Although getting rid of blackheads is no rocket science, this doesn’t change the fact these blemishes are damn annoying. By the way, did you know that blackheads are nothing but a kind of acne? And that’s why most people with oily skin end up dealing with these black freckles.
Blackheads are basically small black dots on your face mostly seen on the chin, forehead, and nose. You are more likely to develop blackheads when your hormones are changing i.e. around puberty and pregnancy. And yes when you are on your periods, then too blackheads make their presence known on your face.
According to Dr Niketa Sonavane, cosmetic dermatologist and founder of Ambrosia Aesthetics, androgens are the main hormones responsible for blackhead formation. These hormones cause your sebaceous glands to produce more oil and also make the sebum very sticky.
You see, first the opening of a hair follicle becomes clogged with dead skin cells and sticky sebum. And when this plug is exposed to air, it gets oxidized, and appears black in colour.
“Blackheads can permanently enlarge your pores. This is more likely with large blackheads that remain in your skin for a long time. The skin around the pore loses its elasticity and the pore may remain enlarged even after you remove the blackhead. If you neglect it in the early stage then you could be in for a bad acne breakout,” warns Dr Sonavane.
Another problem is that these clogged pores are also a breeding ground for bacteria. Acne forming bacteria and bacteria that cause boils could infect your pores.
This is the first skincare habit you should adopt if you have blackheads. Double cleansing will ensure that you have taken care of all water soluble as well as oil soluble impurities from your skin.
Here is a simple way to double cleanse oily and acne prone skin. First clean your skin with micellar water. Take some micellar water on a cotton pad and swipe across your face in circular motion. Then wash your face with a gel-based foaming cleanser. Pat your face dry with a freshly washed face towel.
Steaming your face is one of the most popular home remedies for blackheads. Steam helps to remove dead skin cells and melts sticky sebum.
Begin by double cleansing your skin. After this gently steam your skin for 10 minutes. Once you are done, rub an ice cube over your skin for a few seconds. Pat dry.
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Pore strips are very effective in removing newly-formed blackheads. If you use them regularly then you can also prevent blackheads from forming. Pore strips are most effective immediately after a warm shower. Alternatively, you can begin with double cleansing, steaming and then use the strip.
Bentonite clay is also known as Indian healing clay. This natural clay comes from volcanic ash and contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Bentonite has been used for many centuries to detox the body. Take a spoonful of bentonite clay in a bowl and mix it with organic apple cider vinegar. Make a spreadable paste and apply all over the face for 15 minutes and wash with warm water.
“Bentonite clay absorbs excess oil and dirt from your skin. Besides this, it also has anti-inflammatory properties,” suggests Dr Sonavane.
Niacinamide, is a form of vitamin B3. When you apply a serum containing niacinamide on your skin, it reduces the oiliness of your skin. When the pores are secreting less oil, the dead cells are less sticky. This means that your pores don’t get clogged as much.
“Niacinamide serum is ideal for preventing blackheads in all skin types. You can use it in your day time skin routine or at night,” recommends Dr Sonavane.
An exfoliating serum with glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid can dissolve blackheads over time. These ingredients dissolve dead skin cells and also reduce oiliness.
Serums which contain such active ingredients can irritate your skin and cause sun sensitivity. So, make sure you use a moisturizer and sunscreen on a daily basis.
Even if you have oily skin you need to keep it hydrated by using an oil-free moisturizer. Do you know that dry and dehydrated skin tends to produce excess oil which in turn causes blocked pores? Using a moisturizer is essential for all skin types. But using one which is free of natural and mineral oil is very important for congested skin.
Every dermatologist will insist that you wear sunscreen every day. Especially if you are using ingredients like AHA, BHA, or retinol to purify your skin. In order to make that happen, you may pick the best dry touch sunscreen. Most ‘dry touch’ sunscreens are chock full of silicones.
“Silicones form an invisible layer over your skin that is hard to wash. This leads to severe blackheads and acne over a period of time,” concludes Dr Sonavane.
So before you go bonkers, give these home remedies for blackheads a shot.