Are you struggling with unsightly clogged pores on your skin? Do you grimace at the dark, gaping pores that reflect back at you when you gaze into the mirror? If you’re struggling with blackheads, then you certainly know the struggle of trying to remove them without damaging the delicate skin around the pore. Blackheads are persistent and typically require a combination of manual and chemical exfoliation to remove, making their presence all the more unwelcome. Unlike other types of acne that run their course, blackheads will stick around until you forcibly evict them. If you have blackheads and want to learn effective ways to eradicate them with finality in the comfort of your own home, then please keep reading.
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Home Remedies for Removing Blackheads
Unlike inflammatory acne, blackheads simply do not go away on their own. Over time, they’ll continue to grow, damaging and stretching out their host pore. Quick and thorough removal is absolutely essential to salvage the affected pore without lasting damage.
Many people are uncertain what causes blackheads, causing an endless and vicious cycle of proliferation. Knowing what’s triggering your flare-ups can help prevent future breakouts, but fortunately, there are several proven treatments you can apply to remove existing blackhead spots.
Blackheads are typically caused by:
- Hormonal imbalances: Fluctuations in hormones can cause blackheads. The onset of blackheads typically occurs during puberty, but oral birth control pills, premenstrual syndrome, and androgens (male hormones like testosterone) can also cause them.
- Medications: Certain medications for mood disorders (including lithium) and systemic inflammation (like prednisone) can cause blackheads to develop.
- Excessive sebum production: Following a cleansing routine can help remove sebum and skin buildup, but harsh cleansers can strip the skin, resulting in worse breakouts.
- Topical irritation: Blackheads can form at the site of pressure against your skin, such as where your glasses rest on your face. Other irritants can include headbands (used for sports or fashion) and clothes pressing against your skin.
- Bacterial overgrowth: Many people are surprised to discover that acne isn’t some idiopathic disease that springs up without origin. It’s caused by a specific bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes, which results in ugly blemishes.
Regardless of the cause of your blackheads, you can completely remove any trace of these unsightly dark spots on your face using tried-and-true home remedies.
It’s important to remember that blackheads do not get their color from dirt: it’s actually a combination of sebum and skin cells that have become darkened through oxidization. When exposed to oxygen, the melanin in the pore darkens, giving it the telltale color from where the name “blackhead” is derived.
Depending upon the location and type of blackhead lesion, you can count on success using these methods.
Always patch test any ingredients before applying them to your face. Even if you have no known existing allergy to any food or active ingredient, sensitivities can flare up at any time. If you experience itching, burning, stinging, or pain during an acne treatment, rinse the treatment off immediately. If symptoms persist, please consult your physician.
For Open Pores:
- Invest in a comedone extractor. A comedone extractor will only set you back a couple dollars and is a worthy investment in your face. For larger pores that are ready to be removed, an extractor will quickly make a blackhead a thing of the past. Press firmly but gently against the blackhead (“open comedone”), then pluck the protruding clog out with a pair of tweezers.
- Trust in the power of steam. You can extract the blackhead from your face using nothing more than hot water! Carefully pour boiling water into a sturdy dish, then rest your freshly cleaned face 4-6 inches over the steam, taking extreme caution to not burn yourself. Remember, steam is hotter than hot water and can be very dangerous. Let your face rest over the hot bowl for several minutes. Finish with a microfiber towel, pressing lightly and massaging in small circles to remove the softened debris. Finish with cold water to close the pores again.
- Use an egg white mask. Eggs contain an enzyme called “lysozyme” that minimizes the appearance of pores while toning the skin. To fully reap the benefits of the egg whites, crack an egg into a bowl and dispose of the yolk. Beat the egg white until foamy, then smooth it onto your face. Apply a layer of facial tissue over the layer of egg whites. Let it dry, then peel the sticky mask off. The mask will pry the clog out of your pore, and the properties in the egg whites will give you smooth, glowing skin!
- Scrub away the gunk with honey and cinnamon. Honey is both anti-microbial and moisturizing, and cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Together, they make a powerful anti-blackhead fighting team. Combine ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon with 2 teaspoons of honey. Massage it into your skin. The gritty texture of the cinnamon will help exfoliate your skin. Rinse off. You’ll immediately notice that the appearance of your pores is smaller and your blackheads are reduced. Repeat this treatment weekly for younger, healthier skin.
For Clogged Pores: Clogged pores are especially tricky to clear out. Because they aren’t gaping like blackheads, it can be harder to express the sebum out of them.
The secret to thoroughly removing clogged pores is simple and can be summed up on just one word: exfoliation.
You can remove all of your clogged pores at home using both manual and chemical exfoliation. Chemical exfoliation utilizes active ingredients to unclog the pore while manual exfoliation employs the aid of tools to clear it.
