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How do I Remove Blackheads?

Updated on December 28, 2013
Getting rid of blackheads!
Getting rid of blackheads! | Source

Blackheads, those little black colored sports that generally pop up on your nose and chin area can be very frustrating. No matter how clean your face is, just seeing those staring back at you from your reflection in the mirror can make you feel unclean. How do I remove blackheads?

What are blackheads?

Blackheads are caused by the pore being clogged with sebum – it's the oxygen in the air that this plug of oil comes into contact with that turns it black (Hence why they're black on the top but if you where to squeeze one, what you would remove would be white in color). Sebum is the oil produced by the glands, made from excess fats and lipids in the blood as well as toxins being flushed from your system. This collection of grease and grime is pushed out through the pores and trapped in the naturally produced oils that would already be floating about the pores. This all mixes and forms a plug, which blocks the pore, causing blackheads and acne.

If you have blackheads this does not mean you have dirty skin. Blackheads are caused by what is going on under the skin, before being pushed out to the surface.

Blackheads are most common on your face, usually around the T-zone and chin areas as these tend to be the oiliest. It is not unusual however to get them on your ears, shoulders and back.

How can I get rid of my blackheads?

For starters, do not squeeze! This was one of the biggest mistakes I made as a teen! I had blackheads all over my nose and chin and they really wound me up, so I would squeeze and squeeze each individual head until all the satisfactory grime had been forcible removed. I was then left with a very red, tender, blotchy nose that looked worse than when I started! The satisfaction soon faded and I was left thinking, 'now what do I do about this?!' The exposed open pores would clog up once again in record time and I'd be right back to square one! Not only are they exposed to the world around you – but you've used fingers covered in their own oils and dead skin cells to man-handle your face, spreading unseen dirt about and clogging up the pores yourself!

The best way to clear up blackhead outbreaks is of course, to unclog the pores – but there are better methods out there than squeezing them!

Over the counter products

You are going to want an exfoliator to begin with! Exfoliators are face washes that have hardened grains mixed into the face wash. It's these grains that manipulate the pore, helping to unclog the dirt gently, which is then washed away. When using an exfoliator your going to want no more than a pea sized amount in your hand. Apply to damp skin in light circular motions, concentrating on the problem area. It will be tempting to really scrub as if you are cleaning a step – but stop yourself! You do not want to irritate your skin; it will do it more harm than good! Steady as you go and be gentle! Rinse with warm water and pat dry! Use an exfoliator 1 – 2 times a week.

Look out for products that contain; salicylic acid, alycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide. These are proven to loosen up the dead skin cells and sebum that has clogged your pores and caused the blackheads. There are specific washes out there that will contain two or three of these ingredients in the one wash. Though these can be extremely effective, they are chemicals and they can strip away more than just the dirt! I used benzoyl peroxide when I was younger and it dried out my skin so much I started to shred like a snake! It went flaky and dry in parts, then overly oily in others! It was a nightmare! Use these products sparingly and if you have sensitive skin, you are going to want to avoid them all together and try a more natural, homemade remedy.

Pore strips are probably the most satisfying form of acne removal on the planet. These little strips literally drag the plugs of oil from the pores kicking and screaming, and then display them all for you to see! It sounds disgusting but I can tell you from experience that it is so satisfying to see the dirt and oil captured on these little strips instead of clogging up your face! They are relatively cheap to buy and used once a week can really make a difference to your blackheads.

Lactic acid in milk is brilliant for cleansing and smoothing your skin!
Lactic acid in milk is brilliant for cleansing and smoothing your skin! | Source

Homemade remedies for removing blackheads!

There are plenty of things in your kitchen cupboards that will help you remove blackheads effectively, without the use of man made chemicals. More and more people are turning to homemade treatments to not only save money, but to be kinder to their skin too! Many of the things you will be using to remove blackheads will double up as being amazingly beneficial to your skin overall too! Therefore, it is a win – win situation all round!

