Do you struggle with the mild form of acne known as blackheads? If the answer is “yes,” you’re not alone. Blackheads are extremely common, affecting all skin types.
While they may be the least noticeable form of pimples, you’re still probably wondering about blackhead removal (especially if you own one of those magnifying mirrors that make every skin problem look even worse!).
So what are blackheads, and is it even possible to get rid of them once and for all? Are there any home remedies for acne that specifically target blackheads? Getting rid of blackheads naturally may take a little effort or changes in your lifestyle, but it’s definitely possible to reduce them starting today!
Blackheads are technically a type of acne known as a comedo. A comedo is a clogged hair follicle (pore) in the skin.
While there are various types of comedones, they all start with the same situation: plugged-up pores. When oil, dead skin cells or bacteria block our pores, this can result in the formation of a small comedone called a blackhead or a whitehead.
If a blocked pore stays open, the oxygen in the air oxidizes the oils, turning them dark brown or black. These tiny dark spots are called blackheads.
This blackhead creation process is similar to how an apple turns brown when exposed to air. On the other hand, if a blocked pore closes up, then the top of the bump looks more white and is called a whitehead. To the eye, blackheads are typically not raised from the skin, while whiteheads are clearly raised.
There are several different varieties of acne lesions, and you can have one form or a combination of forms at any given time:
Blackheads are most common on your face, especially on your nose and, most specifically, on the sides of your nose. Some people also get blackheads in other areas, such as on their ears, shoulders and back. Unfortunately, blackheads (and whiteheads) can form anywhere there is a hair follicle or pore.
Blackheads are very common, and sometimes they might just happen with no obvious explanation. However, there are several things that can contribute to the formation of a blackhead:
Why not skip all of the commercial and highly unnatural blackhead removal products on the market and go the natural route? It’s sure to provide more gentle, effective and long-lasting results.
How to remove blackheads naturally:
The first step to remove blackheads naturally? Gentle, daily cleansing. You may want to try this Homemade Honey Face Wash for Clear Skin. Use a natural cleanser like this each evening before bed, at the least. And, if needed, after workouts.
Refrain from cleansing more often than in the morning, evening and after workouts, because too much cleansing can irritate and dehydrate the skin, causing an overproduction of oil and even more blackheads.
In addition to cleansing, exfoliation is another important part of how to remove blackheads naturally.
Regularly exfoliating the skin is key to keeping these little spots in check since exfoliation scrubs away dead skin cells that can lead to clogged pores. Try using a gentle exfoliating face scrub at least one to two times per week.
When it comes to exfoliation, more is not better, and overdoing it can easily result in more skin issues, especially for those with sensitive skin.
Baking soda is a cheap and effective exfoliant. Simply combine one teaspoon of baking soda with half a cup of water and rub it on your face in a circular motion, then rinse.
Wondering how to get rid of blackheads on the nose? Pore strips containing natural ingredients are a great way to perform blackhead removal on the nose and other parts of the face.
Whether store bought or homemade, pore strips are a quick and thorough method of blackhead extraction. You actually see the blackheads being removed. For some, the results really can be quite incredible and satisfying, but don’t get addicted, because they’re not meant for daily use.
Whether you use the blackhead removal strips for your nose (most common), forehead or chin, don’t use them more often than once every three days, with once a week as a good frequency.
Done weekly, a mask containing a good quality clay (like bentonite clay) or charcoal can work wonders to clean out the pores, pulling out blackheads and leaving skin smoother and less oily than it was before.
You can also try this DIY Blackhead Removal Mask. The key ingredient is gelatin, which can help to pull out the debris in clogged pores and act as a natural blackhead remover.
If you’re trying to remove blackheads, steaming can be a helpful part of your skincare routine. The steam from the hot water can help to loosen the blackheads in your pores.
How to get rid of blackheads with steam:
Remember not to get too close to the hot water or you could burn yourself. You can repeat this once a week or as needed.
As a natural home remedy for acne, applying witch hazel to blackhead-prone skin can help decrease inflammation and excessive oil production.
As a cleanser, toner and botanical anti-inflammatory, witch hazel is excellent at soothing skin and reducing overproduction of oil.
Another benefit is that it helps to unclog pores and reduce the look of pores (no product can actually shrink pores).
If you watch blackhead removal videos online, you’ll see there are many removal tools. One of these blackhead removal products is a mechanical skin brush.
Mechanical skin brushes are used for general cleansing purposes, but they can also be a very effective daily method for reducing blackheads. They act as powerful, deep-cleansing exfoliators, and they can help cleansers do a better job as well.
If you use a skin brush, just make sure you keep it very clean and replace the heads often (so it doesn’t harbor bacteria and cause more issues).
While we’re sleeping, our skin goes into a recovery and regeneration mode. So wash your face before bed, and let your skin do its thing.
Unfortunately, the more you touch your face (especially with unclean hands), the more prone you are to transfer bacteria and dirt to your pores. This easily triggers blackheads and other breakouts.
Picking and popping blackheads, even with clean hands, is another action to refrain from since ultimately, you will cause more harm than good (even if you did manage to see some of those blackheads pop out).
Not only can you cause more of these tiny spots as well as other breakouts, but you may be damaging your skin. This can be permanent damage and also, permanent enlargement of your pores.
Rather than using your hands, you’re better off trying a blackhead removal tool such as a blackhead vacuum or a blackhead extractor. Make sure to follow product instructions carefully. If in doubt, you can always see an esthetician for professional blackhead extraction.
Contrary to popular belief, blackhead-prone or oily skin still needs to be moisturized daily. Using topical products that focus on drying out the skin only makes the skin produce more oil, which just increases blackheads.
Look for moisturizers from natural brands that are non-comedogenic (specially formulated not to cause blocked pores). The fewer the ingredients, the better too, since more ingredients can often mean more opportunities for irritation.
Many conventional moisturizers for acne reduction contain salicylic acid, which can be natural or synthetic. While salicylic acid can be helpful at decreasing various forms of acne, it’s best to get it from natural sources.
Aloe vera is a plant-derived moisturizer that naturally contains salicylic acids, along with many other skin boosting ingredients such as vitamins, minerals enzymes and amino acids.
Another effective blackhead removal DIY involves the use of essential oils, many of which are really excellent for your skin. Tea tree oil, for example, has actually been found to work as well as benzoyl peroxide, a common over-the-counter acne treatment.
A few drops of tea tree essential oil can be applied undiluted directly onto blackheads as an overnight treatment that will kill bacteria and help dissolve blackheads.
If your skin is ultra-sensitive, you can combine a few drops of essential oil with a noncomedogenic carrier oil like jojoba or argan oil.
Now, let’s look at how to get rid of blackheads with what you eat (or don’t eat). By improving your daily diet, you can greatly improve the quality of your skin, including the decrease, or even the elimination, of blackheads and other forms of acne.
Certain foods can help reduce internal and external inflammation, increase good bacteria in the gut and have other positive effects on the body, which directly affect the health of our skin. Here are some of the top anti-blackhead foods to eat:
A plan for how to get rid of blackheads naturally also includes certain foods you should avoid. In addition to not overdoing it when it comes to alcohol and caffeine, aim to remove or significantly reduce the following:
Make sure to use essential oils that are 100 percent pure, organic and therapeutic grade. Always perform a patch test before using essential oils on the face. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.
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