Blackheads are normal, and pretty much everyone gets them. They are caused by a build-up of dead skin cells and sebum which get trapped in your pores. It appears black because of the exposure to air.
They vary in size and numbers, depending on the person, but are most common on the nose, chin, and forehead areas.
Most of the time, they are best left alone, particularly if they are small.
But if they bother you or make you feel self-conscious, here are some ways you can safely remove them and prevent them from returning.
How to remove blackheads
Pick your battles! If you have a tiny blackhead, it’s best to leave it as it will be much harder to remove and you are more likely to scar your skin. Save extraction for larger, more noticeable blackheads.
Before you start, cleanse your skin thoroughly and steam your target area for 5-10 minutes over a bowl of hot water. It’s best to do an extraction after a bath or shower, when your skin is as soft as possible and your pores are open. Don’t squeeze them with your fingers or nails–instead, use an extractor tool or your fingers wrapped in tissues.
Be gentle! If you start digging too hard (even with an extractor tool) you risk scarring your skin. Press very gently and if it doesn’t come out, leave it!
Use a pore strip - these can be very effective at removing the top layer of debris in your blackheads, to reduce their appearance, especially if you use them after steaming your face. However, this will only temporarily remove them, so following a good skin care routine is vital for avoiding them long term.
How to prevent blackheads
Salicylic acid is a great ingredient for preventing blackheads as it breaks down excess oil and dead skin cells, the root cause of blackheads.
Cleanse twice daily – keeping your skin cleansed and clean will help to remove any build up of dead skin cells, bacteria and dirt on your skin and help prevent your pores from clogging.
Use a Clay mask, as this will help remove toxins and unclog pores. Our Blue Clay Mask is ideal for combatting blackheads, because it draws out impurities as it dries.
Use non-comedogenic products (this means it won’t clog your pores)– our Anti-blemish & Scar Repair Moisturiser is oil free and non-comedogenic so it will keep your skin moisturised without causing blackheads!
Keep your skin moisturised. If you avoid moisturisers as you’re worried about clogging your pores, you could have the adverse effect. If your skin gets dry, it may overcompensate and produce more sebum, increasing your chances of developing blackheads. So always keep your skin hydrated with a non-comedogenic moisturiser.
Use a chemical exfoliant – use an AHA or BHA regularly to remove the top layer of skin, and keep dead skin cells at bay.
Remember that blackheads are normal!
Pretty much everyone gets blackheads, especially on their nose or chin area – it’s normally nothing to worry about and remember that you will notice them more than anyone else!
If you have any more top tips for reducing blackheads, share them in the comments below.