Blackheads And Blocked Pores
How To Get Rid Of Blackheads
Blackheads are caused by partially blocked pores. The "black" appearance of them is not caused by dirt, but by the oxidising effect of air on the sebum (oil) in a blocked pore and the melanin pigment from the dead skin cells.
The best way to get rid of blackheads is to remove the cause of them — excessive sebum (oil) and dead skin cells. Use only products made with natural ingredients that are not too astringent. Harsh products can strip the skin of oil, causing it to produce more sebum which leads to more blocked pores. Don't be afraid of using cleansing products containing natural oils, such as jojoba or coconut oil to cleanse the skin. These oils are close to our natural oils, so they don't block the pores. Use a gentle exfoliating mask such as Miessence's Gentle Exfoliant every day to remove dead skin cells so they don't block pores. Just remember to be very gentle, over exfoliation can exacerbate the problem. Avoid products containing the following: alcohol, isopropyl mystate, lanolin, sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate, propylene glycol, mineral oil and parabens.
Do not to try and extract them forcibly, either using your fingers, fingernails or a comedone (blackhead) remover. This can cause permanent damage to the pores and stop them working properly for ever. You may squeeze some of the blackhead out, but you could also force some of it even deeper into the skin, which may lead to infection (large spots, pimples or even cysts) or permanent damage. Touching your skin should generally be avoided to prevent cross infection.
You can help reduce the occurrence of blackheads by eating the right kinds of foods -- this will reduce sebum production, increase good moisture in the skin and help the production of new skin cells. Avoid cooked carbohydrates and fats, replace these with fresh fruits, vegetables and raw fats (avocadoes, olives, olive oil etc). Read our article of the scientific link between diet and acne for more information.
If you do wear make up, make sure any foundations and concealers are non-comedogenic and oil free so they won't block pores. Try not to apply make up if your face is sweating. Always remove your make up with a cleanser at the end of the day. Keep all your make up brushes and sponges clean. Wash them in mild shampoo once a month and let dry completely before using.
Reducing The Appearance Of Blackheads, Blocked Pores And Open Pores
The best way to reduce the appearance of blackheads is to do the following, twice a week:
- Wash the skin using a gentle, natural exfoliating product and pat the skin dry
- Fill a bowl/basin with boiling water, and a few drops of tea tree oil
- Steam your face for about 5 minutes to open the pores and soften the skin
- Apply a clay mask
- These masks will attract and absorb the oil in the blocked pore.