Skin Care Tip of the Week *How to Treat Blackheads*

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blackheads are annoying, especially when you feel like no matter what you do they keep coming back. Although, I must say as an esthetican there is nothing more satisfying than a good extraction session with a client. Gross...yes but someone has to do it ;)


What are blackheads?


A blackhead is a mass of hardened sebum (excess oil) and skin cells trapped in a hair follicle. When the follicle becomes filled with an excess amount of oil a blackhead will form. It is dark because it is exposed to oxygen.


Common misconceptions about blackheads:

  • Blackheads are caused by poor cleansing and dirty skin- NOT true. In fact it is quite the opposite in most cases. When your skin is overly dry (from too much cleansing and not enough moisture) blackheads will form underneath the skin because your skin is overcompensating to produce more oil.
  • The reason they are black is because there is dirt trapped under the skin- NOT true. The oil that is trapped beneath the pore turns dark brown or black because it is exposed to air. Similar to how a banana turns brown once opened and left on the counter.

How to treat and reduce blackheads:

  • Do not over wash your face. Washing your face twice a day is ideal. See common face wash mistakes here and you can check out the oil cleansing method here.
  • Steam your face once a week to soften up the blackheads and open up the follicles. This makes it easier to remove them. Be careful when extracting yourself, you can easily spread bacteria if your hands are not clean.
  • Exfoliate 2-3 times per week. You can find an all natural exfoliator here.
  • Apply a clay mask 2 times per week. The clay will help draw out the excess oil which will make blackheads less frequent. A DIY clay mask can be found here.
  • If you have tried all the above remedies and want to take a little more aggressive route, make an appointment with an esthetican to have a few microdermabrasion treatments. Microdermabrasion removes the outer dead layer of skin, which will drastically improve the frequency of blackheads.


If you have any skin care topics that you would be interested in learning more about I would love to hear. You can either e-mail me or leave your suggestion in the comment section below.

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40 comments:

Lindsay said...

I love your skin care tips! You make me take so much better care of my skin :)

Luckily I have minimal blackheads, but I should try out a clay mask.

Gail @ Sophisticated Steps said...

I love my "morning magical minute" with Lindsay. You always have great info for us!

I havent been able to get my hands in the organic raw apple cider vinegar yet. Ugh. Itching to it do it, but Whole Foods isn't very close to me and I'm not sure else who would carry it. Told my hub about it, though. Even he was intrigued.

Hope you had a very blessed Thanksgiving. :)

sherri lynn said...

So I pretty much believed those myths until today! Again your skin care tips are fabulous! I need to start steaming my face once a week.

Tonia @ TheGunnySack.com said...

Once again you have enlightened me! I believed the myths...LOL! Thanks for the tips.

{The Perfect Palette} said...

thanks for sharing :)

Mary said...

Thank you so much! I had no idea!

Lindsay said...

These are great! How often do I get them right around my nose--annoying! Now I know how to treat them!

Grace - Stripes and Sequins said...

Great tips! I HATE blackheads... so annoying. Have def noticed a difference since buying a Clarisonic and thereby exfoliating more.

Lia said...

Awesome tips, Lindsay! I've definitely learned alot here :) I love your tips!!
xo
Lia

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the tips! And thank you for idea for the all natural exfoliator. I wash my face with organic soap and that's it because I'm allergic to EVERYTHING. : )

Ruthy said...

Thanks for posting this. I was not able to wait to see your tips. I currently have a clay mask but was only using it once a week. I will try using it twice a week and start steaming my face. I cannot wait to see if the blackheads around my nose go away. Thanks for posting this and so glad you responded to my e-mail request so promptly.

Alexa said...

Oooh I'm totally going to buy that exfoliator you recommended. Have been trying to find a good/natural one, so thanks! xo

ashley said...

so helpful! thanks lindsay!

Julia - the Urban Slant said...

Great skin tips! I definitely need a clay mask -- on my list for months!

Daisy said...

So helpful! Thanks :)

Hilliary@ Happily Ever Healthy said...

Blackheads are so annoying! Thanks for the great tips! Would you be able to address how to minimize the look of large pores? I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a fabulous and relaxing weekend!

Happy Wife said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your sweet comment!
You have so many fantastic shares on your blog!
Skin Care and DIY projects...
Sending the link of this Blackhead post to a few people that I know :)
Happy Monday
xoxo

Janelle said...

Thanks for you lovely comment on my blog!
Thanks for sharing all this info, I had no clue! congrats on being almost in your second trimester! I am sure you so excited!

prettymeggy said...

hi Lindsay! thanks for this post.. i always have a very delicate skin and blackheads are always my top problem. i will follow your tips! xoxo, Haus of Gala

Erin said...

