Urgh, blackheads. Those pesky little dots of black we often see making a home on our face, back, shoulders, arms, chest and, my least favourite of all, nose!
I hate them. You hate them. But we all get them!
All too often I have clients coming to me seeking a solution for their blackheads. They’re over them and want them to stop. Very often they’ve tried every well marketed trick in the box - charcoal masks, skin treatments, pore strips (which scare the bejesus out of me!) and blackhead removal tools (again, scary and sometimes damaging - eek!)
Today I want to talk to you about what a blackhead actually is (have you ever stopped to actually wonder?!), why we get them and how we can prevent them.
What on earth is a blackhead?
In the fancy skincare world, blackheads are described as “a plug of sebum in a hair follicle, darkened by oxidation”.
I know, what the?!
All you need to know here is this:
Plug = congestion and clogging
Sebum = oil.
So, all in all, not good.
A blackhead comes to life when a pore is congested and clogged with dead skin cells and oil (not dirt, which may surprise you!) They react with oxygen, causing them to turn a darker colour (otherwise known as oxidisation).
The top of a blackhead is the dark and hard part we see, but there’s a whole lot more happening underneath the skin (which you will have noticed if you’re a blackhead popper!) Most of the time, blackheads are bigger than they appear on the surface of the skin. Often, it’s hard to know just how big the blackhead is just by looking at it.
Like most skin conditions, blackheads can occur for a number of different reasons. Some of these include:
A build up of oil
Age & hormones (hello puberty and menopause!)
Androgen, the male sex hormone that causes the body to overproduce oil
Menstruation, pregnancy and even the contraceptive pill
Makeup, particular brands that contain ingredients that clog the pores
Environmental factors (humidity is a killerrrr).
Getting rid of blackheads
How do you currently get rid of your blackheads beauty? If you’re like most people you:
Don’t wear moisturiser in the hope that it will decongest your skin
Cover them with makeup
Use pore strips, masks and and every other product on the market that tells you it will magically clear your pores (*face palm*)
Pray for dear life that they go away.
Girl, let me be upfront with you - all of these things are either going to trigger another skin problem, worsen an already existing skin condition or make it bigger (hence making it stand out even more!)
The treatment of them might just surprise you.
Here’s the number one thing you should do … *drumroll please* … STICK TO YOUR NORMAL SKINCARE ROUTINE!
YES, SERIOUSLY! A good skincare routine that you show up for daily is all it takes to keep blackheads at bay!
Cleansing, toning, moisturising, exfoliating and doing the occasional mask will do your skin the world of good! If you haven’t already downloaded my free ebook Create Your Perfect Skin Routine then do it! It will gift you all the information you need to know to create a daily skin routine that keeps you blackhead free. You can download it here.
As well as this, I suggest:
Using mineral makeup and non-comedogenic makeup (makeup that doesn’t contain certain ingredients that lead to acne) to reduce the occurrence of clogged pores
Stressing less! Stress can trigger sebum production which leads to the production of blackheads
Eat a balanced diet rich with fresh foods
Drink water. And then more water!
Treatments such as microdermabrasion done by a PROFESSIONAL can help too, but listen to their advice!
So often, we turn to ‘gimmicky’ face products when blackheads rear their ugly head but I’m here to tell you - these things don’t work! Yes they sound good but that’s because they have big marketing teams behind them that know how to appeal to our weaknesses and needs. Go back to basics lovely lady! In actual fact, having clear skin isn’t that hard. All it takes are some good quality products (applied consistently!), clean foods, water and time dedicated to really truly looking after ourselves (which is why you’ll find me walking on the beach so often!)
If these things don’t work for you then reach out! That’s what I’m here for. I offer complimentary 15 minute skin consultations. Click here and book in!
Here’s to a life free from blackheads - and full of sunshine and joy.