With that in mind, you can unclog all of your pores by employing these proven suggestions:
- Baking soda and lemon juice: Create a paste of 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water. Massage it into your skin using light pressure. Rinse off, then follow with ¼ teaspoon of lemon juice (to neutralize the baking soda) on a cotton ball.
- Electronic cleansing brush: There are several brands of electronic facial cleansing brushes. Typically, the brand doesn’t matter but be careful to check the reviews before making your purchase. These are extremely effective at improving your skin tone and unclogging pores.
- Oatmeal and yogurt: Oatmeal isn’t just a fantastic exfoliant; it’s also naturally anti-inflammatory, reducing redness on flushed skin. The naturally occurring saponins in it smooth and cleanse skin. The probiotics and lactic acid in yogurt will help dissolve any remaining clogs. Make a paste of ¼ cup of oats with ½ cup of plain yogurt and rub onto face. Let sit for fifteen minutes, then rinse off.
- Retinoids: Until recently, powerful retinoids were limited by being prescription only. Now you can purchase adapalene over the counter. There is almost nothing stronger that you can use to unclog pores. Start with a freshly washed and moisturized face, then apply a thin layer of adapalene to your face. Start by using twice a week and gradually increase to daily use.
In the Ear
Blackheads in the ear are exceedingly frustrating. On one hand, blackheads in the ear aren’t as conspicuous as those that manifest on your face. However, they’re especially irksome due to their relatively inaccessible position.
While it’s relatively easy to isolate a blackhead on your chin, nose, or cheek, a blackhead in the ear is trickier to extract. Short of turning into a contortionist with a mirror to get a good look at the bothersome blackhead, you may have to enlist the help from a family member or a friend to remove it.
Regardless, you can have confidence that you’ll be able to remove the blackhead completely if you follow this solid advice:
- Use a hot compress. Soften the sebum in your ear by heating a damp washcloth in the microwave for fifteen seconds. Press to your ear for up to a minute, until the cloth is cool to the touch. Follow up with a comedone extractor to remove the clog.
- Apply tea tree oil. If you lack a buddy who can help unclog your blackheads, you can apply a dilute tincture of tea tree oil (TTO) mixed in a 1:4 ratio with an inert carrier oil (like mineral oil) directly onto the blackhead. Over time, the antibiotic properties of the TTO will dissolve the sebum and skin.
- Dab on rubbing alcohol. You can use rubbing alcohol applied via cotton pad directly to your ear to release the clogged debris. Be careful to not let any trickle into your inner ear canal. You do not need to rinse.
From Your Face
Blackheads on the face are some of the most insidious variety you can encounter. Unlike the ones that hide on your scalp or back, where you can simply throw a tee shirt over the lesions, blackheads on your face attract the critical gaze of anyone with whom you speak.
Even ladies who may typically apply cosmetics to conceal the appearance of acne quickly discover that blackheads aren’t as easily covered by a thick layer of foundation. Even worse, any attempts to hide them with makeup may actually worsen the problem.
Don’t fret! You can quickly and effectively remove all blackheads from your face if you carefully follow this step by step protocol:
- Wash your face using a foaming cleanser. Be cautious to not use overly stripping cleansers. Avoid any cleansers that contain ground up walnut shells, as they can abrade the skin, making it worse.
- Massage your skin with a non-comedogenic oil. Sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil are all excellent oils to use for oil massage. Oil dissolves oil, so therefore you’ll be able to release the trapped debris from your pores as you massage; if you experience “grits” on your fingertips, then you’ll know it’s working!
- Remove the remaining oil with micellar water. Micellar water will swab up the remaining oil, dirt, and sebum without stripping your skin.
- Moisturize your face with a lotion without pore-clogging ingredients. Avoid excessively heavy emollients and occlusives, as they can tend to be comedogenic. Ingredients to watch out for are lanolin, lauric acid, and carrageenan.
- Apply a thin layer of salicylic acid to your face. Salicylic acid is a type of BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that dissolves pore-clogging sebum and skin cells. Choose a lower concentration (0.5%) and build up to avoid chemical burns on your face.
- Spot treat with benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide increases cell turnover, speeding up healing time and preventing future breakouts. It also has antibiotic properties. Dab it onto active breakouts with a clean cotton swab.
Following this regimen will give you baby-smooth skin in as soon as a week! Maintain this routine indefinitely for optimal results and to prevent relapse of clogged pores on your face.
Advice for Oily Skin
Oily skin is a catalyst for blackheads: the yucky stuff inside your clogged pores is actually a repugnant combination of oil (sebum) and skin cells, leading to massive breakouts.
If you can control your oily skin, you can control and reduce your blackheads.
To prevent blackheads on oily skin, therefore, you must:
- Wash your face with a non-stripping cleanser. You don’t want to overly dry your skin, lest your face suffers a “rebound” effect and compensates by overproducing more oil.
