A member of the acne family, blackheads are a result of oil, dirt and dead skin cells clogging skin pores and giving a characteristic unsightly black appearance when exposed to and oxidized by air. Instead of risking skin damage and scarring by popping them, here are a few remedies to effectively eliminate these black spots:
1- Bentonite Clay Masks:
The benefits of this natural ingredient are threefold: it acts as a mild exfoliant by clearing away dead skin cells, extracts oils and other impurities clogging skin pores, and helps improve overall health and skin tone by improving blood circulation. Simply mix the clay in adequate amounts of apple cider vinegar (or in water for sensitive or dry skin), apply the mixture, leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then wash it off with warm water. You can do this one or twice a week.
2- Salicylic Acid:
Instead of the commonly recommended benzoyl peroxide, which only reduces bacterial inflammations in cystic or pustular acne, opt for skin-clearing products containing salicylic acid. It helps resolve blackheads by breaking down the pore clogging oils and dead skin cells. Be sure to purchase a product that can be left on your skin for prolonged periods since salicylic acid works best when allowed to stay longer on the skin. Use it once every few days.
3- Baking Soda and Water:
Yet another exfoliant, this common ingredient gently and effectively extracts dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from clogged pores, while also balancing skin pH. To use, simply massage a paste of equal parts baking soda and water onto your skin, rinse with lukewarm water and apply a moisturizer, as its salty nature can cause skin dehydration.
4- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and Mint:
This toner breaks down pore clogging contents and has a cooling, tightening effect on skin, while also reducing inflammation around pores that have been manipulated by self-extraction attempts. Let a combination of 3 tablespoons ACV and some mint leaves sit in a cool dark place for 1 week, strain them , mix them in 1 cup of water and store them in the refrigerator for 6 days. Apply the toner evenly over affected areas every night after a thorough face rinse. Keep it overnight, rinsing it off in the morning, and applying moisturizer to combat the ingredients’ drying effect.
5- Tea Tree Oil:
While blackheads are not usually caused by bacterial or fungal infections, this staple treatment for cystic acne as well as other inflammatory forms of acne is also highly effective for long-term blackhead removal. Simply mix a few drops of tea tree oil, ACV and water in a spritz bottle and spray it onto your face, or apply it using a cotton pad daily, followed by a non-comedogenic moisturizer.
In addition to ACV and tea tree oil toners, adding a natural oatmeal scrub to your daily skin routine is an effective long-term solution for blackhead banishment. Simply apply a paste of 2 tablespoons oatmeal, 3 tablespoons plain yogurt, and the juice of half a lemon over the affected area(s). Leave it on for 7-10 minutes, then rinse it gently with warm water.
As with all new acne removal methods, results can take between 6-12 weeks to appear, making patience a key ingredient in blackhead removal. Nevertheless, professional extraction by your dermatologist may be due if blackheads persist or increase beyond this time period. You can book an appointment with a top dermatologists in Multan, Karachi, and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT doctor for your skin concerns.
About the Writer:
Yashfa Marrium is a freelance writer and health enthusiast. You can reach her at [email protected].