Firstly, Know Exactly What They Are
A lot of people assume blackheads are a sign of overly dirty skin, but they’re not. Essentially, they’re a build-up of oil, dead skin and bacteria that clog hair follicles, making the surface look black or dark – hence why we call them blackheads. They are most common around the nose area but not restricted to there. Living in a city is a prime cause too, with pollution being one of the main triggers for congested pores and skin.
Avoid Scrubbing At All Costs
As said above, blackheads aren’t a sign that your skin is dirty, so don’t try and scrub off your blackheads – you’ll just cause more damage by being rough with your skin. Instead, opt for a good, daily cleansing routine and stick to it. Skin loves monotony and you’ll really notice a big difference if you keep it up.
Don’t Write Off Steaming
A lot of people think steaming your face is a skincare myth, but it really does help bring loosen the blackheads and flush out your pores. That being said, for best results, I suggest you let a professional show you the best way to do it first so you can then replicate the treatment at home.
Use Salicylic Acid, Not Exfoliators
Exfoliators can work temporarily, but if you’re just relying on this as a treatment, you’ll notice your blackheads keep returning. An acid or a retinol is much more effective. Salicylic acid is especially a great option for dissolving blackheads, especially when it’s left on the affected area. This is because it is a beta hydroxyl acid and has a larger molecular size, so it stays on the surface for longer, giving better results. Look for products with at least two per cent of Salicylic acid and use it regularly in the morning and night. Once the blackheads have cleared, continue using it to prevent pores from re-clogging. The only downside of salicylic is it can be quite drying, so depending on your complexion type, glycolic acid, which is less drying could be a better option.
Or Try A Retinol, Too
Aside from salicylic, I personally think retinol is one of the best ways to clear clogged pores and prevent blackheads from forming altogether. Vitamin A works on the receptors in the skin to regulate cell turnover and increase the efficiency of dead skin removal, alleviating congestion. Cleanse, tone, apply any serum, use your retinol and then moisturise – that’s your go-to regime right there. I’ve just developed my own retinol, with a limit of 0.3%, which is a steady introduction to the benefits, with levels low enough to cause minimal irritation, but also high enough to make a significant and steady improvement to your complexion. I am a big believer in taking a ‘little and often’ approach. Retinol is very impactful, but people tend to over use it, or use it incorrectly in order to rush the overall effect. The key is to allow your skin to build tolerance to retinol slowly.
Seek Out Micro-Needling For Quicker Results
If you’re impatient or want to reduce blackheads at lightning speed, then micro-needling is a great option. But that doesn’t mean you can skip a solid skincare regime post-treatment. Blackheads will return, and the only way to keep them at bay is by maintaining your regime with regular use of acids. I recommend looking at micro-needling treatments that come with a variety of enhancing skincare products which include lactic acid toner and peptides, to maximise the impact. Lactic acid is another great all-rounder and instantly brightens the skin’s surface.
Keep Up The Use Of Moisturiser
A lot of people skip moisturiser to avoid adding moisture to their skin, but overly dry skin can actually start to produce more blackheads and oiliness. I’m not a huge advocate of using oils in a regime and I would suggest avoiding them as a treatment. Instead, seek out nourishing creams that are laced with acids. It goes without saying, but an SPF during the day is vital too, especially when using AHA’s as they do make your skin so much more sensitive and susceptible to sun damage.
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