Blackheads can cause a lot of stress and irritation, they aren’t the prettiest sight and they can lower your confidence levels if left untreated.
This article will teach you how to deal with your blackheads properly so you can have beautiful clear skin.
How to open pores to remove blackheads
Can you open your pores?
The act of “opening pores” is not actually possible.
You can’t actually open your pores but you can still unclog them. To help you unclog your pores you will need to steam your face.
The steam will help soften the skin and loosen the sebum or anything else stuck in the pores.
You will have to do this often because unclogging and extracting them is a temporary solution.
How to remove sebum from your pores?
You need to make sure you have a clean face before you decide to clean out your pores.
The process you need to follow is this:
- Use a cleanser that won’t strip your face of its natural sebum (skin oil), the cleanser also needs to clear your skin of any dirt and impurities from the outside world. You can use a low lathering, cream-based face cleanser like this one.
- You need to work the face wash on your face in circular motions. Massage the cleanser onto your face for 60 seconds
- Wash your face with warm water, do not use hot water under any circumstances. Hot water can be damaging to your skin.
- Pat your face dry and move on to the next step of steaming your face.
- To stem your face you’ll need to hold your head over a bowl of water. If you want to really get the benefit of the steam you can lay a towel over your head to create a dome. This dome makes sure that the steam does not escape. Adding tea tree oil to your steam will help boost the steaming benefits. You can also use a facial steamer, this is a well-loved facial steamer
- After you’ve used the steam to loosen up the sebum in your pores you can use a clay or a charcoal mask. Both of these masks will absorb the impurities in your pores. You can also use any of the blackhead extracting tools on the market to get the blackheads out (more on these later)
Steaming will allow the sebum in the pores to become loose and unclog.
This will also allow the next product you apply to be able to do its job effectively and actually penetrate the skin.
Other ways to get rid of and avoid blackheads:
Exfoliation: The exfoliation will not only remove the dead skin cells off of your skin but it will also help you unclog blackheads.
This is not a quick fix solution but over time you’ll see results.
You should use a chemical exfoliation, this is a favourite chemical exfoliator
Salicylic acid: This is used in a number of acne medications as it helps minimise the number of breakouts you get on your skin.
It does this by breaking up the sebum on your skin so your pores won’t unclog up.
Retinol: This is one of my favourite methods. Retinol can help you deal with blackheads by promoting cell turnover.
When the skin goes through a faster rate of cell turnover it forces the dead cells that have the potential of causing clogged pores to be sloughed off. This is a favourite retinol cream.
Lemon juice: This is a DIY option that will help you deal with blackheads by unclogging your pores. The lemon will open the pores and remove the sebum in your pores.
Can you squeeze blackheads out?
You can squeeze your blackheads but if you do this incorrectly you’ll have to deal with some bad consequences:
You can wind up doing more damage to your skin in the long run if you decide to squeeze the blackheads. The actual blackhead is a clogged pore that can contain bacteria beneath the skin.
When the blackhead stays intact and is not squeezed the bacteria is contained.
If you decide to squeeze the blackhead you puncture the walls around the blackhead and bacteria.
When you force the bacteria out you cause it to spread deeper into your skin.
This can result in more blemishes that are larger than before.
It can also cause inflammation and bleeding on the skin. When you squeeze and puncture the skin the body tries to close the opening up by sending white blood cells to the site of the opening creating a scab.
The scar doesn’t only take the size of the blackhead, chances are you punctured the skin around it and the whole area will scab up.
Is removing blackheads good for your skin?
Not if you decide to squeeze them yourself and you don’t know what you’re doing.
Blackhead extraction should be performed by a professional to avoid you damaging your skin.
The professionals will know how to safely remove the blackhead without causing infections, damage or scars.
If you can’t go to a professional you need to be very careful when trying to get the blackhead out.
You need to start off on clean skin and make sure your tools are clean as well.
What happens if you don’t remove blackheads?
If you don’t remove your blackheads you can end up developing something much worse: inflammatory acne.
Blackheads occur when sebum and dead skin cells collect in your pore and cause the pore to get clogged up.
