A blackhead is a clogged pore, and because it is open as opposed to a whitehead, exposure to air makes it turn black, according to Fiona Gibb of Refinery29. How do you get rid of them? The best face wash for blackheads is one with salicylic acid in it, according to dermatologists such as Dr. Cynthia Bailey.
Salicylic acid digs into the skin and unblocks pores, so acne can heal, according to the National Institutes of Health. You can find a variety of skin care products offered by Habbana that contain salicylic acid; familiar names like Garnier and Neutrogena offer facial washes on the site. Experts advise to go easy at first with salicylic acid because it can over dry your skin and cause irritation.
The purpose behind a facial wash or scrub is to exfoliate the skin. Gentle is better than rough, dermatologists say. Don’t scrub until your face turns red. To use washes and scrubs correctly, the Neutrogena and Garnier websites agree you should avoid getting the products in your eyes and thoroughly rinse the product from your face.
Other basic tips for treating and preventing blackheads include washing off your makeup before you go to bed, using a moisturizer that is oil-free and keeping oily hair off your face.
Diet Might Help
Standard medical advice says food does not affect acne. According Dr. John A. McDougall, the author of many vegan books that have helped people reverse type II diabetes, there are several studies that show people with low-fat, plant-based diets have less acne. Blaming acne on puberty is like blaming heart disease on old age, McDougall says.
Things that contain a lot of fat:
- Processed foods
- Cooking oil
Even if you are already vegan, cutting out fatty foods such as olive oil, avocado, corn chips and nuts may help get rid of blackheads. By cutting out fat and not overeating, you might also lose excess weight, McDougall says.
Actual blackhead removal can be achieved at home with pore strips. Some people ask their facial specialist to remove the blackhead or to prevent scarring, visit a dermatologist. This may seem satisfying, but it only treats the symptoms.
There are gross videos of blackhead removal on YouTube. These usually involve tweezers, which can lead to pain, infection and scarring. This is the extreme version of the other skin-damaging practice of squeezing your face, which dermatologists advise against.
Sometimes, a prescription retinoid is the best thing to get you through puberty. Oral antibiotics and isotretinoin are common treatments for teen acne, according to WebMD. These are cases of serious, scarring acne.
For adults, topical retinol can help. It enhances collagen production, which makes the skin smoother, according to Brooke Le Poer Trench in Allure. Retinol also fills in wrinkles.
Using a facial wash or scrub is not just good for removing blackheads, and can help save you money and doctors visits. Research shows pollution ages your skin, according to Emily Dudding in Harper’s Bazaar. Pollution gets stuck in your pores and strips the natural oils off your skin, which can lead to collagen breakdown. It’s kind of the opposite of retinol.
India has rampant air pollution and water pollution, according to Sushmi Dey of The Times of India. So washing your face with non-tap water could be a very healthy choice.
Thanks to air pollution, you will look older faster, according to Dudding. It’s the free radicals that are causing the trouble. The website Well+Good explains what free radicals are and how they cause damage to your skin. Free radicals are unstable molecules caused by things such as UV rays and metals in pollution. For your skin, this can mean cancer and more wrinkles.
Your diet can help fight free radicals, according to Well+Good. Eating foods with antioxidants can stabilize free radicals. Those foods include green vegetables and certain fruits.
Beyond imbalances in puberty, some women deal with imbalances through their 30s, according an article by Marissa Fessenden on Racked. Recent studies show combining spironolactone with birth control pills can reduce acne with a 60-percent success rate. Spironolactone reduces the effects of androgens, and the birth control pill increases estrogen.
The most recent research shows the stress hormone cortisol may be linked to acne flare-ups, according to Dr. Jonette E. Keri in an article on The Dermatologist website. This phenomenon may affect individuals differently. The basic idea is if you reduce your emotional stress, your acne will lessen. Stress is just one of many factors. Drinking more water, getting more sleep and exercise also can improve acne.
There are many concoctions on the Internet with no empirical evidence to back up their claims of success. Before you start combining your moisturizer with sea salt in hopes of clearing up your blackheads, try using a facial wash or scrub that contains salicylic acid. That has some science behind it.