Ever had those black spots over your nose that just don’t go away after a face wash? Or those little white abrasions that look like small acne?
These little annoying things are blackheads and whiteheads.
You’d be surprised to know but these are both forms of mild acne. The usual acne, which is those red-pus-filled bumps, is actually a severe form of acne. We’ll talk about it later in the article.
What causes blackheads and whiteheads?
Whiteheads and blackheads both have the same cause. They are the result of a combination of dead skin cells, bacteria, and sebum clogging a pore.
A blackhead is an open clogged pore. The pore is wider than normal. The pore is filled with follicles, oil, sebum dead skin cells, or a combination. Air can get inside the pore, which means that the air oxides with the gunk. This reaction is the reason blackheads are black.
A whitehead, on the other hand, is a closed clogged pore. They only have a small opening on the skin. Air cannot get into the pores. This means that the gunk stays stuck inside the whiteheads. A covering forms over the gunk, and that’s what you see on your face.
At first, you may feel like these clogged pores are impossible to unclog. But don’t worry, you don’t have to live with blackheads and whiteheads forever.
How to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads?
Whiteheads can be treated with a proper face-cleansing routine. Wash your face daily, maybe 2 times a day. Use a gentle exfoliator twice a month. Use mildly exfoliating toners which contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or alpha hydroxy acids. These acids help in exfoliating the face.
Blackheads can be treated in the same way. Having a face-cleansing routine helps get rid of blackheads and even prevent them. But unlike whiteheads, there’s an immediate solution to blackheads — Pore strips. Pore strips or peeling masks can help you get rid of blackheads in a matter of minutes. Blackheads are essentially gunk-filled open pores. If you use a product with any active ingredients in it, the active part will just stick to the gunk in the pore. When you pull the strip/mask out, the blackhead will be pulled out with it.
If you want to remove the blackheads and whiteheads immediately, you can use chemical exfoliants such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid), and Beta Hydroxy Acids (Salicylic Acid). They help exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells.
If you want a professional opinion, give your dermatologist a visit.
Or go to a beauty salon and get a facial, which essentially helps your face get rid of any dead cells or gunk.
“But can’t I do something to prevent blackheads and whiteheads?” Yes, you can!
How to prevent blackheads and whiteheads?
Blackheads and whiteheads are not just a form of acne, they are signs that you do not have a good face-cleansing routine. If you have a cleansing routine and still get black/whiteheads, you may just be using the wrong products. Your skin-care products must be skin-specific. It's a good idea to include a combination of skin-specific cleansers, moisturizers, and serums.
A routine like the below can help your face stay clean and shiny
- Cleaning your face with an active cleanser,
- Using serums to keep your face hydrated,
- Moisturizing with a skin-specific moisturizer,
- Exfoliating with a proper chemical exfoliator once or twice a month.
If you have an oily face, keep cleansing clothes or a handkerchief nearby. You want to wipe that oil off your face before it enters the pore. Also don’t ever touch your skin with dirty hands. You might develop a habit of touching your face when you’re nervous or anxious.
Well, you have to resist that urge.
If you touch your face too often, you risk transferring acne-causing bacteria to the skin of your face. That leads to blackheads and whiteheads. If you don't heal these comedones, the acne will progress and lead to those red pus-filled big and bumpy forms of acne. You don’t want that, right? So keep that hand off your face!
“But is there a permanent solution to this?”
The best way to deal with blackheads and whiteheads
No, there is no permanent solution. Skin issues can be a downer for your confidence, and without a religious face cleansing routine, expect these issues to become worse. You can use OTC products like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, and sulfur. These, when used as prescribed, will help remove blackheads and whiteheads.
If you ask us, the best way to deal with issues like blackheads and whiteheads is to prevent them from happening. You can do this with a proper skin cleansing routine. Use products that contain salicylic acid or glycolic acid so that your face is exfoliated. Exfoliate with a proper exfoliator once or twice a month.
Also, besides following a daily cleansing routine, you should reset and rejuvenate your skin using a dermatologist-formulated DIY Active Facial Kit every 2-3 weeks. Also, maintain your skin-moisturize levels and texture using serums and moisture balm.
All these skincare activities will help your face stay clean, smooth, and free of clogged pores.
It’s a win-win, for you, and your skin!
Bring the ending towards Skin-reset and skin rejuvenation with DIY Active Facial every 2-3 weeks and maintain skin health using serums and moisture balm etc.