- Immediately apply moisturizer to your still-damp face. Adding moisturizer to a damp face will prevent over-drying and overproduction of excess oil.
- Exfoliate nightly. You can use a combination of manual and chemical exfoliators to achieve the desired result.
- Monitor your diet. Certain foods like sugar, dairy, caffeine, and greasy foods can cause your skin to produce more oil than usual.
Follow these steps and you’ll have smooth, shine-free skin in as soon as three days!
On Nose and Chin
If you’re suffering from blackheads on your nose and chin, you’re most likely searching for a quick and reliable method to clear them away.
Look no further than these proven methods!
- Lemon and Salt Scrub: Mix a 1:1 ratio of lemon and salt and pat onto affected areas. Let sit for a minute, then rinse.
- Honey and Brown Sugar: Brown sugar will exfoliate and honey will purify your skin. Mix in equal parts, apply, and let rest for ten minutes before rinsing.
- Rice Flour: This gentle abrasive (applied in a 4:1 ratio with water) will scrub away all the residue from your pores, leaving them healthy and clean!
- Gelatin: Combine one tablespoon of both water and gelatin and apply it to your skin. Let dry, then pull it up slowly, revealing all the trapped pore residue stuck to the gelatin.
If you’re looking for more information on getting rid of blackheads on nose, click here.
DIY Face Masks
Clearing your blackheads doesn’t have to mean an expensive trip to the dermatologist or pharmacist! A quick jaunt to the grocery store will yield the tools you need to whip up a variety of proven concoctions at home to ease your acne suffering.
Try one of these homemade face masks tonight for clear skin tomorrow. For more information about how to get rid of blackheads overnight, click here.
- Turmeric and Coconut Oil: Combine ¼ teaspoon of turmeric with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. A known anti-inflammatory, both will clear away your blemishes.
- Cucumber and Greek Yogurt: The enzymes in the Greek yogurt will unclog your pores while the cucumber will hydrate and tone. Apply the yogurt to your face, then cover your eyes with the cucumber.
- Avocado and Honey: The Vitamin C in the avocado will improve the texture and the honey will kill acne-causing bacteria. Mash ½ of a ripe avocado with 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Tomato: Puree one ripe tomato and smooth onto face. Rinse off after ten minutes.
- Green Tea and Rice Bran: Steep one tea bag in boiled water. Mix 2 tablespoons of tea with ¼ cup of rice bran. The antioxidants in the green tea will brighten your skin.
To find more face masks for acne advice, click here.
Top 16 Remedies to Clear Away the Skin
As everyone’s skin is individual and responds to treatment in its own unique way, no one treatment is the cure-all for all skin types.
Sometimes a little experimentation is in order to find the right combination of methods to cure your blackheads.
You’ll find plenty of suggestions here!
These 16 proven methods are certain to give you the relief from blackheads that you seek:
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Raw apple cider vinegar kills bacteria while balancing the pH of your skin. Dilute ¼ teaspoon in 1 tablespoon of water and apply with a cotton ball.
- Honey: Honey is a natural antibiotic. Either alone or mixed with other ingredients, it’ll clear your pores quickly.
- Oatmeal: A mild exfoliant and anti-inflammatory, mix a paste of cooked oats directly onto your face.
- Greek Yogurt: Enjoy the benefits of the probiotics and lactic acid when you use Greek yogurt on your skin.
- Green Tea: Green tea soothes angry skin and provides ample skin-clearing antioxidants.
- Papayas: The fruit of a ripe papaya contains papain, a blackhead-dissolving enzyme. Apply a puree directly to your skin for 20 minutes.
- Lemons: The powerful dose of Vitamin C will zap your blackheads away!
- Tea Tree Oil: Apply a dilute portion of TTO to your active spots to watch them shrink before your eyes.
- Banana Peels: Enjoy a delicious banana, then rest the lutein-laden peel on your face for a half hour.
- Steam: Rest your face over the hot water until the pores are soft, then extract the blackhead.
- Potatoes: Potatoes aren’t just for dinner! Apply to face and enjoy soft, smooth skin.
- Orange Peels: Your face can’t get enough Vitamin C. Puree one peel with ¼ of water and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Egg Whites: This will tone and tighten pores with the added benefit of prying up the residue from clogged pores.
- Strawberries: A natural source of salicylic acid, a puree of strawberries will give you clear skin.
- Baking Soda: This is not only an exfoliant, it’s also antibacterial. Use as a scrub or a paste.
- Cinnamon: You’re sure to reduce inflammation with this delicious spice. Mix with honey or yogurt for best results.
While not physically painful, blackheads come with a host of agony and misery for their sufferers. Oftentimes those who struggle with them are accused of being dirty, which leads to shame and embarrassment. You deserve to carry your head with pride. After using these verified modes of treatment, you’ll be confident and assured once more!
You can find further details of Acne here.