By Benjamin Davis
For people who don’t get facials or see a dermatologist or other skin care specialist, home remedies for blackheads can be a good option. First, let’s cover what blackheads are. Blackheads—also known as open comedones—are very small (about the size of a pinhead) dark spots on the skin generally caused by small plugs in pores.
The plugs are filled with an oily secretion known as sebum, as well as keratin and dead, sloughed-off cells. In forming a blackhead, this debris undergoes a chemical reaction, resulting in the pigment melanin being oxidized. Contrary to popular opinion, the dark color is not dirt. The oxidized melanin gives the gunk in the follicle the grey or black color—thus the term “blackhead.”
Blackheads usually form on the face, but it is not uncommon to experience them on other parts of your body. Like all acne, it is typical of adolescence, but children and adults are also affected.
Home Remedies For Blackheads | Preventative
The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is definitely true in regards to blackhead treatment. It is really the best home remedy for blackheads. Since the problem stems from clogged or plugged pores, it makes sense to make sure your pores stay clear and clean. You can accomplish this through good old-fashioned hygiene.
Washing with a gentle cleaner and facial scrub will help rid your pores of the agents that clog them—sebum and dead skin cells. If you wear makeup, make sure to use noncomedogenic makeup (it should indicate whether or not it is noncomedogenic on the label). This means the makeup is not oil-based and is designed to avoid clogging your pores.
Home Remedies For Blackheads | Other
For existing blackheads, there are two products commonly found in over-the-counter acne treatments that are useful in treating blackheads: benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide has antibacterial properties and helps to dry up oily sebum in skin cells. Salicylic acid is a good exfoliant, removing dead skin cells before they can combine with sebum to plug pores. As you can see, the products work well together to address the causes of blackheads—sebum and dead skin cells.
One commercial product that I’ve been using lately with good success is Neutrogena’s Pink Grapefruit Face Scrub. It has salicylic acid and grapefruit extract, so it is really refreshing. It does a good job of gently removing dead skin cells, oil and dirt, which helps to both prevent and get rid of blackheads and other forms of acne.
Home Remedies For Blackheads | Even More! (Well, Kind Of)
It’s not technically among the blackhead home remedies, but if you are someone who goes to a dermatologist or spa, the doctor or esthetician can perform various treatments to cleanse and treat your skin. One tool that can be used is a blackhead removal tool or comedone extractor. This is a small metal device with metal loops on either end. Some blackhead removal tools also feature a small lance on one end.
You can also find these tools in beauty shops or online stores like Amazon if you want to use them yourself in conjunction with other home remedies for blackheads on the nose or anywhere else for that matter. However, many skincare specialists advise against using these tools on your own because you can cause a scar or damage the skin in other ways if you do not use correct procedures. The same goes for picking and squeezing the blackhead.
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