Natural Remedy for Removing Blackheads
When the sebaceous glands produce excess amounts of sebum oil, blackheads -- and acne in general -- can result. Blackheads occur when the pores become clogged but do not seal over and become inflamed, like they do when you have pimples. Tea tree oil is a natural remedy that can help treat mild outbreaks of blackheads. Always check with your doctor before using alternative remedies.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, from the Melaleuca Alternifolia tree in Australia, has a component called terpinen-4-ol. The compound harbors antimicrobial properties that can kill bacteria and remove dirt and oils from the pores and surface of the skin, according to MayoClinic.com. It is often heavily diluted with inactive ingredients and comes in 5 to 10 percent strength gels for skin care. Pure tea tree oil is available, but its use is recommended only for certain skin conditions, such as fungal nail infections.
In a study cited by the University of Maryland, tea tree oil was tested against benzoyl peroxide, a commercial acne treatment, to rate its effectiveness. A total of 119 acne sufferers were divided into two groups -- one used tea tree oil and the other used benzoyl peroxide. The tea tree oil users reported improvements in their acne equal to that of the benzoyl peroxide users, but with fewer side effects. Benzoyl peroxide can cause irritation and dryness.
Tea tree oil can be used in conjunction with manual removal of blackheads. Steam your face to open the pores and use a loop-ended blackhead-removal tool, which can be found in drugstores, to clear each pore. Do this by placing the loop over the clogged pore and pressing down; the oily mix will be squeezed out, according to ''Readers Digest: 1001 Home Remedies." Afterward, cleanse the skin using tea tree gel.
The effectiveness of tea tree oil has not been widely studied and more research is needed. Consult your doctor before self-treating with tea tree oil, or any other natural remedies. Tea tree oil should not be taken orally as it has serious adverse side effects, with the most extreme case being inducing a coma, reports MayoClinic.com.
The natural health website GrannyMed suggests aloe vera or lemon juice and rose water as other natural remedies for acne. Aloe vera's medical properties lay largely in the thick gel within its leaves. This can be massaged into the skin daily and works as a natural antibiotic, killing bacteria and cleansing the pores. Lemon juice and rose water both have antibacterial effects, and rose water is also a skin toner, which can help counterbalance the harsh acidity of the lemon.
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