We're kicking off this year by putting our best face forward. And our first step? Getting our skin clear of pesky blackheads. These comedones occur when our skin produces excess oil and a ball of it accumulates in a pore. Exposed to air, it turns dark in colour, and voila -- a blackhead is formed. Now, here's how to go about clearing them, for your best skin ever.
We get it -- sometimes you've got to rush out the door, or that pillow is oh-so-tempting. Getting your beauty sleep is good, but skipping your regular facial cleanses isn't. Dead skin cells and makeup can block your pores, leading to oil accumulation, and, you got it, the development of blackheads.
If you have makeup on when you hit the gym, consider washing it off before hopping on the treadmill. After your workout, remove sweat by giving your face a wash at the sink, or simply use a pre-moistened cleansing cloth (so easy to toss a package into your gym bag!). Cutting down on product and sweat clogs will nip blackheads in the bud.
If your budget allows, book a facial that includes extractions. An aesthetician can safely remove blackheads -- they're trained pros, plus it's easier for them to apply equal pressure. Trying to squeeze them out yourself may cause scarring.
Look for products that contain salicylic acid, a product of the willow tree that helps shed dead skin cells. It reduces the chances of your pores getting clogged, and also penetrates pores to keep follicles clear. Benzoyl peroxide is another proven acne fighter, preventing blackheads by clearing the pores of debris. When using products with either ingredient, remember that a little goes a long way. Using extra won't make it work more effectively -- in fact, you'll just end up with dry and possibly irritated skin.
It may be satisfying to squeeze out a blackhead, seeing it emerge and clearing the pore. But your hands may be oily and ridden with bacteria, and that oil and bacteria from your hands may sit on your face afterward -- which may lead to more acne.
Oil and hairspray and any other products from your hair may be transferring to your face. Sweep bangs and the rest of your hair away from your face when you can -- say, when you're just lounging at home -- to reduce the debris that's resting on your skin.
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