Monday, 1 December 2014

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.

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Weak, brittle nails are a beauty concern for many because apart from being unsightly, they are likely to chip, crack, and break off easily. In addition, they can lead to painful cuticles.

More often than not, nails tend to become brittle due to increasing age.

Plus, factors like nutritional deficiencies, improper nail care routine, long-term use of nail paint, psoriasis, excessive sun exposure, lack of moisture, prolonged exposure to harsh cleaners, etc. may give rise to this problem.

Furthermore, certain diseases and health conditions such as thyroid disorder, Raynaud’s disease, lichen planus, lung disease, infection, and so on can also cause brittle nails. Intake of certain medications like antibiotics, too, can contribute in causing the same.

How to Get Rid of Brittle Nails

Here are 6 ways to help strengthen your nails and cure dry, brittle nails.
  • Olive Oil
  • Honey and Lemon Juice
  • Vitamin E Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Horsetail
  • Biotin Pills

Soak your fingernails in a cup of olive oil for about 15-20 minutes so that it gets absorbed in the nails, cuticles, and the surrounding skin. Before using the oil, you can heat it slightly in a microwave for about 20 seconds because warm oil penetrates deeper in the skin. Follow this hot oil treatment at least once a week to strengthen and moisturize your nails. Alternatively, you can saturate 10 cotton balls in warm olive oil and secure them on your nails. Remove the cotton balls after about 10 minutes. Besides, you can apply olive oil or jojoba oil daily.

Another natural remedy to heal brittle nails involves the application of a mixture of one teaspoon of honey and a few drops of lemon juice. Leave this solution on your nails for at least 30 minutes daily.

Apply vitamin E oil on your nails and the surrounding area to nourish brittle and weak nails. In case you do not have vitamin E oil, then you can simply prick a vitamin E capsule and apply its contents on your nails. Besides, you can take vitamin E capsules as a vitamin supplement for your nails and overall health.

Moisturize, strengthen, and protect your nails by massaging pure argan oil on your nails for about five minutes and leave it overnight. You can follow this natural cure on a daily basis. You may also add an equal amount of lemon juice in the oil and then apply for 10-15 minutes. It promotes nail growth, softens the cuticles, prevents nail splitting, and adds a natural shine to your nails.

Horsetail is useful for healing weak and brittle nails. You can prepare horsetail infusion by steeping two teaspoons of dried horsetail herb powder in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool. Next, immerse your nails in this solution for about 20 minutes. Finally, apply olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice and leave it on your nails overnight. Follow this treatment three to four times in a week. Besides, you can take horsetail extract regularly.

Dietary supplements, particularly biotin pills are useful in maintaining strong, healthy nails. Moreover, biotin or vitamin H can help you grow nails as well as hair. Plus, you can consume almonds, walnuts, peanuts, Swiss chard, cauliflower, cucumber, and other foods containing biotin.

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