Those pesky dark spots that appear on your face, neck, chest and even back, will regret their existence after you read this Ultimate Guide to Blackhead Removal!
In simple terms, blackheads are clogged pores that often feature in conjunction with mild acne. It's tempting to squeeze blackheads, however, this often leads to more damage and inflammation. When it comes to this type of acne, it's best to avoid picking or squeezing and instead focus on removing the gunk through skincare. If you want to finally banish blackheads once and for all, you first need to understand how they form in the first place.
What are blackheads?
A common misconception is that blackheads are simply trapped dirt on the skin, but this isn’t the case. Blackheads are a type of acne that form when your pores become clogged with dead skin cells. The blockage triggers the production of sebum, which further plugs the pore. When these skin cells react with oxygen in the air, a process known as oxidisation occurs, causing the blockage to turn black, forming the blackhead. It is essential to differentiate between blackheads and trapped dirt since the formation of blackheads is unrelated to the cleanliness of your skin.
What causes blackheads?
Blackheads are most commonly caused by hormonal changes which trigger sebum production. The excess sebum in the skin traps dead skin cells in open pores or hair follicles rather than allowing them to shed. Overproduction of skin cells can also contribute to the development of blackheads. Some areas of your face, particularly your nose and forehead, have more sebaceous glands, making them more prone to developing blackheads.
Cosmetics can also cause pore blockages which develop into blackheads. This is because many ingredients in makeup and skincare absorb into your skin and become trapped along with sebum and dead skin cells, with nowhere to go except an open hair follicle or pore.
Other causes of blackhead development include exposure to humid conditions, heavy sweating, and medications that encourage rapid cellular turnover. No matter the exact cause of the blackhead, the development of this acne is always attributed to the oxidisation of trapped skin cells.
How to get rid of blackheads
It can be tempting to squeeze or excessively scrub at blackheads to quickly remove them, however, this actually does more harm than good. By squeezing the blackhead, you are likely to irritate the surrounding area, allowing more bacteria into your skin and causing more acne to develop. Similarly, aggressively scrubbing blackheads is not helpful when trying to remove them. By scrubbing at your skin, you are likely to cause micro-tears that damage your barrier and allow in bacteria that will generate more acne or even infection.
Instead, you should focus on gently removing the oil and allowing your skin to naturally shed. Blackhead removal is not an instantaneous process, and it may take several days to see improvement. It’s essential to stay consistent and stick to your skincare routine to ensure you don’t cause damage to your skin when removing blackheads. Follow our top tips for removing blackheads.
1. Use a Gentle Face Cleanser Regularly
When we say regularly, we're talking at least once, if not twice per day. Cleansing will help remove excess oil, makeup, dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells to allow the natural shedding of skin cells that otherwise become trapped in your pores and turn into blackheads.
Cleansing morning and night is recommended for most people dealing with blackheads. However, if your skin is especially dry or sensitive, cleansing your face in the evening will be enough. It’s especially important to use a gentle face cleanser that won’t over-strip your skin. Some face cleansers contain harsh ingredients like alcohol which will actually cause your skin to overproduce sebum, which is the opposite of what we want.
For an alcohol-free cleanser that won’t over-strip your skin, try our H4O™ RESOLVE HD WASH FOAM (FACE CLEANSER). This molecular foaming cleanser is scientifically formulated using patented H4O deionised water. H40 is a revolutionary technology that allows the oxygenation process to target congestion and pollutants. RESOLVE also contains amino acid derivatives to disconnect pollutants and oils from your pores, effectively dissolving blackheads where they lay. Another vital ingredient in RESOLVE is hyaluronic acid. Including this hydrating ingredient in the cleanser helps your skin rehydrate as you cleanse, which will help prevent excess production of sebum.
2. Exfoliate to Help Shed Dead Skin Cells
Since blackheads are caused by your dead skin cells getting trapped in your pores, you should use a gentle exfoliator in conjunction with your face cleanser to help these dead skin cells shed. This will help to avoid your pores becoming clogged. Gentle exfoliation is the key to preventing irritation and inflammation. Choose a product without AHA, BHA, or PHA to deliver safe and effective exfoliation without excessive peeling.
An exfoliator rich in antioxidants, like our CLARÏFÍER HIGH DEFINITION HYDRO EXFOLIATOR, can help loosen the bonds between dead skin components. This gentle form of exfoliation allows the top layers of your skin to easily detach and roll away. In addition, this process removes build-up around the pores, effectively dissolving impurities like blackheads.
CLARÏFÍER is powered by botanicals like grapefruit, myrtle and geranium extracts, which work to clear congestion, limit glycation and revitalise stressed skin. With continued use, CLARÏFÍER boosts your skin’s natural exfoliation process, reducing the potential for future development of blackheads.
3. Refine Your Pores with Enzymes
Enzymes are one of the hottest ingredients in skincare right now. They are a powerful and effective way to target and dissolve impurities, leaving behind healthy-looking, less-stressed skin. Enzymes work by breaking down the "glue" that holds sebum and dead skin cells together. For more effective results, use compound enzymes like B-A215 to achieve multiple enzymatic effects for decongestion. After using these powerful ingredients, your skin may experience a tingling sensation whilst the enzymes work to dissolve impurities. This usually subsides after two hours, leaving skin feeling smoother, refreshed and de-stressed.
Our CLARÏFÍER™ ENZY HIGH DEFINITION ADVANCED PORETECH FORMULA contains a combination of B-A215, azelaic acid and salicylic acid to clear and refine pores. CLARÏFÍER ENZY is a foundational step for blackhead removal. By dissolving hyperactive pigments and breaking down stubborn layers of dead skin, your skin appearance drastically improves. In addition, CLARÏFÍER ENZY targets pimples, dark spots and enlarged pores to leave behind a more balanced, even skin tone.
4. Properly Remove Makeup to Avoid Clogging Pores
It is well-known that oily skincare and makeup products can contribute to acne development, especially blackheads. This is because many of these products include comedogenic ingredients like silicones and oils that are prone to clogging pores. If your skin is acne-prone, it's good to avoid heavy, oil-based makeup products that trap sweat, dirt, and dead skin-cells. However, it can be challenging to differentiate between which products will or won't cause blackheads on your skin. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that you effectively remove all traces of makeup from your skin at the end of the day.
An excellent method for makeup removal is using a gentle, purpose-designed cloth such as FACEPAL SENSE. FACEPAL is a reusable cleansing pad that is scientifically designed to gently reach into pores to effectively cleanse. FACEPAL SENSE has been designed to target pore congestion, remove environmental pollution, sebum build-up and makeup. FACEPAL can be used with just water or with your face cleanser to remove all traces of makeup. With daily use, FACEPAL helps achieve less congestion, clearer pores and an overall reduction of blackheads and blemishes.
NO FACE is an innovative next-generation clean skincare brand. Next-Gen Skincare means NO Toxin, NO Fragrance, NO BS, NO Bias against skin types, NO Unfair treatment to the environment and workers. With patented technologies and researched new ingredients that are more effective, selective, sustainable, and bio-friendly, NO FACE is a leading social impact-aware skincare brand towards 100% sustainability.
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