How to Reduce and Prevent Blackheads
We all know those annoying little black dots on our face that just look unpleasant and clog our pores. As someone with combination skin, I experience blackheads quite regularly and I always try to reduce and prevent them at the same time. Here are some of my tips on how you can get rid of those pesky little blackheads.
What causes blackheads?
Blackheads form when dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening of your hair follicle aka pore. The air is oxidizing this mix and turning it dark hence the name blackhead.
Tip 1: Salicylic Acid
This is my first and most important tip for you if you want to keep your blackheads in check. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid and key to reducing blackheads as BHAs are oil-soluble and go deeper into your pores to clear them. It has helped me significantly over the years and it's one of my staples in my routine. I highly recommend the Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid which I currently use 4-5 times a week in summer and it works like a charm. This BHA doesn't dry out your skin instead, it adds hydration.
Tip 2: Niacinamide
Also known as Vitamin B3 is an ingredient that works well with many other ingredients and is well tolerated by all skin types (if you know that your skin doesn't, please avoid it of course). It's indicated to reduce congestion and blemishes, evens out skin tone, increases skin barrier function, reduces redness, you see the list is long. Nowadays, a lot of companies use niacinamide in their formulation but you can always look for products where it's the hero ingredient.
Tip 3: Cleansers
I have found cleansers with exfoliating properties like acids or enzymes, mud cleansers or other cleansers that deeply clean your pores to prevent blackheads from forming. Look out for cleansers that don't strip your skin though meaning the pH shouldn't be too high.
I enjoy using Holifrog Superior Omega Nutritive Gel Wash, Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser, Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser (this one maybe only once a week for a truly deep cleanse).
Tip 4: Cleansing Masks
This seems like an optional step which it might be for some people BUT I have found that using a detox/cleansing mask once a week helps my skin a lot in maintaining free of blackheads or at least reduce them significantly. My all-time favorite is, of course, the UNMASK Detox Hydration Mask by Naturallogic. You can read a full review here.
Tip 5: Vitamin A
Using a product that contains retinol/retinal/retinaldehyde/tretinoin etc. will make your skin cells turn over faster and as a result, your skin is resurfaced and pores less likely to clog up. If you want to reduce your blackheads, I would rather go with the other tips first, as the main focus of vitamin A is to reduce signs of aging.
Special Shoutout: Allies of Skin - Promise Keeper Blemish Sleeping Facial
This product has recently found its way into my heart and I can highly recommend it as a one-does-it-all product. It mainly targets breakouts but works incredibly well in regulating sebum production, thus resulting in less visible blackheads. I will write a separate review on it very soon.
I hope these tips help you to know how to deal with blackheads in the long run :)
All brands and products mentioned in the article were named without payment and solely by personal choice. Brand names and product recommendations are currently to be marked as advertising content according to the law.