5 Ways to Battle Blackheads
1. Proper Cleansing
--- Blackheads are an accumulation of dirt, oil, and environmental pollutants that get trapped deep down in the pores. The best way to get rid of blackheads is to prevent them from forming by cleansing properly. In order to cleanse deep into the pores follow the following steps
STEP 1: Remove makeup if necessary. Use a makeup remover to remove all makeup before you cleanse. Make up remover or make up remover wipes are no substitute for proper cleansing.
STEP 2: Cleanse skin using a slightly exfoliating cleanser. These cleansers can contain ingredients such as alphahydroxy acids or physical scrubbing agents. Avoid foaming cleansers or those with rich lathers in order to prevent over drying the skin.
Amanda's Choice: Jan Marini Bioglycolic Cleanser
STEP 3: Cleanse again! Double cleansing is the best way to make sure the skin is squeaky clean. Try and focus on problem areas. This is one of the first tricks taught in skin care school. Lather, rinse, repeat!
STEP 4: Be sure to follow your cleanse with the appropriate skin care regimen. Failure to apply proper skin care can leave the skin dry and vulnerable potentially leading to more blackheads.
2. Assess External Environmental Causes
--- Our external environment can greatly effect what gets stuck in pores. Hiking or being outside around dirt can impact pore congestion. Headbands, hats, and visors can also trap dirt and sweat in the pores. Hot and humid workplace environments such as kitchens can cause an increase in oil production. Sometimes even construction work, remodeling, and moving can cause temporary congestion. If you are noticing new blackheads or are consistently having an issue in one part of the face, try thinking about what external factors may be creating this effect. Sometimes washing visors or hat bands can make all the difference, or maybe the remodeling project finishes and you no longer have the problem. Pay detailed attention to these factors.
3. Assess lifestyle habits
--- Lifestyle habits can also have an effect on the skin just as much as external factors. Things like not drinking enough water or eating an unhealthy diet can show up in the skin often in the form of pore congestion. How you care for your skin after a workout or before bed can greatly impact the health of the skin. Many times these habits become part of our daily lives, but really taking time to assess these habits may shed light as to what may be causing pore congestion.
--- Stubborn pore congestion may require a deeper treatment. Proper exfoliation and resurfacing of the skin will help loosen deeper blackheads allowing them to come out. Exfoliation methods such as scrubs, enzyme masks, or alphahydroxy acids will work best to clean deep into the pores. Exfoliation must be done consistently as part of your routine on a continuous basis as blackheads tend to be a chronic issue. It is also recommended to slightly increase exfoliation during the summer as heat tends to increase oil production leading to more pore congestion.
--- It is always important to keep the skin hydrated for general overall skin health. In the case of pore congestion, hydrating the skin allows the congestion to soften, making it easier to work those blackheads out of the pore. Hard and dry pore congestion tends to be more stubborn and harder to remove. It can be compared to pulling weeds. It is much easier to pull weeds from the root after a good rain. Hydrating the skin works the same by allowing the lesions to soften. Hydration in combination with any of the above strategies will make treatment of this issue more successful.