We stare at ourselves in the mirror every day, admiring (or more like tearing apart) our appearance and critiquing what we do and don’t like about it. The wrinkles, the fine lines, the freckles or age spots, the shape of your lips, and ew – what are those black dots? Oh right, the blackheads that just NEVER seem to go away, no matter how much you scrub and wash your face.
Getting rid of blackheads isn’t easy if you don’t know what you’re doing. Understanding what blackheads are and how you can manage them will go a long way in teaching you how to get rid of them.
So What Are Blackheads?
Blackheads are essentially dirt that has been trapped in a pore. This is often a result of us having oily skin. The oil of our skin traps dirt and debris under it, and the dirt and debris then become stuck inside of the small pockets that are in our skin called pores. The dirt and debris eventually hardens and becomes a black plug that doesn’t allow our skin to breathe.
How do I Get Rid of Blackheads?
The best way to get rid of a blackhead is to physically remove them by squeezing them out. You may know this already, but it’s the method in which you do it that will make all the difference.
Start off by washing your face thoroughly and exfoliating your skin so that you are removing all dead skin cells. This will help you get a good look at those blackheads that you want to remove. Pat your face dry with a clean towel. Now, create a warm compress by running a face towel under warm water, wringing it out, and then applying it to the nose for 15 minutes. Pat the area dry, and then put a tissue on top of the finger you will be using to squeeze.
Apply very gentle and steady pressure on both sides of the blackhead, starting with a slight downward squeeze and then a more upward, forceful push. If this doesn’t work right away, don’t continue to squeeze and squeeze – this will only cause pain for you. Try to use the warm compress again for 5-10 minutes and repeat the above steps.
TIP: Pore strips are not the answer to blackhead removal. These are often not only ineffective, but they can damage the surrounding skin too.
How can I Prevent Blackheads?
Prevention is the best step towards eliminating blackheads. If you don’t ever way to see another blackhead again in your life, avoid all facial products that are thick, greasy and oily. You will want to use a cleanser that is water soluble and also gentle (harsh cleansers will only irritate your skin and cause for you to break out) and only use a moisturizer on areas of the skin that need it. Exfoliate your skin every day with an exfoliating cream or a wash cloth, and use products to help absorb any excess oil that may be on your face during the day.