Blackheads. Those pesky pinprick black dots that scatter your T-zone and keep coming back no matter how hard you try to prevent them. They form when a clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles in your skin. The good news is that removing and preventing blackheads is easier if you follow the right plan of attack. Here's everything you need to know to keep them in check.
Let’s first understand what blackheads are so we can treat and get rid of them safely without damaging skin. Blackheads are a result of oil, dirt and dead skin cells that are trapped in your pores and oxidize. There are two things you should NOT do:
- Don’t try to squeeze them out yourself! Your skin is delicate and can rip and tear easily, leading to scarring or other permanent marks. There’s a good chance you won’t get blackheads completely out, leaving pores still partially clogged and now irritated, and inflamed. The infection can also spread to other areas on your skin. If you want them extracted, please see a professional. Period.
- Don’t ignore your blackheads either. They will not go away on their own. If your pores continue to become clogged with oil and dirt it can lead to full blown acne. Your clogged pores can continue to expand, leaving you with large pores even after blackheads are gone.
So… What do you do?
Back to basics: Never ever skip washing your face! It sounds redundant, but it’s true. As tired as you are at night, you need to wash away all the dirt and excess oil that can lead to clogged pores and blackheads. Make sure to wash your face after workouts, too.
Sonya Recommends: Detox Wash
Plant stem cells work diligently in this formula to purge damaged cells as well as protect skin from free radicals.
Salicylic acid is your friend. This acid gently works to clear out impurities, decongest and clear out clogged pores and blackheads. Look for cleansers, facial scrubs or serums with this key ingredient .
Sonya Recommends: Super Clear
Salicylic Acne Treatment: This acne serum utilizes .5% salicylic acid to penetrate and clear clogged pores. The formula also contains 2% Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) to improve skin texture and help fade acne spots.
Omega Polish and Activator Duo
Exfoliating Scrub: The combination of finely milled flaxseed combined with salicylic acid, works very effectively to decongest and clear out pores while polishing skin to perfection. Use 2-3 times a week!
Skip the strips. Strips don’t pull everything out of your clogged pores, some basic tape will do the same sub-par job. You are basically just taking off that initial top layer of oxidized sebum leaving your pores still very clogged. Instead, use a clay-based mask a few times a week to really draw out impurities and purify skin. Added bonus, the mask, unlike the strips, won’t rip at your skin when you take them off.
Sonya Recommends: Volcano Mask
Made with real volcanic ash from the Mediterranean, this mask gently works to detoxify skin and clogged pores .
DON’T Starve your skin. Oil is NOT the enemy: This may seem strange, but keeping your skin's oil levels balanced is key to minimizing blackheads. While heavy oils like mineral oil can clog pores, a lack of oil causes skin to produce more, which leads to more breakouts. When you feed your skin with healthy oils (think Omega 3 rich flaxseed oil) you send a signal to your skin to STOP over producing excess oil. Applying a good facial oil will maintain a normal flow of oil from your pores by keeping your skin's moisture level balanced.
Sonya Recommends: Organic Omega Booster
Rich in omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, this light oil has natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and skin balancing properties.