How to Get Rid of Blackheads
Blackheads occur when your pores becomes blocked by oil and dead skin. The black colour is not dirt. When the oil and dead skin are exposed to the air they oxidize, which turns them black.
There are many ways to get rid of them, from homespun remedies to medical treatments. If you get it wrong you could make it worse so be careful and try not to get too frantic.
Everyone gets blackheads sometimes, and everybody’s skin is different, but you can find a method that works for you.
Figure out your skin type. Knowing if you have oily, normal, dry, or sensitive skin will determine what kind of product you should look for when buying a cleansing product from your local store or pharmacy. The main two categories of treatment are those with benzoyl peroxide, and those with salicylic acid.
Products with these active ingredients can cause allergic reactions. If your skin reacts badly, stop using it.
You can actually have more than one type, which is “combination”. For example, your nose and forehead may be oily, but you may have dryness on your cheeks.
Most acne-prone skin is actually “sensitive”, as acne tends to react to products such as harsh soap, makeup, or fragrances. If in doubt, go with products designed for sensitive skin.
For more sensitive skin, choose a product with salicylic acid. If you have sensitive skin that can dry out and be irritable it is best to go for a product with salicylic acid. Just check the ingredients on the package in the store to know which is which.
Salicylic acid is more gentle to the skin, rarely causes redness and peeling, and works more slowly than the stronger alternatives.
Look out particularly for products that combine salicylic acid with glycolic acid.
Use benzoyl peroxide. If you don’t have particularly sensitive skin that is not prone to drying out, seek out products that have benzoyl peroxide. This key ingredient breaks up the waxy clog so it loosens and comes out of the pore. This is the fastest working store-bought option, but it can be a little harsh on your skin.
How to Get Rid of Blackheads
The strength of the benzoyl peroxide usually ranges between 2.5 and 10%. This, combined with how long you leave the product on your skin, can influence any irritation you may experience. If your skin is sensitive, you can try a product at the lowest percentage and don’t leave it on your skin too long.
Benzoyl peroxide can be harsh on your skin, but it is also more effective than salicylic acid.
Consider an alpha hydroxy acid product. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) include glycolic acid and can be very effective at exfoliating your skin. You will find glycolic acid in daily exfoliators as well as chemical face peels. It dissolves and releases dead skin cells, which is an excellent way to tackle your blackheads.
Use it in the same way you would a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid product, and always read the instructions.
AHAs can increase sensitivity to the sun, so be careful if you are going out in bright sunlight after using this treatment.
Decide if you want to use a topical cream or face wash. Skin products are usually sold as either face washes or topical creams.
A topical cream is usually left on longer, which means it has more time to work, but it is also more likely to irritate your skin. Follow the guidelines for the given product, and be especially careful if you have sensitive skin.
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