Welcome to Ask a Beauty Editor of our new column, in which Sarah Jacoby the senior health and beauty editor of SELF, is looking for scientifically sound answers to all your questions Questions about skin care. You can ask Sarah a question at email@example.com.
Is there any way to get rid of tiny blackheads without a facialist rinsing them for you? Even if a facialist clears it for you, is that actually helpful and effective? Or is it so unnatural that your skin just freaks out and eventually lets it grow again?
– Can not stop being obsessed with the little things
Hello, can not stop! Trust me, I feel you in this case. Every time I look in the mirror, my eyes are aimed directly at the ubiquitous patch of blackheads on my chin. But so much we love facials it's not always the best step to get extractions if you're trying to treat a condition like this. To understand why, let's back down and talk about how and why blackheads (and whiteheads) form.
Both blackheads and whiteheads are types of non-inflamed clogged pores called comedones. "A blackhead is an open comedone," says Shari Lipner, Ph.D., dermatologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, SELF. "It's a large opening in a hair follicle that is clogged with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria, and when exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns black," Whiteheads (closed comedones) are covered by a layer of skin cells They prevent them from oxidizing, so they look a little white, pink, or flesh-colored.
When comedones are extracted, you will notice that the plug has been removed in a most satisfactory manner, but like SELF recently explained that the pore remains dilated, which makes it easy for the pore to become clogged again and form another comedone, and please do not try to do extractions yourself. "If left unchecked, they can leave permanent scars "So what's the best way to get rid of blackheads? Slowly." According to Dr. Lipner, the use of scrubs is called Tei l Your skin care the easiest way to gradually remove blackheads. A Salicylic Acid Peel that is applied not more than three times a week can help remove the deposits, oil, and dead skin cells that clog the pores, explains Dr , Lipner. (as this classic from Neutrogena $ 5, this from Alba Botanica $ 6, or my personal favorite from Peter Thomas Roth $ 28).
However, if a physical exfoliation such as exfoliation is too hard for you, you can look for toners, serums, or other products containing salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid and glycolic acid. These chemical peels will be a little gentler than peels on sensitive skin.
But again, "Remember, you do not get instant gratification," Dr. Lipner. It can take up to a month for your skin to clear up.
For stubborn blackheads, Dr. Lipner instead uses Adapalen (Differin), an over-the-counter retinoid. Since retinoids may be irritating it is important to use one slowly – start at most three nights a week – and be sure to use a moisturizer to prevent your skin from becoming too dry or scaly.
If you have more sensitive skin or you still do not see the results you are looking for, contact a dermatologist. Lipner. You will be able to correctly diagnose your problem and possibly prescribe a stronger retinoid that may give you better results. And if necessary, a dermatologist can safely extract your blackheads.
All in all, the message to take away from blackheads is: The treatment is slow, says dr. Lipner. As much as you want those tiny spots to disappear overnight, it just will not happen. However, after a month of gentle, dedicated treatment, you should see first results.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn a partner commission.