Blackheads can cramp your style and keep you from being the person you were meant to be. Don’t let them hold you back! With the right products, you can send blackheads on their way and feel ready to take on the world again.
Treating Blackheads With Over-The-Counter Treatments
In addition to professional extractions and doctor-prescribed medications, there are many over-the-counter (OTC) treatments available at your local store. For blackheads, in particular, pore strips are an excellent choice to safely and instantly unclog pores.
Products with salicylic acid are acne and blackheads’ worst nightmare. Look for salicylic acid in common skincare products like daily cleansers and pore-clarifying toners. You can also look for chemical peels that contain AHAs, which stands for alpha-hydroxy acids; they’re a group of natural acids used to remedy skin conditions and smooth out wrinkles.
Products that gently exfoliate the skin are also effective in removing a build-up of dead skin that can cause blackheads. Exfoliation refers to the process of removing the outer layer of dead skin cells that could otherwise clog your pores and cause blackheads. Look for face scrubs with Salicylic Acid to help exfoliate and treat deep-down clogged pores.
Before putting anything on your facial skin, you’ll most likely want to know what’s in it; which is always a good idea! Skincare experts recommend products that contain Salicylic Acid and AHAs. These ingredients can make a big difference in how quickly you can get rid of your blackhead problems.
Salicylic Acid has a keratolytic effect. That means it can dissolve the intercellular adhesives holding dead skin cells together and which keeps them attached to your skin. This is the stuff that can clog your pores and cause blackheads. Salicylic Acid is also an exfoliant and helps clear unwanted debris from your skin. It works exceptionally well with charcoal-based products and chemical peels designed to treat blackheads.
In addition to promoting exfoliation, AHAs can also increase blood flow to your skin, which can improve its tone and texture. The extent that AHAs help in exfoliation depends on their pH and concentration.
Lactic acid is one example of an AHA that can be used to combat blackheads. It’s a larger molecule, so it’s a bit slower when it’s put to work dissolving the lipids that hold dead skin cells together. As an exfoliant, it works best in concentrations ranging from 5% to 10%. It can be made from milk or produced synthetically.
Malic acid is another member of the AHA group, but due to its much larger molecule size, it’s a slower-acting exfoliant. It does, however, bring to skincare products the added benefit of its antioxidant properties. As an ingredient, it’s typically found playing a supporting role alongside other AHAs.
Don’t try to extract blackheads by squeezing them out DIY-style. This can cause infections or leave scars. By picking at your skin, you can also push bacteria deeper into the pore or release it onto nearby skin where new blackheads can form.
Do be gentle when dealing with your face, and this includes not over-scrubbing your skin. While regular exfoliation can help remove and prevent blackheads, excessive scrubbing can damage and irritate your skin. To instantly remove blackheads deep in your pores, choose a pore strip. A pore strip acts like a magnet on your skin to pull out deep-rooted gunk in your pores.
Regularly cleansing your skin and refining your pores with a facial toner are essential parts of a skincare routine for oily skin. But, don't overdo it with the face-washing routine; you could remove too much moisture from your skin and do more harm than good.
Do focus on self care. Getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods definitely falls into the “do” category. A balanced diet of protein, vegetables, and fruit is best, and be sure to avoid greasy foods as much as possible. Use our tips to learn more about how to take care of your skin.
When deciding the best way to treat blackheads for your unique skin, the ideal plan of action depends on your skincare routine, diet, and genetics. Although individuals with severe blackheads may require help from a dermatologist, most people find that non-prescription options are a good way to launch an effective clear-skin campaign. Learn more about how to get clear skin by reading more from our blog!
- An effective and simple skincare routine for blackheads includes washing your face with Salicylic Acid cleanser and then applying toner to skin each day.
- Use pore strips to instantly remove blackheads from the skin on your face.
- Exfoliate weekly to prevent dead skin cells from clogging your pores.
- For more blackhead tips, check out more of our blackhead articles!