Hi everyone! In the last installment of Ask the Aesthetician, we discussed where to get started with with natural skin care. This week I want to talk BLACKHEADS! Yuck, right?! Well, I am highly blackhead prone and I have learned some very valuable tools along my own personal skin care journey to keep these pesky blemishes at bay.
What is a Blackhead?
Very simply, blackheads are dirt and sebum that get trapped in your pores. Blackheads don’t just plague oily skin types. They can happen to just about anyone. Sometimes the blackhead is large and very easily extracted. Other times, like with my skin, blackheads are tiny but there are many and extracting only results in pain and damage to the skin.
Blackheads usually happen when we touch are skin throughout the day. They can also occur when we are not cleansing thoroughly and consistently enough. Blackheads also pop up when dead skin sits on top of the skin and clogs the pores. Of course blackheads occur from hormonal imbalances as well. A very small percentage of blackheads occur due to using oils on the skin.
Tips on Eliminating and Avoiding Blackheads
- Wash your skin thoroughly 2x a day. As soon as you awake, wash your skin. I get lots of questions about the morning after oil cleansing. Many of you want to simply rinse of with water-DO NOT DO THIS. I love the oil cleansing method. It is excellent for purging clogged pores while being a gentle way to clean your skin. If you want to oil cleanse morning and night, that’s fine by me but if you are only oil cleansing at night, make sure to cleanse your skin in the morning with a good cleanser. Oil sets on the face while we sleep. It attract dirt to the skin and if the face is not cleansed when we wake up, our pores will absorb the dirt. I am currently using THIS cleanser and also THIS one.
- Change your pillow cases at least every other night.
- Exfoliate regularly. Scrubs are fabulous for ridding the skin of blackheads. Using an exfoliator consistently, will go a long way to rid your skin of blackheads. I have been using Juice Beauty’s Apple Peel Full Strength. I absolutely love it. I use it almost every night and have found that my blackheads have diminished greatly.
- Tie your hair back while sleeping. Sleeping on your hair while you sleep can cause clogging.
- Be aware of your hands while you sleep. Just recently I had a patch of blackheads on my jaw just on one side. I finally realized that I was sleeping with my hand on my jaw-GROSS!! Once I started correcting this, my skin starting getting better with increased exfoliation and better morning cleansing.
- Keep your hands off your face throughout the day and wash your hands often.
- Don’t forget DIY pore strips. They work really well for some and not so well for others but it’s a cheap and easy DIY and worth a try!
- Clay Masks are super helpful. Clay pulls from the skin. Check out more about clay masks HERE.
A word of advice for facial lovers…
Often when you get a facial, your aesthetician will extract your blackheads. I remember clutching the sides of the facial chair in pain while some overly aggressive facialist went to town on my sad skin! I would come out of a facial looking awful-red, blotchy and swollen.
Now days I know better. Squeezing blackheads that don’t come out easily can be so detrimental to your skin. I’m talking busted capillaries and scarring can happen! My advice is to gently squeeze your blackhead-if it doesn’t pop right out, move on to plan B (the above 1-8). You don’t want to force that puppy out at the sacrifice of your skin! Exfoliation and thorough cleansing will work when you commit to it.
I hope these tips will help with clearing your blackheads! Be sure to leave your questions for the next post in this series below!