I get a lot of messages from people wondering how best to deal with blackheads, it inspired me to write a blog post on the topic as i can go more in depth.
Contrary to popular belief blackheads are not dirt, blackheads form when a pore has become clogged with excess sebum (oil) and dead skin cells the blackness you see as is actually oxidised sebum.
There are a few ways to deal with a blackhead from manual extraction to using various skincare ingredients to treat the area.
Personally, I would leave the extractions to the professional as you don’t want to damage the pore from being too vigorous trying to extract a blackhead. I personally love using BHA – Salicylic Acid, its main benefit is that it’s a great exfoliator it speeds up cell turnover making forcing our skin to renew faster. I am a massive fan of salicylic acid because not only is it an anti inflammatory its is oil permeable so unlike something like glycolic acid, salicylic acid can penetrate the pore lining, exfoliate and clear out all the gunk that is sitting in there blocking it up.
If you can’t take aspirin i would avoid using salicylic acid as its a derivative of aspirin that’s where the anti inflammatory properties come from you can try other products but i would avoid this.
When treating blackheads you need to think about your skincare routine as a whole if you want to completely rid yourself of blackheads. If you treat blackheads with salicylic acid once or twice it won’t be enough and else they will come back.
I’ve always said you need to think of the bigger picture by introducing ingredients like glycolic acid and retinoids (If you can’t use glycolic look for either lactic acid or PHA’s such as gluconolactone). To give you a bit of an idea what works best i will lay out my skincare routine and what i do to treat them as i tend to get blackheads on my nose :
Cleanse: (Oil based cleanser) Tri Balm by Frances Prescott
2nd Cleanse: (Not always only when wearing SPF or makeup) Le Metier de Beaute Replenishing Oil Cleanser
Toner: Pixi Glow Tonic (5% Glycolic Acid)
Serum: Evolve Beauty Hyaluronic Serum 200
Eyes: Either Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum -OR- Neostrata 4% PHA Eye Cream
Serum: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum -OR- Pestle and Mortar Superstar Retinoid
Moisturiser: Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture
Sometimes weekly if i need it – Glamglow Supermud
(Contains Salicylic, Lactic, Glycolic, Mandelic, Pyruvic Acids)
I feel like by using this routine it helps to keep away any blackheads in the long term as i am using a gentle daily exfoliant and retinol so the dead skin cells and sebum dont even have a chance to clog up my skin. Obviously you dont have to use the same products you could just use whatever works for your skin.