How To GET RID OF BLACKHEADS | 5 DIY Ways & DEMOS
How to Get Rid of Blackheads When Your Skin is Sensitive
Acne is a part of most people's lives, and it can lead to whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. Blackheads occur when the follicles in your skin, or pores, become clogged with debris and built-up sebum, an oil produced naturally by your body. They're called "blackheads" because they are open comedones, meaning the debris and oil clogging your pore is open to the air. This turns black when it oxidizes (is exposed to oxygen), but it isn't dirt.Even if you have sensitive skin, you can still work to treat your blackheads. You can also prevent them in the future by following certain strategies.
If you have sensitive skin and you want to get rid of blackheads, prioritize products that contain salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliant that loosens the oil in your pores. Cleanse your face twice per day, and if you experience any irritation after cleansing, switch to a cleanser labeled "gentle". After you cleanse, keep your skin hydrated by using an oil-free, "non-comedogenic" moisturizer that won't clog your pores. Then, throughout the day, avoid touching your face to keep oil and bacteria out.For tips from our Beauty reviewer, including how to make spa-quality DIY acne treatments, keep scrolling!
Clearing Up Breakouts
Try salicylic acid.Though this type of acid may cause you to have a reaction if your skin is sensitive, it's the best over-the-counter cleaner for whiteheads and blackheads. It treats blackheads by reducing swelling and unclogging blocked pores.Try looking for a foaming cleanser with this product in it.You can also apply it as a cream, gel, or ointment.
- Because your skin is sensitive, test it on a small area of your face first. If you break out or itch, move on to another product.
- Salicylic acid may make your skin more dry or irritated, especially when you first start using it. Try using it only in small amounts, and increase the amount you use as your skin adjusts.
- Use the cleanser once or twice a day. Use your cleanser with salicylic acid to cleanse your face while you're having a break out.Splash water on your face first, then rub the cleanser in. You can use a washcloth if you do it gently but don't scrub too hard. Wash the soap off, and dry your face off.
Try baking soda.If you reacted to salicylic acid, try baking soda instead. The main reason baking soda works is because it acts as an exfoliant, cleaning away dried, dead skin that clogs your pores. However, this treatment can dry out your skin if you use it too much, so don't use it every day.
- Mix a little with water until you have a paste. Rub it into your skin.
- Wash off the mixture once you've thoroughly rubbed it in.
Use a honey-cinnamon cleanser.Another natural cure some people have had luck with is a raw honey-cinnamon mixture. Honey and cinnamon both have natural antibacterial properties, so they may help kill off skin bacteria responsible for breakouts.Simply combine equal parts of raw honey and cinnamon powder or a few drops of cinnamon oil. Gently rub it onto your face. Once you've thoroughly rubbed it in, cover it with a light cotton strip or a thick paper towel. Leave it for about 5 minutes before pulling the strip off and rinsing.
- The honey will help clear bacteria, as well as act as light glue that pulls up blackheads.
- Cinnamon encourages a healthy glow, as it increases blood flow to your face.
Try steam.This method is a common one to help reduce the appearance of blackheads. Simply pour boiling water into a bowl. Lay a towel over your head and the bowl, so the steam is concentrated on your face for about 10 minutes. The steam will soften up the dirt in the blackheads, so gently wash your face with warm water after you steam it.
- You can add an antibacterial essential oil to help add punch to the steam cleanser. Lavender, thyme, peppermint, and calendula have antiseptic properties.
Use a moisturizer.Though it may seem counter-intuitive since you're trying to avoid clogged pores, moisturizers keep your skin hydrated. The key is to skip ones with oil in them, as that can clog your pores.
- Look for labels that say "non-comedogenic," "oil-free," or "non-acnegenic."
Using Everyday Steps to Combat Blackheads
Pick a gentle cleanser to use between breakouts.When your face isn't broken out, cut back on the acne cleanser. For your daily face wash, you can use a gentle soap that moisturizes. Some examples of this type of soap include Dove, Basics, and Neutrogena.
- Avoid any product that contain alcohol, especially if you're using salicylic acid. This will dry out your skin and could cause redness and inflammation.
- If you tend to get frequent breakouts and your skin doesn't appear to react negatively to the acne cleanser, continue to use it daily to help prevent further breakouts.
Wash your face every day.Wash your face once in the morning and once at night using a gentle cleanser. However, don't wash your face more than twice a day, as that can make your acne worse.
- If you sweat heavily or exercise, wash your face after you're finished. Using antibacterial washes is unnecessary and does not appear to have any benefit.
- Avoid the temptation to exfoliate or use cleansers with "scrubbing beads" etc. These may actually irritate your skin further, and could leave it discolored or scarred.