  • Milk and Nutmeg make a great facial cleanser, especially if you have oily skin! Nutmeg not only soaks up the excess oils on the surface, but it acts as your hardened material to help scrub clean those plugged up pores. Lactic acid in the milk breaks down the dead skin cells, washing them away when you wash the milk from your face! It is said the great and beautiful Cleopatra would bathe in milk and had the most luxuriously soft, glowing skin!
  • Egg whites won't smell too good as they're drying on your face but they are going to work a treat on your skin – just breath through your mouth whilst you sit through this treatment! Egg whites are extremely high in selenium and B vitamins. Egg whites will also draw excess oils from the skin! Apply your egg whites to a clean face with a clean paintbrush (one of those little soft bristled ones is best) and let dry. Once the first layer is dry, apply another but only to the most affected areas. As it dries, your skin will begin to tighten. Leave for around 15 minutes then remove with warm water. Your skin will feel tight and fresh – did you know many people use an egg white mask to get a brief face-lift! The egg whites will tighten your pores and reduce your blackheads.
  • Home-made pore strips have become wildly popular thanks to a few popular videos on YouTube! Not only easy to make, they are super and surprisingly effective! Though most only use the gelatin on it's own, a number have come to light that include other kitchen cupboard ingredients for even better skin loving! My favorite has to be the tomato juice/gelatin pore strips. Tomatoes are brilliant for oily and acne prone skin, so they are pampering your skin as the gelatin attaches itself to the clogged pores and removes the grime!

How can I prevent blackheads?

  • Avoid harsh cleansers, using these will cause your skin to go into self-preservation mode and produce even more oil, which in turn will create more blackheads!
  • Avoid touching your face as much as possible! Every time you touch your face you’re transferring dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells from your finger tips to your face, which is clogging up your pores! It can be a hard habit to break but its well worth pursuing!
  • Steam your face around once a week, this will help to open up your pores and draw the impurities out without having to use products! After a steam, you should splash your face with cold water; it will not only close your pores but tighten them too!
  • Carry around some blotting paper and when your skin starts to look a little oily, blot it away. The sooner you blot the excess oil away the less chance it has of accumulating and clogging your pores.

Don't forget...

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    • profile image

      mengs 4 years ago

      an awesome post, and i feel this extremely helpful to get rid of blackheads on the nose and other parts of our skin. likewise i find also a post very important and interesting here at How to use Lemon Juice for dark and Sun Spots – Lemon Juice Homemade Beauty Treatment

    • profile image

      Mai 4 years ago

      Well I am going to try the milk and nutmeg one tonight.

    • Saloca profile image

      Saloca 4 years ago from Liverpool, UK

      @younghopes Steaming your face too much can be a bad thing, especially if you're using boiling hot water. The hotter the water - the hotter the steam! You can actually burn your face on the steam itself if it's too hot, doing more harm than good to your skin! Let me tell you from experience - burning hot steam and open pores is extremely painful - and I had to learn that the hard way! Also, you don't want to be constantly opening your pores, as when they are open they are more prone to attracting dirt and grime! Never steam your face more than twice a week!

      Thanks for the comment :)

    • younghopes profile image

      Shadaan Alam 4 years ago from India

      interesting hub, voted up, really it spoils the look of the face if you have blackheads, its really terrible, hope these remedies will be helpfl and effective, would try them out, i have heard too much steaming your face is bad, is that true?

    • Saloca profile image

      Saloca 4 years ago from Liverpool, UK

      @Kathryn S, It can be so hard to break the habit of touching your face, especially when you don't realise you're doing it half the time! But once broken it makes such a difference to your skin. It took me months to finally stop touching my face and the reduction in my acne was remarkable! Thanks for the comment :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      This is a good post. I agree, pore strips are awesome! I use those once in a while, as well as an exfoliator. I have never tried an egg white on my face. I may try that out at some point.

      I was laughing, because right at the point you said to avoid touching your face, I had my left hand on my chin. I catch myself touching my face quite often.

    • Saloca profile image

      Saloca 5 years ago from Liverpool, UK

      @Nell salycilic acid is great at treating acne and blackheads, I just hope people know to use it VERY sparingly! Too much and you'll do more harm than good to your skin!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      I remember having terrible spots at school, then my doc gave me some salycilic acid cream as you mentioned above, it really is the best to get rid of spots and blackheads, very useful hub, voted up etc!