Our skin accumulates all kinds of grime like dirt, sebum, oil and dead skin cells on a daily basis. This can result in clogged pores and hair follicles, leading to skin-related concerns like blackheads, whiteheads, acne etc. Blackheads look like tiny, raised bumps on the surface of the skin, mostly black in colour. They are caused when oil and sebum blocks the pores on your skin. This happens when skin is not cleansed properly and the oil settles in the pores over time. And when it’s exposed to air, it oxidises and turns black, forming blackheads. A are a problem faced by many individuals. It's common and very annoying and most people get them at some point in their life. The most common area where the blackheads appear is the face. In fact, they can be classified as a mild type of acne. In medical terms, blackheads are open comedones. Blackheads are frequently seen on the nose, corner of the nose, cheeks, forehead and the chin area. But these can appear on other parts of the body as well.
Here are some things you can do to get rid of blackheads
Tackling blackheads can be very painful. The first of firsts for getting rid of blackheads is mosturising the skin with the right cream or mosturiser. Salicylic acid is a great option for dissolving blackheads away and it can be found in over-the-counter products available in the market. Retinoid skin creams are also a useful way to get rid of blackheads. Drinking a lot of water can help in hydrating the skin surface by keeping the potent oil blocks away.
If you have not started yet, it’s time to include exfoliation in your skincare regimen. Use a natural or cosmetic scrub, suitable for your skin type to slough off grime and dead skin cell from your skin. Concentrate on the blackhead-infested area while you are at it. Exfoliate at least once a week.
Getting facials regularly can help curb blackheads to an extent. Facials are a refreshing way to rid the skin of impurities, deep-seated debris and restore the glow.
3. Invest in right products
If you have acne or blackhead-prone skin, it’s time you reconsidered your skincare products. Buy non-comedogenic products which are specially formulated to not clog the pores.
4. Keep skin clean at all times
Every time you step out of the house, your skin attracts dirt. If not cleaned well, it may lead to blocked pores increasing the chances of blackheads. Makeup can have the same effect on the skin and if not cleaned out completely, might result in blackheads and even breakouts. Always remember to remove makeup and wash your face before calling it a day.
5. Use clean laundry
As you sleep in your bed, oil and dirt from your face gets rubbed on pillowcases and bedsheets. Not washing them regularly can lead to accumulation of grime which can get transferred to your face and clog pores, encouraging blackheads. It’s best to sleep on fresh pillowcases and bedsheets as often as you can.
Home remedies for blackheads
Blackheads can be minimised and even eliminated with the use of right ingredients. Here are some natural ways and home remedies for getting rid of those pesky blackheads.
1. Baking soda
Baking soda is a natural exfoliator. Create a paste using baking soda and water and apply on the blackhead effected area. Use your fingers to gently scrub the skin for a few minutes and then wash off with water. This should be done twice a week.
The oil-absorbing properties of clay makes it ideal for clearing extra grease from the skin along with other impurities. Masks made from fuller’s earth and kaolin clay, when used regularly on face can help clear out the pores. This will eventually get rid of blackheads and make the skin smooth.
Subjecting your face to steam is an effective way to soften the stubborn blackheads and then eventually clearing them away. Steaming the face makes the skin sweat, which in turn helps to clear out toxins from within. It also softens the pores, making the stubborn blackheads easier to work upon and remove.
4. Lemon, salt and honey
The astringent quality of lemon will cut grease while the fine granules of salt will act as a non-abrasive scrub for your skin. Honey will leave your skin moisturised and help keep the germs away. Make a paste with these three ingredients and apply on the blackheads. After five minutes, gently scrub in circular motions for a minute and let it stay for another five minutes. Wash away with warm water. Do this thrice a week.
5. Egg white mask
Known for their skin tightening abilities, egg whites make an effective ingredient for blackhead removal. When applied directly on the skin or as a mask, egg whites shrink the pores, hence forcing blackheads out. Being rich in nutrients, egg whites also improve skin texture and remove extra oil from the skin.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and A, and have skin brightening, oil absorbing and pore shrinking properties. This is especially good for people with oily skin as tomato pulp effectively clears out the extra grease without being harsh. Cut a few round slices from a tomato. Rub a slice on your skin, focusing on the blackhead infested areas. Alternatively, you can apply tomato pulp on your skin and wash it off with water once it dries.
How to avoid blackheads
While trying to get rid of blackheads, there are certain things you should take care to not do as this may worsen the situation.
1. Picking or trying to pop blackheads is a complete no-no since it will do nothing to uproot the blackhead from deep within. Picking may lead to the spread of bacteria and even scar your skin .
2. At any cost, never try to remove blackheads using tweezers or pointed tools. Even the blackhead removal tools must be left to be used by professionals. You might end up injuring yourself while trying to poke at a blackhead.
3. Exfoliation is recommended to get rid of blackheads but using harsh or abrasive ingredients on the skin can cause damage instead of clearing out the blackheads. Also, it can dry out your skin and irritate it further. The best way is to opt for gentle scrubs. If possible go for natural exfoliators like oatmeal, sugar, salt, coffee etc.
4. Keeping your skin clean goes a long way in not only preventing the formation of blackheads but also acne and pimples. Wash your face daily with a gentle face wash, at the beginning and at the end of the day. Apart from that, keeping it free from grease is important so that oil doesn’t accumulate in the pores. This can be done by using a facial scrub once or twice a week, depending on your skin type.
5. Replenish your skin’s moisture after each wash by applying a suitable moisturiser. Use non-comedogenic moisturisers so that will not block the pores.
6. Using skin creams or gels with salicylic acid can help prevent blackheads too. Salicylic acid is a kind of chemical that is often used in pimple and acne eliminating creams. It also finds use in medication to help remove the outer layer of the skin and is often used to treat warts, psoriasis, dandruff, acne, ringworm, and ichthyosis. Using salicylic-based creams can keep your skin fresh and grime-free by exfoliating the top layer, thus avoiding blackheads.