Blackheads. They are certainly not uncommon, and they are definitely unpleasant, but why are they so tricky to get rid of? Read on to find out more about what causes blackheads – and some ways to help to get rid of them.
How are blackheads formed?
A blackhead forms when a clog develops in one of the tiny hair follicles or pores in your skin. These pores produce natural oils, which is all good until one of them becomes blocked. This means the skin can’t shed dead cells and oils as it needs to, forming a wax plug. On contact with air, this plug turns black, which then becomes what we all know as blackheads.
One popular misconception is that blackheads are formed as a result of dirty skin; this is not the case and anyone suffering from blackheads should be discouraged from scrubbing their skin to get rid of them, as this sadly will not produce positive results.
It is thought that some people are more susceptible to blackheads than others, although it is a topic that divides skincare and beauty experts. It is possible that producing excess oil makes the problem worse, as may a bad diet. But there is one thing that everyone seems to be agreed upon – they can be tricky to get rid of.
Anyone who has suffered from blackheads knows that there are a lot of different methods for getting rid of them, from changing your diet, using different cleansers or blackhead removal pastes, through to good old-fashioned squeezing.
Firstly, it’s important to say that squeezing is not a good option and will only damage your skin and won’t solve the problem. Instead, use products specially designed to deal with spots and blackheads – there are plenty available. You could try one of the following:
– Use a cleanser containing salicylic acid. This ingredient really helps to dissolve the blockage that causes your blackheads and is widely available in a range of products.
– Retinoids are another ingredient that can be used to clear pores and is also available in some over-the-counter products.
– Strips are a popular option and are simply ‘stuck’ on the problem area, such as across the nose, and left for a while before being peeled away, (hopefully) taking the offending blackheads with them.
– Blackhead masks and removal pastes – these removal pastes are applied to the skin and then bind themselves to the clogged pores. When the mask or paste is removed from the skin, the blackhead is gently lifted away from the skin at the same time, leaving skin looking clearer.
Clearly, there are a lot of options to consider if you want some help removing your blackheads. Perhaps the best advice is to try out a few products and find out what works the best for you. All skin types are different of course, so what works for some may not work for others, but it is reassuring to know that there is such a good range available to you to try out.