Thanks for the great tips! Hate those darn things! :)

Kristen said...

Ohhh those blackheads!!!
Such butts if you ask me; thankfully I do the clay mask treatment twice a week to keep those little boogers away!

Sara P said...

My sebum plugs don't darken but they have driven me nuts for years. I saw a post on craftgossip.com for using a baking soda mask (baking soda+little water) after steaming/or showering. It helps dissolve them and washing the mask away with a washcloth dislodges most of them. Most exfoliators irritate my face to the point of causing breakouts so finding this solution after searching for 15 has been wonderful (and cheap!)

Tabitha Lynn said...

You're the best!!

Caitlin C. said...

This post is awesome! And very educational. I purchased those Biore nose strip thingies (I have no idea what they're called... haha!) that are supposed to get rid of black heads. Are those harmful to use on your skin?

Tabitha said...

I really love all of your skin care tips. My skin hasn't been the same since I had Jackson in February and I can't seem to get it back to normal. I break out more often (I almost never did before I was pregnant) and they seem to leave scars. Any suggestions? I've tried microdermabrasion and some creams and they don't seem to work too well.

Thanks for your help!

Emily said...

Great tips! I had no idea dry skin could cause blackheads, but that's fascinating!

Jennifer said...

I do have some of these stubborn little boogers on my nose. Good tips! I totally get you though on extracting the good ones...weird but so satisfying..LOL I am like that with ingrown hairs and my husband thanks it is delusional!

Glitzy1294 said...

I'd love to know more about whiteheads. Are they the same as blackheads? I'm 16 weeks preggo and I seem to have a ridiculous amount of whiteheads and I'm not sure what to do about them. Can I use the same treatments for blackheads? I thought about going to get a facial but I read while you are pregnant it's not a good idea.

Finley said...

Urgh, I hate blackheads! Love your skin care tips, esp the home remedy methods!
{mommy chic} design. style. kids. life.

Viviana said...

This is such a great tip!
Thanks for stopping by Fashion Truffles today. I'm now following you :)
fashiontruffles.blogspot.com

Lindsay @ Delighted Momma said...

Caitlin C- Biore strips are okay to use every once in a while. They are a very temporary fix. Make sure you follow the instructions exactly (I believe you are supposed to apply them to damp skin) so you don't end up ripping skin off.

Tabitha- Ahh pregnancy and the aftermath can do some not so fun things to your skin. Have you tried a professional chemical peel treatment? You can find med spas that carry organic only brands. You might want to look in a light glycolic treatment. I also did a post on topical apple cider vinegar. This can really help with breakouts. Another mask/peel you may want to try is this one: http://www.delightedmomma.com/2011/07/skin-care-tip-of-week-diy-vitamin-c.html

I have had quite a few e-mails from readers who said they have noticed a dramatic difference in their skin/ acne scarring since using it.

Glitzy1294- Whiteheads are a little different but you can follow the same methods for treating as blackheads go for the most part. I will keep that topic in mind for a future post. As far as facials go while you are pregnant I don't recommend it..better to just hold off until baby comes then you can go pamper crazy :)

Phil and Darby Hawley said...

This is a great post...I definitely wish I had read this back when I was a teenager!

dana @ wonder forest said...

I love all of your skin care tips! Thanks so much for sharing :) i have some new things to try..
xox dana
thewonderforest.com

Tabitha said...

Thanks Lindsay! I will definitely check out the apple cider vinegar and look into a peel.

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks, Lindsay. As far as suggestions go: maybe you could post something on how to treat hormonal acne? I have been doing all of your tips so far and they work really well for my cheeks/forehead etc. but my real problem are these NONSTOP zits popping up around my mouth and chin. Everyday I get at least one new one. I've tried prescription medications and some natural topical treatments but nothing is working... It's making me very depressed :( I'd really appreciate it :D Keep up the good work!

amber d* said...

You are my savior! I have HORRIBLE problems with blackheads. Nose, cheeks, in between eyes, and chin. I use the Biore strips a lot, but that is just a temporary fix so I'm excited to give all of these a try to see how well it does on my skin. Thanks!

FranckGilbert said...

The blog is giving complete information about the blackheads on the skin. The myths and the guide lines about it are discussed over here. I am totally satisfied with the information above as I have gone through it and found it very effective.
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Secret B5Stops said...

The blog is very informative and educative as it is giving simple treatment methods for acne prone skin. It helped me a lot in curing my acne skin very much.
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Schadenfreude said...

Great info! You write fantastic posts.

http://meine-schadenfreude.blogspot.co.nz/

Sophia Blog said...

Thank you Lindsay!! Great skin tips! so helpful :)

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