Blackheads are open comedones -- acne lesions -- that form when skin pores fill with infected oil and dead skin cells that have been exposed to the air. For some, blackheads are fairly easy to treat, yet for others they are temperamental and challenging to keep under control without drying out your skin. When this is the case, explore gentle treatment options and natural remedies to avoid drying your skin, and never bypass moisturizing.
The first rule to ridding your skin of blackheads is to maintain a daily skin care regimen. Cleanse and moisturize your skin every morning and every night. Use a fresh washcloth every time you clean your face. Exfoliate your skin weekly: It's one of the best ways to get rid of blackheads. You can also use a face mask every week; choose one that pulls oil from your skin, such as a clay mask.
If your skin is drying out and you've been following a regular routine, you may need to discover some new products. Salycilic acid and benzyl peroxide are excellent ingredients for combating acne and clearing pores, but unfortunately, they are drying. Instead, find gel acne cleansers and moisturizers that are noncomedogenic and contain more all natural ingredients.
You can try natural treatment methods if your blackheads are still a problem. Some of these ingredients are also in skin care products.
- Tea tree oil: This handy oil is anti-bacterial and available as an essential oil.
- Alpha hydroxy acid: This is naturally in citrus fruit. It's thought to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores.
- Azelaic acid: Found in grains and in animal products, this has antibacterial properties. An azelaic acid cream should help get rid of acne.
Green tea extract: Lotions containing green tea extract have been found successful in treating acne in young people.
Zinc: According to the Mayo Clinic, creams containing zinc may reduce acne breakouts.
Bovine cartilage: Creams containing bovine cartilage may help treat acne.
Witch hazel: Used as an all natural astringent that helps remove excessive oil on the skin, it helps maintain blemish free skin.
Blackhead prone skin may also benefit from the occasional professional acne treatment facial.
Many people assume that using a moisturizer may leave their skin more acne prone. This isn't the case. Most acne treatments leave skin dry along with drying the acne lesions. If you don't moisturize your skin after using acne treating products, they can leave your face more irritated and likely to break out further. Use a moisturizer recommended for acne prone skin.
You may be tempted to squeeze blackheads, but skin professionals recommend leaving the extracting to dermatologists and aestheticians. Doing it yourself could result in infection, inflammation or scarring.