your pores, it oxidates. The oxidation of this sebum causes the unpleasant dark color of blackheads. It is the overproduction of oil that increases your chances of getting blackheads. We all need pores in our skin for maintenance work – in fact without them, we would die. Oils are secreted through the pores to help keep the skin moisturized and prevent the skin from drying out.
How do we get clogged pores?
Sometimes, the body produces too much oil especially in times of stress, changing hormones or other types of triggers. In addition, the oil can get mixed with dead skin cells – those dead oil-secreting cells that clog up the pores and cause a solid block. If this solid gets infected, the immune system will try to liquify the solid.
How to prevent blackheads in the first place?
- Don’t wash your face with harsh cleansers because these make your skin overreact and produce more oil.
- Do wash your face twice a day with natural cleansing products.
- Keep your makeup to a minimum.
- Wash your pillowcase on a daily basis (so that you are not adding back any dead skin cells and oils your face leaves behind).
- Use a natural astringent like witch hazel or apple cider vinegar after you wash your face and before you moisturize.
- Once every two weeks, use a facial steam to help open your pores and let them unclog.
- Blot your face with tissue paper throughout the day to soak up oil before it can accumulate.
- Consider what might be causing acne if this is a problem for you. Our earlier post will tell you more.
How can you treat blackheads?
- Although nose strips are one way to remove blackheads, they are not always effective if you do not follow up with an adequate skin care routine so that your blackheads can return.
- Never squeeze or pop your blackheads as this can lead to even more unwanted skin issues.
- Washing your face is essential for clean and clear skin, but a gentle clean twice a day, and no more, as too much cleansing can dry out your skin.
- Although blackheads are undesirable and frustrating and you want to get rid of them immediately, using strong products is never advisable. Do not overstimulate your skin.
- Exfoliate with baking soda, mixing with apple cider vinegar or water to create an even paste, and gently scrub away those annoying blackheads.
- Another natural way to get rid of blackheads is with pure lemon juice, add to a little water and salt and apply to the affected area. Leave overnight before rinsing with warm water.
- Try using skin friendly oils such as hemp seed oil, olive oil or castor oil to help clean your skin. Massage the oil into your face for a minute and then place a hot wash cloth over the face to steam clean before following up with some witch hazel and then unrefined shea butter.
And for all your general acne treatment needs, look no further than our own safe, gentle and 100% natural H-Acne Formula