What Is The Best Blackhead Remover?
It can be tempting to pick and squeeze your skin to get rid of blackheads and acne – but it’s not the path to clear skin. Bacteria from your hands and nails can penetrate the skin and picking can also result in scarring.
So what are you meant to do when blackheads plague your skin?
It’s important to understand what a blackhead is and how they’re caused. Being able to remove blackheads is great, but preventing them from popping up entirely is even better.
What are blackheads?
Essentially, blackheads are a type of clogged pore, where the base of a hair follicle has been blocked. The top layer oxidizes giving the classic dark appearance.
They’re particularly common in, but not exclusive to, oily, acne and combination skin. You’ll often find them on the T-Zone (forehead and nose) – the oiliest parts of the face.
Blackheads vs sebaceous filaments
Make sure your fight against blackheads is actually against blackheads. Many confuse sebaceous filaments for blackheads - they look alike and can be extracted by pinching the skin too.
Sebaceous filaments are totally normal and notexclusive to blemish-prone skin. They are a result of oil forming around a hair follicle and are there to help the flow of sebum in the pores of the skin – they’re actually beneficial, so trying to extract them is counterproductive (plus, they always come back)!
But how can you tell the difference? Well, blackheads have a definite black/dark top, whilst sebaceous filaments are a lighter/yellowy colour.
What causes blackheads?
There are several potential causes of blackheads:
- Overproduction of sebum. This can be due to things like hormonal changes or taking certain medication. Excess sebum is very common during puberty.
- A build up of impuritieson the skin, such as bacteria, pollution or other contaminants. This is why it is important to have a good skincare routine in place to cleanse your skin and prevent pores from clogging.
- Pore-clogging skincare. Not every product you try is going to work perfectly with your skin, but the chances are worse when you opt for conventional, synthetic skincare. This can contain occlusive, comedogenic ingredients like mineral oil, which can result in blackheads.
There are lots of blackhead removers on the market, some of which can be done from home, some involve more costly treatments at clinics. But they’re not all created equal. Some treatments are more effective than others, but many carry other risks.
Physical Blackhead Remover
You can buy a blackhead remover tool(featured below) that’s designed to be pressed onto the skin to manually extract the blackhead, without the use of your fingers.
Conventional 'synthetic' skincare that makes sensational spot-zapping claims, is readily available - but we'd recommend a closer look ...
Even pseudo-medical skincare for acne and spots often uses harsh, oil-stripping ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide. This is counterproductive - when the skin is stripped of oil, it can end up producing more than ever to compensate, causing more blackheads or breakouts.
All in all, synthetic skincare is unlikely to be as gentle as, or take care of your skin like all-natural skincare can – you just don’t get the same benefits to your skin or your body!
Pore strips are thought of as the go-to blackhead remover. Pore strips involve placing a sticky sheet over the affected area before peeling it off, in the hopes that the strips pull out the blackheads in the process.
We wouldn’t recommend this method – not only are you tearing the skin as you peel the strip away, it’s not totally effective. Much of the time, the strip isn’t extracting the entire plug, or extracting sebaceous filaments instead.
A chemical peel is a treatment that is carried out by a professional where a chemical (alpha hydroxy acid, trichloroacetic acid or phenol) is layered onto the skin, burning away dead skin cells to reveal new ones underneath.
Diet & Nutrition
A healthy diet, filled with lots of fruit and vegetables is key if you want a clear complexion. Just like a car, your body needs the right fuel to function properly and if it’s not getting enough of the right things inside, the outside won’t be you want it!
As well as eating enough of the right things, it’s also important to steer away from foods that could be interfering with hormones and increased sebum production, such as dairy.
Studies have also found ‘convincing data supporting the role of dairy products and high-glycemic-index foods in influencing hormonal and inflammatory factors, which can increase acne prevalence and severity.’
We recommend experimenting with an elimination diet; cutting out foods that could be interfering with the health of your skin for a couple of weeks at a time, whilst monitoring the appearance of your skin.
The Best Blackhead Remover
Putting in place a consistent skincare routine, made up of effective, skin-nourishing and balancing ingredients is the best way to clear blackheads and prevent them from appearing again in the future.
Organic skincare targets the 3 main causes of blackheads, balancing sebum production and cleansing your skin of excess oil – without clogging it back up again with toxic ingredients!
We recommend to cleanse, tone and moisturize with organic skincare morning and evening.
As we mentioned above, using conventional, synthetic skincare can be counterproductive.Using organic skincare, made from ingredients selected for their specific benefits (without side-effects!) is much more sustainable for you and your skin.
For blackheads, cleansing is essential to remove excess oil, dirt & bacteria (but not stripping the skin from it’s natural oils completely!). This is also reinforced by the toning process. Both cleansing and toning help to gently slough off dead skin cells.
For those with oily skin, moisturizing might seem like the last thing you’d want to do. But applying a natural moisturizer daily can help regulate oil production and help prevent blackheads from appearing in the future.
An additional step you could take is utilizing our 3-in-1 Maca Mask. The green mineral clays help detoxify the skin, drawing out impurities to reveal fresh, smooth skin underneath. The oats also act as a gentle exfolient, which will help to lift away dead skin cells too.
Getting rid of blackheads completely will take time, but treating your skin holistically will help tackle the problem for good.
If you'd like any more advice on acne or blackheads, please do email us at [email protected] or add your question as a comment below – we're here to help!