How to Prevent Blackheads
Blackheads, or open comedones, develop when the pores in the skin become clogged with dead skin cells, oil and bacteria. They may occur at any age, although more severe cases tend to develop during the teenage years. Some people are more prone to blackheads than others, possibly due to genetic predisposition or hormonal influences. Once plugged, the pores stretch and become more vulnerable to future clogging. It is considerably easier to prevent blackheads than to treat them once they develop.
Wash your face twice daily using warm water and a mild cleanser. Avoid using bar soaps or cleansers that contain fragrances or other irritants.
Exfoliate your face daily to remove excess skin cells and keep your pores unclogged. Use only exfoliating products with small grains, as rougher scrubs may irritate your skin or cause it to tear. If you experience redness or irritation, reduce the frequency of exfoliation.
Avoid using oil-based cosmetics on your face and neck. The New Zealand Dermatological Society states that oil-based makeup can contribute to blackheads.
Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, especially those that contain beta-carotene. This vitamin, which is abundant in carrots and other yellow-orange vegetables and fruits, helps prevent blackhead formation, according to Quickcare.
Keep your hands off your face and resist the urge to squeeze blackheads or pick at your skin. Squeezing and picking will increase inflammation and make your skin more prone to additional blackheads.
Try home remedies to prevent blackheads and reduce oil production. Clay masks are beneficial at drying up excess oil. You can also make a paste for your skin by mixing 1 tsp. of fresh lime juice with 1 tsp. of groundnut oil and leaving it on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes before washing.
Continue using any comedolytic medications on your skin even after your existing blackheads are gone. Discontinuing use may result in a return of blackheads. You may need to use a topical medication, such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or azelaic acid, for many years to prevent a return of your blackheads, according to the New Zealand Dermatological Society.
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