What are "black heads" and why this sorcery happens to us ?
I will be listing down few methods by which you can avoid or reduce them:
Make Salicylic Acid your best buddy:
For blackheads removel make salicylic acid your best friend. It is commonly found in some easily available acne treatment product, the ingredients of which gently helps skin-cell turnover which means dead skin removal which unclog the pores. Layer in once or twice a day with products with the concentration of salicylic acid between .5 to 2% in them on your blackhead area. Face washes are most convenient products that can be used twice daily like Neutrogena's Oil- Free Acne Wash or Olay Fresh Effects Acne Control Face Wash. Then apply a spot treatment like Clean and Clear Advantage Acne spot treatment or medicated tinted moisturizer like Aveeno clear Complexion BB cream. The longer it stays the better it works but make sure not to over-do it if your skin is sensitive. If it causes dryness, tightness or patchiness on your skin, reduce the concentration of Salicyclic acid. You need to do this twice a week minimum and 4 times a week maximum for full benefit.
Lower use of Benzyl Peroxide:
Benzyl Peroxide is used to treat moderate to mild acne, when applied to skin it reduce acne causing bacteria and peel the skin after drying. If you are thinking to use it to treat blackheads just don't. Blackheads are open on the surface and Benzyl peroxide will not be effective on them infact it will dry out the skin and over usage of it actually is toxic to collagen in skin cells. Some of the Benzyl Peroxide containing Products are
Exfoliating regularly is key to keeping blackheads in check, since it removes dead skin cells that could clog pores, A gentle face scrub or gentle peel off masks once or twice a week for extra exfoliation (Freeman has some really good peel off masks, i will review some soon).
Let the brush do the work:
If you always wanted to try on Clarisonic, this is your chance. Washing your face with a mechanical skin brush not only help fight against blackheads but also deep cleanse and penetrate active ingredients into your skin of any of your favourite scrub. Some of the best options provided by experts are Clarisonic and Olay ProX Microdermabrasion kit. Make sure you clear your brush heads clean often.
Take off your makeup for heaven's sake:
While sleeping in with your makeup on may sound convenient but you are basically inviting blackheads to invade on your skin. The makeup mix up with oils on your face and cause gunked-up pores. If possible do wash your face as soon you step in house if not use makeup wipes to remove every residue of makeup. Also stop touching your face all the time, the more you touch it the more you are pushing the oils and dirt into your skin and you guess it, more blackheads and blocked pores.
Never stop Moisturizing:
Who wants dry flaky skin? I know, no one. Never forget to moisturize, but look out for formulas which are not oil based but have Aqua in ingredients and those who doesn't clog pores. Avoid super greasy products like petroleum jelly or any silicone based product which creates a film on your skin, it traps moisturizer as well as dead skin cells, oil and bacteria.
Anti Wrinkle Creams are savior:
Retinol products are usually associate with anti-aging benefits but they could be recognized for their black head busting properties. These products keep turning over your skin efficiently but you need to be persistent and patient to see the results.
Pore strips phenomena:
With no doubt every one wants to use pore strips atleast once especially after seeing so many videos on your facebook timeline. Well they don't necessarily prevent blackheads but they magically pull out all the crap in your pores which is SO satisfying. But limit its usage to once a week maximum as it leaves the pores open unless you do something to close it. But use it as per described on box and dont use it if you have sensitive, flaky or bruised skin.
Consult someone who knows:
Sometime you have to rely on people who know more instead of relying on DIYs. If you have any skin condition or your skin is reactive to little changes, do consult a dermatologist for prescribing you treatment method according to your skin type and need. Get facials, steams and treat yourself with the best you deserve.
1) All images are from google
2) I by no means am suggesting you specified products, make sure to do your own research before using.
3) Every skin has it sensitivity level, make sure to know yours before testing anything.