Blackheads are regarded as the mildest and least inflammatory form of acne. However, these tiny dark spots are extremely hard to get rid of.
Your epidermal skin is covered with tiny pores that have a hair growing within it and a sebaceous gland underneath it. When the oil glands become overactive, they start to produce excess sebum. This overactivity is made worse by the increased shedding of dead skin cells that further crowd the follicle cavity.
Both the oil and the skin cells along with the hair inside the follicle form a clumped mass that plugs the pore. This allows bacterial overgrowth in the follicle.
REASONS TO DEVELOP BLACKHEADS
The following factors can also contribute to the development of blackheads:
- If you have naturally oily skin
- If the acne-causing bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) react with the excess sebum within the plugged pores to produce increased amounts of free fatty acids
- When your skin becomes excessively hydrated due to the overuse of skin moisturizers, increased atmospheric humidity, or natural changes before the onset of menstruation
- If you expose your skin to certain chemicals such as isopropyl myristate, oily pomades, propylene glycol, and some dyes that are commonly found in cosmetic products
REMEDIES FOR BLACKHEADS
STEP 1 – STEAMING
Steaming is perhaps the most commonly used home treatment for deep cleaning clogged pores.
Your facial skin is more sensitive than that of the rest of the body and needs to be treated accordingly. So, it is essential that you check the temperature of the steam before exposing your face to it. Steaming renders your skin extremely soft by activating the underlying blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the area.
How you can do it:
- Boil a pot of water. Preferably, add a few therapeutic herbs to it such as peppermint, neem, and lemon.
- Once the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let it cool down for a bit.
- Make sure that the steam is comfortably warm to avoid any burning accidents.
- Place your face above the steam. Cover your head with a towel while doing so to keep the steam from escaping.
- To unclog the clogged pores, 10-15 minutes of steaming should be enough.
STEP 2 – EXFOLIATION
Exfoliating the epidermal layer of the skin to remove dead skin cells is necessary for timely skin renewal. No skin care routine is complete without exfoliation.
Chemical exfoliation with salicylic acid is best when it comes to blackheads. If your skin is sensitive and reacts adversely to BHA, then you can use the following homemade face scrub.
OATMEAL AND CURD SCRUB
In a bowl, add 1 spoon of powdered oats and mix it with a spoon of curd to make a paste. Now apply this all over face and let it dry. Once it is 80% dry, remove the scrub by gently massaging the skin. Rinse your face with lukewarm water.
STEP 3 – MASK
Using tightening mask will help to remove existing blackheads.
EGG WHITE FACE MASK
Take egg white of 1 egg in a bowl and whisk it well. To this add 2 drops of tea tree essential oil. Now apply this on blackheads prone area. Let it dry completely.
Now remove the mask by peeling it, instead of wiping with water.
Using this mask twice a week will help to keep your skin free from blackheads.
TIPS TO PREVENT BLACKHEADS
When it comes to blackheads prevention is better than treating them. Here are the simple tips that help to prevent blackheads.
- Dirt on the skin does not cause blackheads, but it is important to clean the skin twice a day with a gentle cleanser before applying a moisturizer. Washing the skin more often than this is usually unnecessary and could cause irritation and redness.
- It is best to avoid products that are oily or heavy, as they will clog pores and make blackheads worse.
- Use Salicylic acid based cleanser
- Exfoliate once a week
- Apply mud mask once a week
- Avoid using makeup with comedogenic ingredients
- Oil cleanse your skin with non comedogenic oils
Blackheads are a result of excess oil in the skin’s pores. Preventing blackheads usually involves unclogging the pores and reducing oiliness. These are tips to treat and prevent blackheads.