Need to get rid of blackheads? Try these blackhead remedies and tips for removing those unsightly blemishes. Also learn about blackhead prevention and causes.

Blackheads or open comedo is a type of acne. Comedo is a word used to describe an oil duct that is clogged with oil and dead skin cells. When the comedo is opened and exposed on the surface of the skin, it appears as a tiny black spot. That spot is a blackhead and it is black in color because of its exposure to oxygen.

A whitehead is used to describe a closed comedo in which it appears as a white spot covered with the skin.

The possible causes of blackheads are over-production of oil or sebum and dead skin cells which plug the hair follicles. Because the sebum cannot move out to the surface of the skin due to the plugging, it combines with the dead cells to form a soft plug and will bulge. Once the soft plug breaks open from the skin, oxidation will cause it to become black.

Popping Blackheads

It is very common to see almost everyone squeezing blackheads using their fingers. If it isn't done properly, it can cause infection, inflammation and scarring.

If you insist on popping blackheads, put a warm wash cloth on it or use facial steam before doing it. It helps soften the comedones and it becomes easier to remove them. But you must ensure that your fingers are clean and then apply an antiseptic lotion afterwards. This is because after you've opened the pores, bacteria can infect them and cause inflammations. Take zinc supplement to heal the open pores and prevent scarring.

Blackhead Remedies Using Baking Soda

One of the simplest and most effective blackhead remedies is to use baking soda. Baking soda is a natural exfoliating agent and it helps remove dead skin cells. You can use it as a face wash or a facial scrub.

To make your own homemade facial scrub, mix an equal amount of baking soda and water. Take a clean toothbrush and scrub the mixture on your face or affected area in a circular motion and then wash it off. If you want to make a facial mask with baking soda, add 3 parts of it to 1 part of water so that it is thicker. Apply it on your face and leave it to dry before washing it off.

Blackhead Remedies Using Essential Oils

Some essential oils are helpful in eliminating blackheads. Examples are castor oil, clary sage, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, lemongrass oil and tea tree oil. When applying essential oils on your skin, make sure you mix them with a carrier oil such as almond oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil or jojoba oil to dilute it and prevent irritation.

To apply the oil, wash your face first. Then, apply the oil on your face with your clean fingers or a cotton pad and massage it lightly in circular motions. You can also mix the oil in your facial cream to loosen the clogged pores.

Natural Facial Peel

One of the benefits of using a facial peel is that it helps draw out the plug in the pores and removes dead skin cells. And salicylic gel peel is one of the most popular over the counter facial peel products. You can make your own facial peel by mixing crushed aspirin and honey. Aspirin contains salicylic acid and if you want to use the herbal alternative, use white willow bark.

You can also make a paste by mixing honey and cinnamon powder. Leave it on your face overnight and wash it off the next morning.

Blackhead Remover Tool

A popular blackhead remover is a stainless steel tool with loops at both ends. Just like using your fingers, the tool must be cleaned or sanitized before using to prevent bacterial infection. 

To use it, you can either press it gently on the spots or drag it slowly around the areas where the open comedones are especially on the sides of the nose. Once you have finished popping the blackheads, you must wash your face again using a mild cleanser or disinfectant. You can make your own homemade disinfectant by mixing apple cider vinegar, crushed aspirin and water. After washing and treating the pores, apply moisturizer.

You can also use a blackhead eraser or a blackhead eliminating daily scrub. 

Another blackhead removal product that you can try as one of your blackhead remedies is to use deep cleansing pore strips. What the cleansing pore strip does is suck out the clogged pores and gets rid of the blackheads.

Blackhead Prevention
  • Wash your face daily and exfoliate once or twice a week to remove dead cells and loosen clogged pores. 
  • Use a natural moisturizer after you have cleaned your face. 
  • Avoid touching your face with your fingers throughout the day to avoid bacterial infections. 
  • Eat a well balanced diet and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and eat foods or take dietary supplements that strengthen your body's immune system. Some examples of herbal supplements that can help prevent bacterial infections are dandelion, echinacea, goldenseal and witch hazel. Vitamins that are beneficial for skin health are vitamins A, B complex, C and E. 
  • Reduce stress by doing regular aerobic exercises and alternating it with weight training exercise. 
  • Get sufficient sleep. 
  • Apply extra virgin olive oil on your face and massage gently in circular motions before washing your face.

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