Blackheads – their name is just as unpleasant as how unpleasant they look. Blackheads, can appear overnight but once they appear, seem to never want to leave. Although they are not painful, they are a clear sign that the pores of the skin are in desperate need of some tender loving care. Left untreated, blackheads can spread quickly. They can be found most commonly on the nose, around the nose, and on the chin.
Where Do Blackheads Come From?
A blackhead, also known as an open comedo in medical terms, is described as a “non-inflamed” acne mark that is dark brown to black in color at the surface of the pore. Though commonly thought to be dirt that can be washed away, which it can’t be, it is actually a combination of sebum (excess oil), acne-causing bacteria, and dead skin cells (cellular buildup) that oxidize (become dark in color) when it comes in contact with oxygen (the air). Blackheads are described as the first stage of acne formation and if left untreated, cannot only spread, but also form into pimples, also known as papules or pustules.
Ways to Minimize and Treat Blackheads
1. Cleanse your skin twice daily, morning and night, with a gentle cleanser. Doing so will remove oil buildup, residue, and acne-causing bacteria that would generally cause acne if left unwashed. Recommendation: SESHA Gentle Cleansing Gel
2. Exfoliate your skin at least 3 times a week to remove dead skin cells (cellular buildup) that would normally be a contributor to the clogging of the pores. Removing dead skin cells allows pores to be removed of dead skin, oil, and acne-causing bacteria. Once the skin is gently exfoliated, new and rejuvenated skin can surface, minimizing blackheads, oily skin, and the formation of acne. Recommendation: iS Clinical Exfoliating Enzyme Treatment
3. Try a topical treatment, either salicylic acid cream or a benzoyl peroxide gel will fight blackheads from the root of the pores. Apply the topical treatment after cleansing and moisturizing your skin. Recommendation: SESHA Acne Control BP Lotion
4. Moisturize after cleansing – always! It’s vital to do this. Use an oil-free moisturizer and your skin will not be more greasy, become more oily, clog your pores, or cause you more acne. If you don’t moisturize, you will actually break out more and be more oily because your skin pulls more oil to the surface of your skin, trying to balance out the pH levels in your skin, thus clogging your pores with oil and acne-causing bacteria. Recommendation: iS Clinical Moisturizing Complex
Remember! Over-washing your face will not remove blackheads more quickly. If anything, it will cause your skin more irritation and breakouts. Do not ever wash your face more than 3 times daily, though twice daily is recommended, or you will be stripping your skin of needed oils that benefit your skin.
It’s also important to eat a healthy, nutritious diet filled with lots of fruit and vegetables, drink plenty of water to remove toxins from your system, and exercise! Sweating out toxins by working out opens your pores, allowing the buildup in your pores to be released.
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