Blackheads is the number 1 beauty concern faced by Singapore beauty consumers, according to the 2015 Daily Vanity Consumer Behaviour Report (Beauty Industry). 76% of respondents named it as their greatest skin nemesis. There’s a good chance that you’re bothered by it too.
What is blackhead?
Before we get to the solutions, let’s try to understand who our enemy is.
A blackhead is a plug made up of dead skin cells, sebum and bacteria, and is caused by a clogged pore that can no longer shed these materials. The plug looks white at first (whiteheads), but as it pushes to the surface of the skin, it oxidises when in contact with the air, and turns black, forming what you know as a (pesky) blackhead.
Now that we understand what it is, it’s time to find out what can help get rid of it.[sociallocker]
1. Practise double cleansing
Keep your skin clean and oil-free by practising double cleansing. This means, to first remove makeup with a cleansing oil, and then follow up with a gentle cleanser. Advocated by the Japanese, double cleansing helps ensure that the skin is free from pore-clogging materials, and also get rid of bacteria that can cause inflammation.
2. Exfoliate regularly
Our skin sheds dead cells every day, and they stay on the top of your skin’s surface until you remove them. Exfoliating regularly with a scrub or peel helps get rid of dead skin cells that accumulate, and help prevent pores from clogging, or trapping impurities and bacteria. Exfoliating once a week helps prevent clogging, and can also help loosen existing blackheads.
3. Keep oil in control
If you are seeing blackheads because your skin type is oily, sebum control should be at the top of your list if you want to banish blackheads. Remember that blackheads are essentially oxidised oil plugs (mixed with other impurities), so invest in mattifying products to keep your skin free from sebum.
4. The right mask helps
Once a week, use a clay mask. A clay mask helps draw up impurities and sebum, and is an effective solution to prevent pores from clogging. Remember to follow up with a moisturiser after using a clay mask to ensure your skin is still supple and hydrated.
5. Cut down on sugary food
Sugary food may be comfort food, but it can also slow down the rate of cell turnover, which in effect lead to more clogging in the pores. Refrain from too much sugary food, and your skin will thank you for it, definitely.
6. Avoid touching your face
A lot of bacteria is introduced to our skin through our own hands. Think about how often you use your hands to touch bacteria-filled things, and that bacteria can easily transfer to our skin and cause inflammation on the oil plugs clogged in our pores. Always wash your hands thoroughly if you want to apply skincare products or touch your face. Also remember to regularly clean your mobile phone and spectacles.
7. Go for regular facial treatments
Most of us don’t have the technique and equipment to squeeze out stubborn blackheads, so it’s better to leave it to the experts. Schedule for a facial treatment (that does extraction) approximately twice a week. The best facial therapist is able to extract blackheads without leaving any red marks or scars on your face after the treatment.