You've seen these black spots on your nose before. They are not freckles, they are blackheads, and almost everyone has dealt with them. They may be common, but they are still a total crap.
Blackheads affect all skin types and ages. They usually appear in the nose, where the pores are larger, and make your face look dirty and speckled. Contrary to popular belief, these annoying stains are not a real mess in your pores. Blackheads are caused by dead skin cells, most of which are made of a protein called keratin, and stick to the walls of a pore. This creates a plug called a comedone. "Usually, these plugs are so close to the surface that it's a bit visible," says dermatologist Ken Howe, MD. "Like a boisterous banana, the plug oxidizes and turns brown." Comedones are responsible for both blackheads and whiteheads. The only difference is whether the surface of the plug is exposed to air.
Why you get blackheads
"One of the main problems that leads to the formation of these plugs is stress and hormones," says Howe. So no matter how much you wash your face, you can still get blackheads. This also means that all skin types are affected, whether you are greasy or dry or have acne-prone skin. Comedones such as acne can develop as blockage of the pores, but the difference is that blackheads are superficial, while acne usually occurs at depth.
However, men may notice more blackheads because their pores are larger. "Men do not necessarily get more blackheads than women, but they're bigger and more visible to the naked eye," says Howe, especially as we age, as our pores increase with age.
The happy treatment of blackheads at home is easy, though Dr. Howe states that prevention is always better than dealing with them after they have surfaced. Here's how to finally get rid of your blackheads.
It is not OK to express blackheads
It is tempting and very satisfying to express blackheads themselves, but it can actually cause more to appear. "Your fingers are just too big," says Howe. "The pores are already sticky because a plug has formed. If you put pressure on the neighbors [to get one blackhead out] you can break them down and help another graft shape. "Instead, use some of these other tips to remove blackheads on your nose.
Exfoliating the nose with acids
To prevent this. Regularly use a facial cleanser with salicylic acid to prevent blackheads from forming on your nose. "Salicylic acid has a penchant for pores," says Howe. "It just comes in there and loosens them so the plugs come out by themselves." Regular exfoliation keeps the dead skin away from your face.
Use a chemical peel (also with salicylic acid or other beta-hydroxy) acids once or twice a week for even better results. And if you've already noticed the formation of blackheads, Howe recommends a leaf mask that contains salicylic acid to give your skin a boost.
Removing blackhead pimples
The most popular blackhead treatment, pore banding, has proven to be one of the most effective. These sticky stripes stick to comedones (and other blobs) during drying and remove them during peeling. They are, according to Howe, one of the fastest and most effective ways to get rid of blackheads. However, they should be used with care. "There is a problem with people who exaggerate and tear or hurt their skin," he says. Always follow the instructions carefully and do not leave them for longer than recommended. And if you have sensitive skin, they may be too abrasive for you.
Freeing Blackheads with Clay Masks
Using a clay mask to remove blackheads provides less visual satisfaction than seeing them remove the pores on a strip, but can also thoroughly rid the pores of pores. Look for a variety that contains charcoal that can help remove deep-set dead skin cells as well. These may be a better option if you have sensitivity issues, but you can still dry them. Always use a moisturizer.
Apply Retinol at Night
Retinol, one of the most effective agents in the treatment of acne, is also ideal for the prevention and treatment of blackheads. The vitamin A derivative helps to optimize cell turnover and remove dead skin cells faster from your pores and from your face. Over-the-counter options are available and fine for most people. However, if you have chronic acne or think that you have a lot of blackheads, ask your dermatologist about prescription options. When you start using retinol, your skin may be irritated first. Therefore, wear them only on a clean face at night. It can also make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, wear sunscreen on your face every day.
Professional Treatments Can Help Remove Blackheads
Most of these home-based procedures work for almost anyone, but if nothing seems to get you should consider turning on the big guns to get rid of blackheads. Regular facials (at least every time the seasons change) are a great way to thoroughly cleanse and cleanse your face. Facialists can perform extractions to manually and safely remove blackheads with a tool that does not destroy the surrounding pores. Howe also recommends laser treatments and microdermabrasion, a form of exfoliation that only a professional can offer.