Whether you’re sixteen or sixty, blackheads can be a bore.
While completely harmless, they can lead to breakouts and can make you feel pretty self-conscious. Blackheads are an extremely common skin concern, although people with oily skin are usually more prone.
But what is the best way to get rid of blackheads? Despite the temptation to squeeze them out, there are various ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of dealing with blackheads. In this post, we explain how to get rid of blackheads and prevent future breakouts.
What causes blackheads?
First, let’s understand what causes blackheads, as there are some common misconceptions around them.
A blackhead occurs when a pore becomes blocked with a mixture of sebum, bacteria and dead skin cells. Sometimes this blocked pore becomes inflamed or infected, turning into a spot or pustule.
The biggest misconception about blackheads is that they’re caused by “dirt” blocking the pore, or having “dirty” skin – totally untrue!
The telltale dark hue comes from the melanin within sebum oxidizing with the air – not from dirt, as many believe. Blackheads differ from whiteheads in that they are open, while whiteheads are closed. This is why blackheads have the dark hue, because of their exposure to the air.
What shouldn’t I do?
Whatever you do, don’t start gouging at the skin. It will only cause irritation to the pore, leading to potential infection (a big spot) or scarring.
Likewise, scrubbing or frantically cleansing will not send blackheads on their way. If anything, it can actually make them worse as over-cleansing leaves the skin imbalanced and can lead to increased sebum production, meaning more blackheads.
Avoid home extraction
As a general rule, home extraction should generally be avoided. Although it’s tempting, try not to squeeze them as you’re likely to cause more damage than good.
Be wary of pore strips
You should also be wary of those popular pore strips. It may be satisfying to see those black dots all over the strip once removed, but they can irritate sensitive skin. And they don’t do anything to prevent future blackhead breakouts, so you’ll find yourself in a vicious cycle.
Don’t sleep in your makeup
We’ve all heard it many times before, but don’t sleep in your makeup. It will only clog up your pores and encourage more blackheads. If you often wear heavy makeup, get into the routine of double cleansing. This will ensure that you don’t leave behind any dirt or buildup that could clog pores.
Ok, so how to get rid of blackheads?
Exfoliation is really key when it comes to shifting stubborn blackheads. By regularly sloughing off dead skin cells you not only prevent new blackheads appearing, but you also help release some of the existing material blocking the pore.
Daily exfoliation with your warm Muslin Cloth is a great place to start – just focus on gently buffing any congested areas whilst you cleanse. A gentle exfoliator is also a must. Use it 2-3 times a week for optimum results and smooth, radiant skin.
Remember to be gentle, as you want to avoid irritating the skin or pushing the buildup further down into your pores.
Use a cleansing mask
You can also help see off blackheads with a deep cleansing mask, like our Copaiba AHA Deep Cleanse Mask. This draws out impurities while gently exfoliating with gentle fruit enzymes.
Don’t forget to always moisturise, even if you have oily skin. Oils are essential to maintaining healthy skin, and moisturising regularly will help you achieve the right balance.
Want to clear your pores and tone up at the same time? Head outside and get sweaty! A good workout (i.e. one that makes you sweat) will also help shift any stubborn, pore-blocking debris and is an instant mood enhancer.
Unfortunately, there is no magic overnight cure for blackheads. But making some simple changes to your skincare routine can reduce and prevent blackhead breakouts in time.