If you don’t get rid of the blackhead, acne-causing bacteria can enter that blocked pore causing a pimple.
Pimples can be painful and they can leave a mark on your skin if you pop them
What is a blackhead removal tool?
There are two types of blackhead extraction tools. The manual ones and the electric suction tools. They are meant to do the same job but they differ in their extraction methods
The manual option is usually a stainless steel tool that can help push the contents of the blackhead out. It uses either a flat, angled, small or eye loops to remove the contents of the blackhead.
To use you’d loop the loop around the blackhead and add pressure allowing the contents of the blackhead to come out.
This is a good blackhead extraction tool
The electric blackhead too uses suction to remove the blackheads. This is a less common approach, this machine works like a vacuum. The device uses different sized suction heads to vacuum the contents of your pores. This method can be more dangerous because it can cause brushing to the area you suctioned. This is a good blackhead removal vacuum
Another way you can remove your blackheads is by using pore strips. These are common and you can even make your own pore strips at home.
The premise is that after you’ve steamed your face and the pores are more open you apply the pores strips onto the blackhead, the contents of the blackhead will stick to the strip.
You then wait for it to dry and then rip it off. As you remove the strip the contents of the pore come out with it.
These can be dangerous because they may take some of your skin off as you use them.
What is the best blackhead remover tool?
The best blackhead remover tool is the manual Bestope Blackhead Removal Kit.
It’s a well-loved product and for good reason. It’s an affordable easy to use multifunctional blackhead clearing set.
The set is all stainless steel so it can be used on all skin types and won’t cause irritation or sensitivity.
There are 5 tools in the set and the quality is good enough to be used in a dermatologist office.
The tools are easy to hold and manoeuvre because of the easy to handle grip.
Are blackheads normal?
Yes, blackheads are normal. They affect about 50 million people in the US alone.
They develop when the skin becomes clogged with sebum and dead skin cells.
This can happen to anyone, especially if you don’t exfoliate on a regular basis.
They are actually a type of mild acne (acne is the condition were your pore gets clogged and that clog shows up as pimples, pustules, papules, cysts, whiteheads or blackheads).
They don’t have anything to do with how clean your skin is, only that there are dead skin cells and sebum trapped in your pore and this can happen to anyone.
Why do noses get blackheads?
The “blackheads’ that you get on your nose aren’t actually blackheads, what you see on your nose are actually pore/sebaceous filaments.
If you try to extract the sebaceous filament and a tan/creamy substance comes out then you know it’s not a blackhead, they just look like blackheads.
These sebaceous filaments are what help get the sebum out to moisturise and lubricate your skin.
If these filaments become full of fats and oils they may look dark on the surface like a blackheads do.
They should actually be left alone to do their job, if they aren’t left alone your skin can become dry and lack electricity.
What do dermatologists use for blackheads?
Dermatologists use various sized blackhead extractors to remove your blackheads, the same types you can get online.
They have the advantage of being professionally trained to remove blackheads without damaging the skin or at least causing the least amount of damage to the skin.
To perform an extraction they start by assessing the face to have a look at what’s going on with your skin, this helps them figure out how best to treat your skin. They then clean and exfoliate the skin.
A steaming session will follow then they will extract using their sanitised extractor tools.
The benefit of having an extraction done by a dermatologists is that they have the skill to extract, they apply pressuring gently with controlled force and in doing so don’t damage the skin.
How often should I extract blackheads?
If you decide to extract your blackheads yourself then you should extract you blackheads once a month.
This number can vary if you have an oily skin type and you develop blackheads more often.
If this is the case then you can extract them twice a month.
Is it okay to remove blackheads with tweezers?
If you’re using a blackhead extracting tweezer you still need to be quite careful.
Using these blackhead tweeters are a more precise way to get the blackhead out than using your fingers but they can also do some damage on your skin.
As you use the tweezer pincers on your blackhead the contents may come out quickly and easily but you can just as easily apply too much pressure and damage your skin.
You can also end up picking and pinching to a point where you break your skin and this can lead to a scar.
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