How to Remove Blackheads & Clean Pores
Blackheads occur when the pores on your skin become blocked by bacteria, sebum and dead skin cells. As this clog forms and the outer skin fails to cover it, oxygen turns the clogged tip to a brown or black color. This is where the term blackhead comes from, although the scientific name for blackheads is open comedone. Eliminating blackheads is important to basic skincare, as is keeping your face clear and your pores free of debris and infection-causing bacteria.
Wash your face twice daily to eliminate bacteria, sebum and dead skin cells. Gentle cleansing with a mild soap is preferred to strong astringents and harsh cleansers, according to MayoClinic.com. Do not cleanse your skin more than twice daily, since excess washing can irritate the skin and worsen blackheads.
Apply an over-the-counter acne lotion containing benzoyl peroxide. This lotion will slough off dead skin cells and reach down into clogged pores to kill active bacteria. According to "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies," benzoyl peroxide also kills fatty acid cells that further irritate delicate pores.
Wash your hair regularly to avoid tranferring oils and dirt from your hair to your face. According to MayoClinic.com, oily hair can cause pores to clog and blackheads to form. Washing your hair and ensuring that it is pulled back from your face allows blackhead and pore treatments to become more effective.
Apply oil-free cosmetics when makeup use is desired. Although "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies" advises going makeup free as much as possible, it is also recommended that you use oil-free makeup labeled noncomedogenic when makeup is desired. Noncomedogenic cosmetics do not clog pores or promote blackheads.
Push blackheads out using a comedone extractor. The clog contained within a blackhead is solid and is less likely to cause pimples, according to "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies."
Place the loop of the extractor against the blackhead with the blemish showing in the middle of the loop. Gently apply pressure until the contents are extracted from the blackhead. Cleanse the area carefully afterward to avoid infection.
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