Skin is fascinating. From the time we are born to the time we die, our skin is constantly renewing itself, which means that even though we age, we always have new skin cells, and those new skin cells are always pushing their way up to the surface.
This is why we have to exfoliate, to get rid of the old skin cells so that the new ones can come through. Exfoliating also helps to unclog pores, and one of the best ways to do this is with a product that contains salicylic acid. Other ingredients that can help to get rid of blackheads are benzoyl peroxide and retinoids.
But there is so much more to it. Blackheads aren't as simple as just dirt and dead skin cells. They are actually a type of acne, and they occur when the hair follicles become clogged with sebum, which is an oil that is produced by the sebaceous glands.
Let's take a closer look at how to get rid of blackheads on your nose.
What Are Blackheads?
To be clear, blackheads are not dirt. They are not caused by poor hygiene, and they cannot be scrubbed away. In fact, scrubbing your face too hard can actually make blackheads worse by irritating the skin and causing the sebaceous glands to produce even more oil.
Blackheads are a type of acne, and they occur when the hair follicles become clogged with sebum, an oil that is produced by the sebaceous glands. This oil is necessary for the skin, but when it is produced in excess, it can lead to blackheads.
The sebum becomes oxidized when it comes into contact with the air, and this is what gives blackheads their characteristic black color, not dirt. So, no matter how much you scrub, you cannot wash away a blackhead in the way that you can wash away dirt and dead skin cells.
Let's begin with pores. Pores are tiny openings in the skin that allow oil and sweat to escape. They are essential for the health of the skin, but when they become clogged, they can cause problems for the complexion.
The sebaceous glands are connected to the pores, and they produce sebum, an oil that lubricates and protects the skin. When the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, the pores can become clogged, and this can lead to blackheads, as well as other types of acne.
Dead skin cells, and environmental pollutants can also contribute to clogged pores. This is why it is so important to cleanse the skin daily, and to exfoliate on a regular basis.
Blackheads take two forms: open and closed. Open blackheads are also called comedones, and they are the small, black dots that often appear on the nose and other areas of the face.
Closed blackheads are slightly different. They are also known as whiteheads, and they are small bumps that are filled with sebum and dead skin cells. Closed blackheads are not open at the surface of the skin, which is why they are often harder to treat.
The good news is that there are a number of ways to get rid of blackheads, both open and closed.
The Root Cause of Blackheads
Think of your pores as small holes in your skin that are there to allow your skin to breath. Your skin is constantly shedding dead skin cells, but sometimes these dead skin cells can get caught in your pores. When this happens, your pores get clogged and this clogged pore begins to fill with sebum (oil) that is produced by your skin. As your clogged pore begins to fill with sebum, it begins to bulge and when it comes into contact with oxygen, it turns black.
So combating blackheads begins with keeping your pores clean and free of clogging dead skin cells. Take a look at some of the tips below, so that you can keep your pores clean and free of blackheads.
How To Prevent & Treat Blackheads
1. Wash Your Face Daily
It's not just about washing your face in the morning, but making sure you wash it every night before you go to bed. Washing your face every day will help to remove any dirt, oil, or makeup that has collected on your skin throughout the day. Use a gentle cleanser that is suitable for your skin type and make sure you avoid scrubbing your face too harshly as this can irritate your skin.
2. Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliating your skin helps to remove dead skin cells that can clog your pores and lead to blackheads. You should aim to exfoliate your skin at least once or twice a week. Look for an exfoliating product that contains small beads or particles that will gently slough away dead skin cells. Be sure to avoid any exfoliating products that contain harsh ingredients that can irritate your skin.
It's also worth noting that some skincare that claims to exfoliate contains microbeads which are actually tiny pieces of plastic. These microbeads are harmful to the environment as they often end up in our waterways and can be ingested by marine life. So, when shopping for an exfoliating product, be sure to avoid anything that contains microbeads.
3. Try A Clay Mask
Clay masks are great for absorbing excess oil from the skin and can help to unclog pores. Look for a clay mask that contains bentonite or kaolin clay. Apply the clay mask to your face and allow it to dry for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
4. Use A Blackhead Extractor
If you have blackheads that are particularly stubborn, you may want to try using a blackhead extractor. A blackhead extractor is a small, metal tool that is used to press down on and then pull out the contents of a blackhead. Be sure to sterilize the blackhead extractor before each use by boiling it in water for a few minutes.
5. Apply Skincare That Contains Salicylic Acid
If you are prone to blackheads, you may want to look for skincare products that contain salicylic acid. This ingredient helps to break down dead skin cells and unclog pores. You can find skincare products that contain salicylic acid at most drugstores or beauty stores.
The Bottom Line
The way you treat your blackheads can have a big impact on how quickly they clear up and how likely they are to return. Be sure to use the tips above to help you keep your pores clean and free of blackheads.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.