About 99% of us deal with blackheads and the 1% of the population who don’t are aliens, seriously. Blackheads are VERY common yet, 100% preventable. First, let's understand what they are and why they are sitting on your face. Blackheads are an oxidized build up formed from dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria that get trapped in the pore leaving a blackish brown coat in the pore. The best way to control the production of black heads and to get rid of the ones you already have is to be consistent with facials, having a proper skin routine, and a dedication to exfoliation 3x a week.
I am a licensed esthetician so of course I preach the importance of facials, however, I also understand as a former acne sufferer what it’s like to be a consumer who has wasted loads of money on things that just didn’t work for me. When I write these blog posts, I write to the integrity of the consumers, so, let’s say no to wasting money and yes to getting actual results. The most effective way to see results is implementing your skincare knowledge and applying it to your daily life + shopping habits.
I get that facials seem luxurious or not always attainable for the right price, but think of a facial like a trip to the dentist: you come in regularly to get your deep clean by a professional and maintain your results by washing everyday 2x a day. You are urged not to skip out on flossing right? So, I urge you to not skip out on washing your pores. Both get clogged with gunk we collect during the day that in order to keep the health and aesthetic, we need to maintain it. The more we let this gunk build up the more we run into long term problems.
Blackheads lead to enlarged pores and once the pores get to a certain point, it takes procedures to shrink them. To avoid getting to this point, you need a consistent routine with products that contain ingredients focused on pore cleaning. Scrubs, brushes, and pore strips are not the answer. These are gimmick-y facial items that get rid of the superficiality of the problem rather than the deeper rooted issues. Yes, scrubs will make your skin feel soft, brushes can clear the pores, and pore strips instantly grab a couple of blackheads here and there but does this really solve your issue? The answer is no.
Brushes can reintroduce bacteria to the skin so make sure they are clean and get disinfected after every single use. Scrubs remove the top layer of the skin but can’t reach into the pore lining. And, Blackhead strips are oddly satisfying, may help before an event but should not be a weekly solution, maybe just a fast fix solution. They aren’t the healthiest for the skin because they tug at the skin and apply a glue like substance for attachment.
Devices you can use at home to keep your pores clean and black head-free are my personal favs, the DermaPore from DermaFlash. This device uses Ultrasonic technology to vibrate and extract the pores of impurities. I am not going to lie and say this device is addicting but don’t use more than advised on the back of the box. If you over use products like this, it can stimulate unwanted oil production and cause more issues down the line.
Next, we gotta talk about formulating a proper skincare routine: never sleep in makeup, wash your skin 2x a day everyday, and exfoliate 1-3 times a week. Sleeping in makeup suffocates your skin. Wash your skin everyday 2x a day even if you have drier skin (I would suggest using an oil cleanser for the morning for a gentler wash). The Code of Harmony Oil Cleanser is a great gentle morning cleanser and makeup remover. If you have dry skin, exfoliate 1x a week. If you have combination skin, exfoliate 2-3x a week, and if your skin is more on the oily side 3 times a week.
The last thing that is important for you to know: if you are dealing with blackheads, please use chemical exfoliants. I know the word "chemical" may sound intimidating but it's just a scientific term for the type of exfoliation that is referring to AHA's (alfalfa hydroxy acid) and BHA's (beta hydroxy acid). AHA's are often derived from sugar, they loosen dead skin cells from the skin and stimulate new cell production. BHA's are often derived from willow bark and are the only acid that's able to exfoliate down the pore lining.
Here are some of my favorite products that contain these ingredients:
DISCLAIMER: This page contains affiliate links, this means if you use my specialized code to purchase any of these products I may receive a small compensation -- and, do a happy dance at home ♥