Blackheads begone — here's how to banish them

Absolutely no picking

  • 17.11.2021

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You never really know how much self-control you possess until you have successfully stopped yourself from squeezing out a blackhead. Because we all know what happens if you’re unsuccessful in your attempt – it erupts into an angry, red pimple. Plus, even if you are successful, sometimes your clumsy go at extraction can leave skin damaged, which results in dreaded scarring. That’s not to say that the best you can do is grin and bear with it, however. Below, a foolproof guide as to how to get rid of ’em without resorting to manual extraction techniques. Read on.

What is a blackhead, exactly?

It’s basically a clogged pore that has an open surface which allows sebum to oxidise into something darker in colour. It’s also one of the most common forms of acne, and forms when pores become clogged with gunk; it is defined as a combination of dead skin cells and excess oils from your sebaceous glands. Literally anyone can get them, but more so those who have oily skin, as they have a higher chance of excess oils piling up. 

So, how can you prevent them from popping up?

To prevent all that gunk from piling up on your face, make sure to wash your face twice a day, and straight away after exercising. Though it may be tempting to wash whenever your visage feels oily, be careful not to overdo it, as this could lead your skin to overcompensate by generating more oils. Especially for all the oily skin types out there — if anything, we’d say consider investing in a foaming cleanser, or even using a makeup remover like micellar water before washing your mien. Double cleansing will prove integral to your routine.

You may also want to consider adding either a charcoal or clay mask to your skincare routines. Not every day, mind, but every once in a while is a good start. Clay has long developed a great rep for being one of the most effective skincare ingredients to rid you skin of excess oils, and even assists in unclogging stubborn pores. Charcoal on the other hand, is a great detoxifier. And trust us, your skin needs it. Especially considering how we’re living in a city environment, where there’s even more pollutants hanging about. Charcoal, thus, helps draw out all those nasty impurities from your skin, leaving it soft, supple and fresh. Doing this regularly will help prevent any build-up, which if left unattended, results in those dreaded blackheads.

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How can I get rid of them?

First of all, you’ll want to stop picking and squeezing at them right away. Not only are you damaging the skin surrounding it, you also risk scarring. Instead, you’ll want to use skincare products that contain salicylic acid. This basically helps to break down all that dead skin cells and sebum. For mild cases, we say look to a daily cleanser with salicylic acid. Then, there’s also chemical peels to try out — particularly variants containing Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA), which are designed to remove existing blackheads while exfoliating away the excess dead skin cells on your face. This is particularly useful for severe cases. Apart from removing those spots, you might even benefit from some age-rewind benefits like achieving a smoother skin texture, ass well as improving the appearances of any wrinkles or age spots.

As for those who are suffering from stubborn, insistent blackheads that just won’t go away, the solution might lie in the form of oral antibiotics. However, it should be noted that this will be up to the discretion of your dermatologist. The general consensus amongst skincare professionals is that both birth control pills and spironolactone prove helpful, though they’re only recommended for people suffering from moderate to severe acne. It shouldn’t be utilised by someone suffering from the occasional blackhead.