6 Ways to Remove Blackheads
There is no doubt that blackheads are annoying. They make our skin look bumpy and can affect our self esteem. Let’s discuss ways to remove blackheads. First, I want to tell you how I came up with this post idea.
My daughter started back at school today. No picture because she had to run down the block to catch the school bus. First day and I am thinking we are off to a great start. Last night we took our daughter to get her nails done because after all a girl has to look good on her first day of school. She also mentioned she wanted a facial. My first thought was no, she is 15 years old. What 15 year old gets a facial? Did I ever mention my husband is a total mush!! My hubby says yes to whatever she wants. I am afraid she is becoming too high maintenance for me but I digress.
Now she does have some blackheads so I thought extractions would be a good thing. Perhaps not the night before school starts because facials can cause redness and flare ups if you have sensitive skin but try telling a teenager this. Off to the salon we go, she is in the back for an hour getting her facial. She comes out and says “she did not extract my nose”. I asked why and the clinician offered that her nose is too red.
She wanted a facial because she has a blackheads on her nose so after spending over $100 she still has blackheads on her nose. I ask you readers How would you handle this situation?
Hence, this was the idea that sparked my interest in learning more about blackheads. I do not have blackheads but I can see why with the skin regimen I am following. In this post I discuss the difference between sebaceous filaments and blackheads.
What is a blackhead? Blackheads, also referred to a closed comedones, occur when dead skin cells and oils collect and clog the opening of a hair follicle. Blackheads are just an oxidized mix of oil and dead skin cells that are sitting in pores. When this mixture is exposed to air, it oxidizes and turn black.
The main cause of acne (including blackheads) is hormonal changes in the body that cause excess oil to be produced in the pores. This is common especially during puberty, which explains why so many teens have blackheads. As we age pores may fill with oil, this is different than blackheads.
We can discuss different ways to remove blackheads but it is important to note that none of these ways will be permanent or 100% satisfactory. My favorite way is prevention but I will discuss this later.
Pore strips -ways to remove blackheads
These are sold in may retail stores. I am not a big fan of them because they can be too harsh for sensitive skin.
Cleansers ways to remove blackheads
Cleansers with salicylic acid can help reduce blackheads. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid which make it more oil soluble. This is usually a gentler way to remove and prevent blackheads compared to strips and scrub. The salicylic acid will help shed dead skins cells so they are less likely to clog a pore.
Scrubs and physical exfoliants also work to help remove dead skin cells. The removal of these cells will help unclog the pores. It also works to help reduce sebum production and decrease inflammation.
Medications- ways to remove blackheads
Vitamin A can help improve skin growth and prevent oil build up. The retinoids increase skin cell turn over while encouraging new cell growth. This helps pores be less susceptible to getting clogged. Prescription strength is available but try an over the counter one first.
Differin was prescription but is now over the counter and available on Amazon. My daughter swears by this one. Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Prescription Strength Retinoid Acne Treatment (up to 30 Day supply), 15 gram
Benzoyl peroxide can kill the bacteria that causes acne (the p. acnes bacteria), this is why you will see this ingredient in a lot of acne washes and scrubs.
Medications such as birth control and spironolactone can reduce oil production and prevent your pores from being blocked. Both require a prescription.
Birth control pills work by affecting the hormone levels. Only three types of birth control pills (Yaz, Estrostep, Ortho Tri-cyclen) have been approved by the FDA for treating acne. All three of these birth control pills are considered combination as they contain both estrogen and progesterone. Birth control pills that contain only progesterone have been shown to make acne worse.
Spironolactone is an androgen (male hormone) blocker, it was designed to treat blood pressure. Spironolactone blocks the effect of hormones like testosterone on your oil glands. If the oil glands are not stimulated, they do not make as much oil.
Masks can help remove blackheads. Masks that have papaya, charcoal, pineapple extract, or clay can help clean the pores and remove the debris.
DIY home recipe for removal of blackheads
Baking soda and apple cider vinegar
Nutmeg and milk
Before any attempt at extraction the face should be primed with a facial steamer to help open the pores.
Although they sell blackhead extractor kits BESTOPE Blackhead Remover Pimple Comedone Extractor Tool Best Acne Removal Kit – Treatment for Blemish, Whitehead Popping, Zit Removing for Risk Free Nose Face Skin with Metal Case It is not recommended that you attempt to remove the blackhead on your own as permanent scarring can occur. There is also a risk of infection. These tools should be properly cleaned (sterilized) and this is difficult to do in a home setting.
This devices places suction on the blackhead to help extract the pore. The manufacturer suggests using a hot steamer, hot towel or blackhead remover gel on your skin for 5 minutes to completely open your pores. This product is not intended for sensitive skin.
When using the product you should be moving it in circles and make sure it never stays in place for more than 2 seconds. It is also suggested that this device be used no more than twice a week.
Summary of ways to remove blackheads
Use a topically applied therapy including,
Wash your pillowcases.
Avoid make up when you can.
Use steam or a warm cloth to help open the pores before cleaning them out, it will be easier to remove oil and debris.
- People should avoid popping, squeezing, or picking at blackheads.
- Don’t touch your face
What are your favorite ways to remove blackheads?