Where do we start with the dreaded blackheads? While the appearance of blackheads is usually subtle, it’s never pleasant to see a scattering of them across your nose. Plus, it seems that every time you try to squeeze a blackhead away, there are dozens more to remove.
As satisfying as it may be to pop blackheads, it isn’t an effective way to keep them at bay in the long run. As most of us know, blackheads always seem to find a way to rear their ugly heads (quite literally.)
To bid goodbye to blackheads for good, check out some of these tried and tested methods.
Use a Salicylic Scrub
If you have a mild case of blackheads, salicylic acid is your go-to ingredient. Formulas that feature salicylic acid help reduce excess oil, exfoliating the cells from the surface of the skin.
As a trending skincare ingredient, salicylic acid features in many types of products. But for the best chances of waving goodbye to your blackheads, look for a gentle salicylic scrub. A salicylic scrub provides double the exfoliation powers utilizing physical exfoliation from the scrub and chemical exfoliation from the salicylic. Working as a team, these two methods of exfoliation keeps the pores clear and black-head free. Yay!
While it’s tempting to scrub away at your skin every day, daily use of a salicylic scrub isn’t good for your skin. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to scrub your skin once a week. For oily or combination skin, three times per week works. On the days you don’t use a scrub, opt for a mild cleanser containing salicylic acid. We recommend the Bioelements Spotless Cleanser for this. The face wash is designed for acne-prone skin and is formulated with over-the-counter two percent salicylic acid. This helps to combat bacteria on the skin’s surface. A fragrance-free formula, the cleanser doesn’t just tackle blackheads, either. You can also expect pimples and whiteheads to reduce too.
Apply a Clay Mask
If you can’t bear to see your face covered in blackheads anymore, opt for a clay or charcoal mask. Smothering the good stuff over your face once a week can be beneficial in combatting blackheads and blemishes.
If you dream of a clear complexion, clay masks are super useful for this, drawing impurities out from the skin and reducing oil production. Before applying a clay or charcoal mask, be sure to exfoliate your skin. With the fresh removal of dead skin cells, the mask will penetrate the skin well.
Reach for Retinoid Cream
If you have stubborn blackheads, it’s worth reaching for retinoid cream. Retinoids can help clear blackheads and clogged pores by reducing the stickiness of the cells that block pores. It also fast-tracks the rate at which the skin turns over and regenerates.
With the right percentage and regimen, retinoids can completely transform your complexion, and that includes helping keep pesky blackheads away.
If you have sensitive skin, you can purchase an over-the-counter retinoid cream. For more persistent cases, prescription retinoids may be required. Speak to your dermatologist about your blackhead issues for their advice.
Opt for Oral Acne Medication
No luck with salicylic acid? Retinoids not cutting it? When all else fails, your dermatologist may decide to prescribe an oral acne medication to clear your blackheads and other pimples.
If topical solutions aren’t making much difference, medications like birth control pills and spironolactone reduce oil production and treat blackheads.
These options combat blackheads and prevent new ones from cropping up in the future. But be aware that these medicines are strong and reserved for people with more severe acne or blackhead issues.
Don't Forget to Moisturize
As always, moisturizing is a critical step in any skincare regime for clear and healthy skin. That’s even if you have oily skin and acne.
Many methods of reducing blackheads and acne are drying and strip oils from the skin. So, it’s essential to maintain the right balance in the skin. To successfully use products like salicylic oil and retinoids, keep using a moisturizer in the morning and evening.
If you find a retinoid cream too drying, try popping it over moisturizer, or even layers of moisturizer. Always opt for non-comedogenic moisturizers, which are specifically designed not to clog up your pores. Another fantastic product from the Bioelements line is their Absolute Moisture Cream. The lightweight solution is ideal for combination skin to balance and smooth it.
Another wise idea is to investigate booking an expert extraction facial. During this treatment, an aesthetician will steam your skin, which loosens all the previously hard oils sitting in your pores. Then, your aesthetician will use a blackhead extractor tool to squeeze all the gunk from your blackheads. Alternatively, they may physically push them out.
While it may sound tempting to try a ‘professional’ blackhead extraction yourself, leave it to the experts. It’s easy to push the inflammation deeper when attempting to squeeze your blackheads. This can lead to spots and scarring, which may well be why blackheads seem impossible to get rid of in the first place.
Want more skincare advice? Here’s five ways to banish acne scars.