First things first – what are blackheads, anyway?
Blackheads are the starting phase of acne- they occur when oil is lodged in the pore, but not yet exposed to bacteria that turns it into a pimple. In short, blackheads are pimples waiting to happen.
Blackheads are caused when hormones in the skin cause stimulation of the oil glands (sebaceous glands), which leads to excess oil to be produced in the pore. This excess oil gets trapped within the pore leading to a ball of accumulated oil. When this oil it comes in contact with air, it becomes black in color.
Those with oily skin and those who apply a lot of makeup and don’t wash the skin thoroughly are more likely to suffer from blackheads.
How to get rid of blackheads
1) Wash your face thoroughly and properly
To keep blackheads at bay it is essential that you wash your face 2x a day, every day, no matter what. Here is the correct way to wash your face:
- Wash your hands and apply a quarter size dollop of facial cleanser to your palm. Work the cleanser into your skin in gentle circular motions and then lean over the sink and splash lukewarm water on your face 8-10 times to completely cleanse the skin. Then pat the skin dry with a washcloth. DO NOT wash your face by applying face wash to a towel and rubbing it on your face. Not only does this irritate your skin, it does not fully clean it and can actually make matters worse.
When looking for a facial cleanser, look for something PH-balanced and free of harsh chemicals (especially beware of sodium laurel sulfate, which is common in drug store cleansers). Our PH-balanced Foaming Cleanser is a client favorite and our #1 best selling product.
2) Break down the oil
Here’s an easy, at home trick for breaking down blackheads: put a damp cloth over your face for 15-25 minutes each night to help loosen and dissolve dead skin, oil, dirt, and other pore clogging particles. Boiling the wash cloth first will ensure that you are not introducing additional bacteria to the surface of your face. Be sure to allow the cloth to cool properly before putting it on your face; always test it on the inside of your wrist first.
In addition, go to a spa and get a deep cleansing facial. Though at home tricks are great, nothing does the job of clearing your skin of blackheads like a professional facial. Your esthetician will steam and exfoliate your skin, and then give you expert extractions that will leave your skin blackhead free for at least 2-3 weeks.
Exfoliating facial skin unclogs pores by keeping dead skin cells from blocking the pore opening so sebum can flow more normally. Chemical exfoliants containing BHA’s (such as our Reveal 10), are proven to be more effective at clearing blackheads than exfoliating scrubs. Because BHA’s work through a chemical process, they can penetrate the superficial layers of skin and produce better results than scrubs, which work only on the very outermost exposed surface of the skin. If you have blackheads, we recommend using Reveal 10 2-3 times a week in the evenings.