Take your makeup off.It may be tempting to leave your makeup on at the end of the day, but be sure you take all of your makeup off before going to bed. Makeup can lead to clogged pores, which leads to blackheads.
Check for the word "noncomedogenic." You'll find this word on certain skincare and makeup products. Basically, all it means is it has been proven to not clog pores. That in turn means that you won't get as many blackheads, at least ones caused by your skincare routines.For instance, the Simple brand makes noncomedogenic products,as does Cetaphil, such as their moisturizing lotion.
Keep hair oil away from your face.If you have especially oily hair, tie your hair back. The oils from your hair can can get on your face, just like oil from your hands or fingers.
- In addition, wash your hair regularly, especially if your hair tends to have extra oils.
- The oil in you hair can get on your face, leading to more blackheads.
Lower your stress level.Stress can contribute to acne because it temporarily increases the production of testosterone. In turn, testosterone can trigger acne.
- For instance, you can try relaxing each group of muscles in turn. Close your eyes. Moving around your body, consciously tighten and relax each group of muscles one by one. This technique will help you feel more relaxed overall.
- You can also try focusing on breathing.Take a moment to close your eyes. Breathe in deeply through your nose, counting to 4. Breathe out through your mouth until you reach 4 again. Keep focusing on your breaths until you feel yourself calm down.
Knowing What to Avoid
Do not scrub or exfoliate your face.Although products may claim to "remove dead skin" or provide other benefits, scrubbing or exfoliating your face can actually make blackheads worse by irritating and inflaming your skin. Don't use abrasive scrubbers or cloths, don't scrub your face harshly, and don't use exfoliating cleansers.
Do not squeeze the blackheads.You may be tempted to squeeze your blackheads to make them go away. Don't do it. Popping, picking, or squeezing blackheads, with your fingers or with an at-home tool, can drive debris further into your skin. It can also spread infection around and even cause scarring.
- If your blackheads really bother you, consider seeing a dermatologist. A dermatologist can safely extract your blackheads using a professional tool.
Reconsider pore strips.Though they may seem to help, they may actually make things worse if you have sensitive skin. The adhesion may irritate your skin. Furthermore, the strip may only get at the surface layer of the blackhead, and not remove the full clog underneath. It's fine to use them occasionally, but if you notice that they irritate your skin, it won't hurt to stop using them.
Ensure your pillow isn't oily.You can get a build up of oil on your pillows. In turn, those oils can get on your face and clog your pores. Try to wash your pillowcases at least once a week.
Skip tight hats.Tight hats can hold oils on to skin. Your pores become clogged due to oils and dead skin, so if your hats are too tight, they can lead to blackheads.
Avoid sugar-rich foods.Though experts don't agree 100 percent on what foods trigger acne, most agree that foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates contribute to the problem, as well as dairy products. That includes foods such as white bread and potato chips. Try to lower your intake of these foods to reduce your acne problem.
- Although you should still make sure you get plenty of calcium, if you have a persistent problem with acne, moderating your milk consumption may help reduce your issues.
Try not to touch your face.Touching your face introduces oils and bacteria to your face.You can also leave dirt on your face. All of these can lead to more acne and blackheads.
- Clean your cell phone frequently. The screen holds on to oils and dirt from your face, which can get transferred back into your pores and become blackheads.
See your doctor if treatments don't work or your acne is moderate or severe.You don't have to just hope that treatments work on your blackheads. If you've been treating your blackheads for two weeks and haven't seen any improvement, see your doctor or ask about seeing a dermatologist.
- You should also see a dermatologist if you have moderate or severe acne. Moderate acne is between 20-100 comedones (whiteheads or blackheads), or 15-50 pimples. Severe acne is more than 5 cysts (an inflamed, swollen type of acne), more than 100 comedones, or more than 50 pimples.
- Though it was long thought that greasy foods contributed to acne, many experts today agree that these foods do not contribute to the problem.
Sources and Citations
- Kamatou GP, Vermaak I, Viljoen AM, Lawrence BM., Menthol: a simple monoterpene with remarkable biological properties.Phytochemistry. 2013 Dec;96:15-25
- Efstratiou E, Hussain AI, Nigam PS, Moore JE, Ayub MA, Rao JR.Antimicrobial activity of Calendula officinalis petal extracts against fungi, as well as Gram-negative and Gram-positive clinical pathogens.Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2012 Aug;18(3):173-6.
- Sienkiewicz M, Głowacka A, Kowalczyk E, Wiktorowska-Owczarek A, Jóźwiak-Bębenista M, Łysakowska M.The biological activities of cinnamon, geranium and lavender essential oils. Molecules. 2014 Dec 12;19(12):20929-40.
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