Are blackheads leaving your complexion looking dull? Blackheads occur when excess oil and dead skin cells clog pores, creating one of the biggest skin care struggles we face.
Fortunately, a combination of implementing the right skin care regimen and breaking some bad habits can result in the radiant complexion you’ve long been pursuing. These are our 9 best tips for banishing blackheads forever.
Wash Your Face Twice a Day
Because blackheads are dark in color, some believe they are a sign of poor skin hygiene. In fact, the black color is caused when the debris in the open pore meets the air, causing oxidation.
Although blackheads don’t mean your face is dirty, washing twice a day can remove the dead skin cells and extra oil that contribute to this condition. Don’t skip the morning, since your face is exposed to dust and bacteria on your pillowcase.
Washing your face after exercise is also crucial. Doing so removes sweat, dirt and oil that exacerbate the blackhead problem.
It might sound like a no-brainer, but removing all your makeup at night is a must if you’re struggling with blackheads. Use an effective makeup remover before cleaning skin, since even gentle oil-free cosmetics can clog pores if worn overnight.
Avoid DIY Extraction
Although it can be tempting to extract blackheads at home, doing so can result in a host of issues. Not only does squeezing skin lead to infection and scarring, but home remedies like pore strips can overdry the skin.
When extraction is necessary, it should be done only be a qualified dermatologist to reduce the risk of skin damage.
Try Salicylic Acid Gel
Using a formula with salicylic acid can dissolve pore-clogging material so your skin looks clear and clean. This ingredient promotes skin cell turnover for gentle exfoliation to clear acne and blackheads.
We love the IMAGE Skincare Clear Cell Salicylic Gel Cleanser, designed to eliminate excess oil and remove dead skin cells from blackhead-prone skin. Use up to twice a day to see results within several weeks.
If you have sensitive skin, start by adding this ingredient to your morning regimen. If your skin responds well, you can also incorporate salicylic acid at night.
Exfoliation is an important part of caring for skin, especially if you are prone to blackheads and breakouts. Chemical exfoliation uses alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), a category that includes salicylic acid.
These formulas remove the top layer of skin to clear debris that leads to blackheads. You’ll notice a smoother, softer complexion as well as decreased signs of aging such as fine lines and dark spots.
If you’re new to chemical exfoliation, we recommend Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel. This gentle yet powerful formula minimizes pores while clearing blackheads, whiteheads and acne blemishes.
While chemical ingredients like salicylic and alpha hydroxy acids can effectively exfoliate skin to prevent clogged pores, you may also want to try manual exfoliation. Many people notice great results when they alternate manual and chemical exfoliation.
To avoid over exfoliating, which can damage skin and exacerbate oil production and blackheads, use a gentle scrubber designed specifically for this purpose. Limit exfoliation to once a week unless your dermatologist recommends otherwise.
Incorporate a Retinoid Product
Retinoids are most commonly used to reduce signs of aging like dark spots, wrinkles and dullness. Because these products encourage cell turnover, however, they can also do a number on stubborn blackheads.
Prescription retinoid formulas are the strongest, but you can also seek success with an over-the-counter variety. Start with a low-strength product and increase the concentration if necessary depending on your skin’s response.
Concerned about the redness and peeling that are often reported with retinol use? Start with PCA Skin Retinol Treatment, which is specifically designed for sensitive complexions.
Add a Weekly Clay or Charcoal Mask
Natural clay is an effective way to reduce the skin’s oil production, remove impurities and prevent blemishes. Activated charcoal is another ingredient that provides the intense clean you need to fight blackheads.
For best results, exfoliate first so the mask’s active ingredients can penetrate deep into your pores for a thorough clean
Bioelements Restorative Clay is one of our favorite pore-refining solutions when we’re fighting the blackhead battle. This dermatologist-tested formula contains kaolin, a clay mineral that draws oil and debris out of your skin, as well as soothing chamomile and plant extracts to calm and rebalance skin.
Use Oil-Free Products
Added oil in moisturizer, sunscreen and cosmetics can compound the blackhead problem. Look for products labeled oil-free or non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog pores or cause acne.
If you have an oily complexion, you might be tempted to skip sunscreen and moisturizer. However, doing so can actually make acne worse because your skin will overproduce oil if it gets too dry. And of course, sunscreen lowers your risk of skin cancer and prevents sun damage that causes premature aging.
Consider a Chemical Peel
This procedure involves a strong exfoliating formula applied by a dermatologist to remove the outer layer of skin and encourage cell regeneration and collagen production.
Although chemical peels are usually recommend to fight signs of aging, they can also have beneficial results for blackheads. You may notice less clogging, smaller pores and a more radiant, clear complexion.
When you’re ready for a new skincare regimen to control blackheads and breakouts for good, visit LaLa Daisy. We offer high-quality, low-cost skin care products with a generous return policy, so you’re never stuck with solutions that just don’t work for you.