You never go to bed without washing your face. You are faithful about using the high quality skincare products that sit on your bathroom sink. So why do still see black heads all over your nose? Those dark dots are incredibly frustrating and can make you feel self-conscious. While you think you are doing everything right, there’s a chance you aren’t using the necessary products and skin-care regimen.
The first step is to know what you are dealing with. Blackheads occur when pores become clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. The difference between a blackhead and whitehead is that the pore of a blackhead is open. When the clogged pore is exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns black. Sounds gross, but we all have dealt with them. Here are nine tips from skincare experts for removing blackheads and keeping your pores clean.
1. Incorporate salicylic acid into your beauty regime.
Salicylic acid is used in many acne-fighting products because of its antibacterial and drying effects. The ingredient aids skin-cell turnover by breaking up the cells that stick together in the inner lining of your pours, working to unclog blackheads. Look for L’Oreal Go Clean 360 Anti-Breakout Facial Cleanser available at Walmart ($4.37).
Exfoliating scrubs away dead skin-cells that could clog pores. Look for a facial scrub that is gentle on your skin and only exfoliate 1 to 2 times a week. Over scrubbing your face can strip away moisture, irritate, and dry out your skin. Check out Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion Scrub available at Sephora.
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3. Invest in a skin brush.
Skin brushes are expensive, but totally worth it when it comes to unclogging pours and improving the overall health of your skin. They exfoliate and deep clean, which allows active ingredients to work better on your skin. We love the Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Skin Cleansing System available at Target.
4. Take off your makeup!
It is so very important that you remove all makeup before your head hits the pillow. Left-on makeup will lead to clogged pores and blackheads. Establish a schedule for washing your face like right before you start making dinner. Have cleansing cloths around for those nights when you are too exhausted to do anymore. Try Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes Original Fresh available at Walmart.
In the fight against blackheads, you want to avoid dry, flaky skin at all costs. Look for a non-comedogenic moisturizer that has been proven to not clog pores and cause breakouts. Stay away from products that contain heavy-duty ingredients like petrolatum and silicones, which lock in moisturize, but can also seal in dead skin cells and bacteria. Try Philosophy Take a Deep Breath Oil-free Energizing Oxygen Gel Cream Moisturizer available on Amazon.
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6. Add Retinol or a Retinoid to your skincare lineup.
You have heard retinol and prescription-strength retinoids talked about for their anti-aging benefits. Because these products stimulate skin-cell turnover for healthier skin, they also help fight blackheads. Start by using a gentle product every other night, it will take up to 3 months to see noticeable results. We like Avéve Retrinal Plus Cream available on Amazon.
7. Use a blackhead removal mask.
Schedule spa time twice a week at home to use a blackhead removal mask. Look for a mask that is Kaolin-based, which works to draw out the pore blockage that causes blackheads. Try Bliss Multi-‘Face’-Eted All-in-On Anti-Aging Clay Mask available at ULTA ($50).
8. Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.
Everyone’s skin is different and what might work for your friend could wreak havoc on your face. Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist – they are experts who can evaluate your skin and prescribe the best course of action. A consultation costs money, but could end up saving you in the end. Just think about how much cash you have thrown down on skincare products that don’t work!
9. Don’t touch your skin.
Your hands come into contact with bacteria every time you use your cell phone, type on a computer, turn a doorknob, etc. Touching your face transfers bacteria to your skin, which can trigger breakouts, especially if you are prone to acne.
Having clear and healthy skin will not happen over night. But by using the right products and sticking to a solid routine, the results will come and you’ll be happy in the skin you’re in once and for all.