Blackheads Be Gone! (eventually)
Try as we might, the fight against blackheads can be mighty. Of the approximate 5 million pores on the human body, 20,000 rest on the face. That’s a lot of real estate for blackheads to stake their claim. If blackheads are spreading across the nose and the chin, the fight to extract them is real. Blackheads don’t release from the pores easily. The numerous treatments to remove and eradicate blackheads, requires commitment.
400;”>Blackheads form deep in the pores at the base, where hair follicles grow. The open pores get clogged with excessive sebaceous gland oils and dead skin cells. Tender whiteheads, known as closed comedones, fight for space with the hair follicle, lack oxygen, seal the pore, and turn white with pus and infection. Blackheads are the complete opposite, and classified as open comedones. They fill the entire space inside the pore, casting a dark shadow as they react – or oxidize – to oxygen, allowing the pore to “breathe” and stay open. Hence the “black” color.
A Clean, Happy Face
The obvious treatment to permanently keep blackheads from finding space on the face is to cleanse regularly and maintain a 5.5 pH balance. The skin is the healthiest at this level, and functioning at its optimum. Oil is the enemy. Fresh exfoliated skin is the solution. Schedule a time in the morning and at night, and stick to it. Is there really a diehard, permanent blackhead removal solution? Actually, it all depends on genetics.
Slowing down excessive build up and over-producing sebaceous glands happens over time. For smaller pores and less oily skin, aging is the actually the best solution for permanent blackhead removal. As we age, blackheads tend to disappear all by themselves. While you wait for time to work its magic, let’s explore some popular options that do the trick.
Somewhere in the pantry or refrigerator lives a remedy to assist in the removal of blackheads. Always start with fresh, clean, dry skin. Before applying a home remedy, consider how your skin might respond. Most home remedies require making a recipe of natural ingredients. These mixtures will create different levels of exfoliation. Make sure to read each recipe and consider allergic reactions.
- Baking Soda – Not recommended for regular use, this once-a-week solution balances pH and removes excess oils. Mix two tablespoons of baking soda and two tablespoons of water. Mix into a paste. Gently rub into the skin and rinse thoroughly. Moisturize immediately. Baking soda can cause excessive dryness. It is not recommended as a regular treatment for blackheads.
- Brown Sugar, Honey & Lemon – This twice-a-week trifecta treatment is a delicious concoction. Mix one Tablespoon each of brown sugar and honey to two Tablespoons of lemon juice. Gently scrub for five minutes into the chin and nose. Experience simultaneous anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and antibacterial properties. Rinse clean and treat skin with a light non-greasy moisturizer.
- Kasturi Turmeric – This spice provides anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties! Mix a Tablespoon of turmeric with a Tablespoon of coconut oil. Form a paste and smooth over the entire face for 15 minutes. Chill. Noticeable blackheads should decrease dramatically with repeated use. And Kasturi Turmeric won’t stain your face yellow!
- Milk & Honey Strips: The magic of honey returns, this time in combination with milk. A natural antiseptic and antibacterial, honey is a powerhouse at fighting infection. Microwave one Tablespoon of whole milk and one Tablespoon of raw, organic honey. Raw honey offer more natural organic properties. When the mixture has cooled to the touch, apply to chin, hose and forehead and cover with cotton strips. Wait 15 minutes, and gently peel away the black heads.
400;”>Home remedies aren’t for everyone. Mixing ingredients as part of daily cleansing routines can become tedious. Partnering natural organic ingredients is less expensive, but over time are not as effective. Advances in skin care technology have targeted specific routines to tackle tough blackheads on the face and body. Next up, some stand out options for taking as many blackheads out of the equation as possible.
- Blackhead Vacuum – Using 3 levels of suction and blue LED light, the $30 LENOVE one-touch blackhead vacuum work wonders to remove stubborn blackheads. And it reduces pore size at the same time! Upgrade to the Trophy Skin, FDA registered MicrodermMD for an all-over exfoliation and pore extraction experience. Developed by aestheticians and clinically tested, this $300 machine brings home the same results as luxury spa treatments. Work the vibrating, diamond-tipped wand in small circles around the mouth, nose, and foreheads to polish and perfect. Expect smoother skin, smaller pores, and eventually, close-to-zero blackheads.
- Facial Cleansing Brushes – Skin renewal occurs every 28 days. The body rids itself of dead skin cells. Gentle exfoliation encourages and speeds up that process. Cleansing brushes work in circles. The power of a 360 degree circular brush evenly sloughs away dead skin cells resting on the skin’s surface. This stimulation allows for better absorption of skin creams and moisturizers.
- Tweezer Kits – There is a dreadful moment in the aesthetician’s chair, after the scrubs and the steam. The Tools appear. A collection of “Tweezers’ ‘ designed to dig and excavate into the deepest recesses of the pores. Painful squeezing is involved too. As the excavation lingers the mind wonders, “Why is this taking so long? I have blackheads there?” For a nominal price, 6-8 piece replicas the professionals use are available for home use.
The Bottom Line
A good cleansing routine is the secret to keeping blackheads at bay. Time, however, is the best way to permanently remove blackheads from your skin. As age takes hold, sebaceous glands secrete less oil, and pores are less prone to become trapped with gunk. Wash the face once in the morning, and once before bed. Use a gentle exfoliant to remove excess dirt and skin cells. Pat the skin dry. Don’t rub, it will irritate the skin. And of course moisturize with a product that is oil-free. This helps maintain the glow and keeps pores from amassing the shadow that become blackheads. Of course, not everybody’s skin will react the same over time. So, if you’re prone to serious blackheads or acne, seek professional help and get a diagnosis before tackling the sensitive, tender skin living on your face. Happy cleansing!