How to Get Rid of Acne Pimples & Blackheads
A pimple begins as an open comedone, also known as a blackhead. Blackheads are the result of the skin's natural oil, called sebum, combining with dirt and dead skin cells to clog hair follicles. When the oil plug is exposed to air, it oxidizes, giving the blackhead its characteristic dark color. According to MayoClinic.com, closed comedones, or whiteheads, occur when the oil plug becomes infected by bacteria and causes the follicle wall to bulge. Fortunately, there are a plethora of acne treatments available.
Wash your face at least twice a day with warm water and an acne cleanser containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. If you prefer to use a natural, non-medicated product, look for one containing tea tree oil or green tea extract. Massage the cleanser into your skin with your fingertips, rinse your face well with cool water and pat it dry with a clean, soft towel. Scrubbing can further inflame your skin.
Dry up excess oil with astringent. Salicylic acid, a common ingredient in acne-fighting toners, also works as a mild exfoliant. It helps to remove dead skin cells that can clog your pores. An inexpensive, natural astringent that may be gentler to your skin is witch hazel.
Steam your face regularly to help soften blackheads and bring them to the surface. Boil a pot of water, turn off the heat and set the pot on a hot pad on the counter. Drape a towel over the back of your head to form a tent, lean over the pot with your face at least 12 inches above it, and steam for 10 to 15 minutes. According to Grannymed.com, an alternative is to scoop out the pulp from a fresh tomato and spread it over your face like a mask. The citric acid in the tomato helps loosen blackheads.
Press softened blackheads from your pores by wrapping your fingertips in tissue and gently squeezing. You can also use a blackhead removal tool, available in pharmacies. Some tools have open metal cones on the end to press blackheads out, while others work using suction. Read the package instructions carefully and use blackhead removal tools as directed to keep from damaging your skin.
Apply a spot treatment to new pimples to help dry them up. Spot treatment medications are available in pharmacies, or you can use a dab of tea tree oil. An inexpensive home remedy is to crush regular uncoated aspirin and add a few drops of water to make a paste. Dot the paste on your pimples and rinse it off when it dries.
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