What Are Blackheads
There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about blackheads. A common one is that a blackhead is dirt that is stuck in a pore. Another is that they are only caused by oil. Contrary to these misconceptions, a blackhead is a pore that is typically clogged with a combination of dead skin cells and oil. When the buildup is exposed to the air, it becomes oxidized and thus, the blackhead acquires its signature darkened appearance.
...a blackhead is a pore that is typically clogged with a combination of dead skin cells and oil.
Common causes include greasy hair, not washing your skin daily, or skin that overproduces oil. You’re most likely to see them on your nose and chin, but they’ve also been known to appear on the shoulders, chest, and elsewhere on the body.
How To Prevent Blackheads: Skincare
If you’re wondering how to get rid of blackheads, you can start by revamping your skincare routine. A good skincare routine is your best defense against the threat of blackheads, and it’s important to your overall health and well-being, too. Follow these essential skincare tips for effective blackhead prevention.
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1. Wash Your Face Regularly
The first step toward eradicating blackheads is washing your face twice a day. One method you can try is called double cleansing. This method involves washing your face first with an oil-based cleanser to remove surface-level impurities and then with a water-based cleanser to penetrate past the top layer of your skin.
2. Exfoliate Thoroughly
Exfoliating is another crucial step in your anti-blackhead skincare routine. Because blackheads are commonly comprised of dead skin cells, sloughing off those dead skin cells is a key component of prevention. You can use a physical exfoliant such as a charcoal scrub to remove dead skin, or you can opt for a chemical exfoliant:
- Alpha hydroxy acids: AHAs are a water-soluble chemical exfoliant typically derived from a fruit and targets your skin’s top layer.
- Beta hydroxy acids: BHAs are better suited to penetrating deeper into your skin, and they’re also oil-soluble, making them a better option for targeting blackheads. BHAs include salicylic acid, which is a powerful ingredient in removing oil and cleaning your pores.
When selecting a chemical exfoliant, be sure to pay attention to its concentration. Starting with a milder formula is a good idea for beginners. However, it’s also important not to over-exfoliate, which can dry out your skin and prompt it to increase oil production. Overproduction of oil can lead to clogged pores and blackheads, causing your actions to backfire!
However, it’s also important not to over-exfoliate, which can dry out your skin and prompt it to increase oil production. Overproduction of oil can lead to clogged pores and blackheads, causing your actions to backfire!
3. Always Use Sunscreen
Did you know that excessive sun exposure can cause blackheads? It can contribute to oxidation, which is responsible for the darkened appearance of blackheads. To combat this, be sure to slather on sunscreen any time you’re outside.
4. Moisturize Daily
Moisturizing your skin is just as important as washing it. Moisturization helps prevent the overproduction of oil, which is typically caused by skin that’s been dried out. In addition, moisture brings balance to your skin and will, in turn, prevent blackheads.
5. Only Use Non-Comedogenic Products
Many people use comedogenic products without even realizing that they’re doing so, but comedogenic products can clog pores. Review the product information on anything you plan to apply to your face and ensure that it is non-comedogenic in order to avoid adding buildup to your pores.
6. Consider Investing in Retinoids
Retinoids are one of the most potent skincare products on the market. Derived from vitamin A, they work by increasing the turnover of skin cells and offering impressive anti-aging effects in the process.
Though many users appreciate retinoids for their wrinkle-resisting power, the prevention of blackheads is another important benefit they can provide. It’s important not to use retinoids if you’re pregnant, though, and users should also anticipate a period of dryness and flakiness as the skin adjusts.
7. Try Pore Strips
Pore strips are an incredibly effective and safe way to get rid of blackheads fast. This product works like a magnet to lock onto and draw out deep-down dirt from your pores. When the pore strip is removed, it also removes buildup and oil from your pores. As a result, blackheads can disappear within minutes!
How To Prevent Blackheads: Lifestyle Habits
Developing a strategic skincare routine isn’t the only solution for diminishing the appearance of blackheads. Another key element of prevention is maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle. This starts with developing daily habits that promote health and well-being in every part of your life.
- Change Pillow Cases Regularly
- Avoid Touching Your Face
You probably don’t realize how frequently you touch your face, but chances are, it’s a lot. So, avoiding this action is key to cutting back on blackheads. Your fingers are likely hosts to clusters of oil and bacteria, and when you touch your face, you transfer those contagions to your pores, which can cause blackheads.
- Keep Hair Out of Your Face
You should avoid letting your hair touch your face for the same reason you should avoid touching your face with your hands. Hair might seem innocuous enough, but it too can contain bacteria, dirt, and other nasty particles that increase the likelihood of blackheads if it brushes against your face.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
Everybody knows it’s essential to eat healthy, but did you know that doing so can help prevent blackheads? Indeed, maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best ways to keep blackheads in check. Getting lots of vegetables and minimizing sugar intake can massively help skin by reducing inflammation.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is the time when your body repairs itself and rests, and this is true of your skin, too. While you sleep, your body regulates your skin’s oil production and ensures that new skin cells are being produced to replace old ones. If you don’t get enough sleep, these processes are hindered, and your skin may suffer.
- Seek Professional Help If Needed
Changes to your skincare routine and improvements in your lifestyle will go a long way in the prevention of blackheads, but sometimes you need to consult with a skincare professional. If blackheads seem to persist no matter what you do, it could result from an underlying condition. A dermatologist or esthetician can offer the solutions like extraction or prescription retinoids.
- Blackheads result from a pore that’s been clogged by dead skin cells and oil. When this clog is oxidized, it darkens in color, and the result is a noticeable blemish on your skin.
- Investing in a solid skincare routine that includes cleansing, moisturizing, and exfoliating is key to prevention — as is maintaining good hygiene and a healthy lifestyle.
- If these steps don’t work, don’t hesitate to seek out a dermatologist so you can get your skin issues under control.
While blackheads can seem to pop up out of nowhere and wreak havoc on your skin, there are steps you can take to prevent them in the future as well as get rid of them in the present. The key is a consistent skincare routine that will act as a solid defense against the threat of blackheads. Take control of your skin and keep your pores healthy so that you can kiss pesky blackheads goodbye.