Blackheads are dark tiny bumps on skin. They are a mild type of acne and are medically known as open comed ones. Interestingly, the black color of these comedones is not due to dirt.
They appear dark and black in color as the sebum is exposed to the oxygen in air. Though slightly raised, unlike pimples, blackheads are not painful or inflamed.
More often than not, they appear as enlarged pores and black spots, especially around the nose, chin, and cheeks.
They are caused by a buildup of excess sebum and dead skin cells leading to blocked skin pores. Thus, this problem is more common in individuals with oily skin or combination skin.
Excess oil production, in turn, is caused by a number of factors like hormonal changes, genetic predisposition, stress, intake of certain medications, environmental factors, and so on.
Furthermore, improper skin care is another important reason leading to blackheads. For instance, using too much makeup, oil, or oil-based creams increase your chances of developing this problem.
How to Get Rid of Blackheads
Given below are 9 effective solutions for eliminating blackheads from your skin.
Taking facial steam every week or every alternate week is highly beneficial for opening your skin pores and softening the sebum plugs causing blackheads. For this, you can place your face over a bowl of hot water for about 10-15 minutes. You may add dried herbs or a few drops of essential oils in boiling water to increase the effectiveness of this procedure. Facial steaming and application of warm compresses makes it easier to remove the blackheads. Thus, use this procedure before applying any face mask to eliminate this problem.
Exfoliate your skin with an oatmeal mask to get rid of blackheads. To prepare the mask, add sufficient green tea or chamomile tea in a tablespoon of colloidal oatmeal to form a thin paste. You can make your own colloidal oatmeal at home by grinding rolled oats or quick oats in a food processor or coffee grinder to get a fine powder. After rinsing off the oatmeal mask from your face, dab hydrogen peroxide on the affected area with the help of a cotton ball.
Mash a few strawberries to get two tablespoons of strawberry pulp. Mix a teaspoon of honey in this pulp to form a paste. Apply it on your face and neck. Rinse it off after 20 minutes.
There is another interesting homemade peel off mask prepared by mixing half a cup of lemon juice, orange juice, or tomato juice and a packet of plain gelatin. You can heat this mixture either on a stove top or in a microwave for about 15 seconds. Leave it to set for about five minutes. Finally, brush it lightly on your face, particularly around your nose with a makeup brush or a small paintbrush and peel it off when it dries.
Whisk an egg white and apply a thin layer on your face, especially around the nose. When it dries, spread another layer. Let it dry for about 15 minutes. Finally, scrub it off with a warm, wet washcloth to reduce blackheads naturally. You can follow this procedure once or twice a week.
Use an over-the-counter cream or lotion containing benzoyl peroxide to get rid of blackheads. You can use it about two times in a day for about four to six weeks. Before applying the cream, though, make sure your clean your face thoroughly. You can also use retinoids and cleansers containing salicylic acid.
Take half a cup of boiling water and add one teaspoon of Epsom salt and three drops of iodine in it. Dip a cotton ball in this solution and apply it on the affected areas to treat blackheads.
Using blackhead strips or pore strips can be an effective way to improve blackheads and plugged pores. Besides, you can opt for comedone extractors that help remove blackheads through suction.
If nothing else works, then you may consider cosmetic procedures like laser or light therapy. In case you are interested in a non-invasive procedure then you may try chemical peels or microdermabrasion.