What are Blackheads?
Blackheads or ‘open comedo’ are clogged hair follicles that appear as tiny bumps on the surface of our skin. These bumps have a dark brown or blackhead and hence the name ‘blackhead’.
Amongst the 6 types, blackheads are known to be the most common and mild form of acne. We usually see blackheads on the face, around the nose, chin, lips and even in the ears. However, they can appear on the back, chest, neck, arms and legs too
What causes Blackheads?
Blackheads appear when a plug of sebum (an oily substance naturally secreted by the skin) and dead skin cells develop at the opening of the pore. The head gets a deep dark colour due to oxidation that occurs when exposed to air.
The blackheads do not get inflamed or swollen leading to pain either. The plug stays at the surface of the skin and isn't trapped deeper into the pore, unlike pimples.
Here are some of the common causes of blackheads
Oil and dead skin cells build-up
The primary cause of blackheads is the pore clog that can happen by excess sebum secretion, dead skin cells and even makeup.
- Excessive sweating and exposure to environmental stressors
Improper cleansing after engaging in activities that lead to sweating, applying makeup or getting exposed to pollution and dirt is another major cause of blackheads.
- Dead skin cells not being shed off regularly
Accumulation of dead skin cells due to slow or extremely fast cell renewal is a major cause of blackheads. It is important to regularly exfoliate the skin to ensure dead skin is scrubbed away.
- Hormonal changes
When your body undergoes hormonal changes, it may trigger excess oil production and thereby lead to clogging of the pore.
Home Remedies for Blackhead Removal
Here are some quick remedies for blackhead removal at home -
Steam is an easy and effective way to get rid of blackheads. It helps to loosen the clogged pores and softens the trapped sebum, grime and dead skin cells. You can take face steam once or twice a week for 5-10 mins. Rinse the face with lukewarm water and gently wipe away the blackheads and dead skin cells using a soft towel.
Oil cleanse -
As they say, iron cuts iron, likewise oil dissolves oil! Oil cleansing helps dissolve all the excess sebum, dirt and grime accumulated in the pores. Take a few drops of a non - comedogenic oil like cold-pressed argan oil (dry skin) or cold-pressed hemp seed oil (oily skin) and gently massage in circular motions. Follow up with your regular face wash and moisturizer or facial oil.
Green tea mask
Steep a bag of green tea in water for some time. Cut open the bag and add a drizzle of honey and any of our toners to make a paste. Apply it generously on blackhead prone areas and let it rest till it's semi-dry. Gently scrub to cleanse the pores and wash with lukewarm water. You can use this mask once or twice a week. Steaming before this step will enhance its effectiveness.
Go for clay!
Clay is your best friend if your pores tend to clog upon you! Clay masks help dig up all the accumulated oil, dirt and grime deep-seated in the pores. Take a teaspoon of fuller’s earth and mix it with our certified organic rose water to make a smooth paste. Apply on the affected areas and just before the mask begins to crack, wet it a bit and massage gently in circular motions to get rid of the excess oil on your skin and deep cleanse the pores.Now while home remedies for blackheads are great for removing blackheads on the nose and face, it is crucial to maintain and follow an appropriate skincare routine to keep those nasty blackheads at bay!.
Skin Care Routine for Blackheads with Juicy Chemistry -
- Deep cleansing face wash - Your cleanser must be gentle yet deep cleansing with antibacterial properties to ensure blackheads do not pay you regular visits. Try our certified organic Tea Tree, Neem and Rosemary Cold Pressed Soap or Hemp, Tea Tree and Neem Liquid Organic Face Wash
- Pick the right toner - Pick a toner that helps regulate sebum production, tighten pores and hydrates your skin. Our Bulgarian Rosewater will work great.
- Regularly exfoliate -You must exfoliate once or twice a week to remove blackheads from your nose. You may try the above Green Tea Mask DIY or get one of our gentle and certified organic face scrubs as per your skin type. Take steam beforehand to soften the skin to help the scrub perform better. (PS: always exfoliate with wet fingers exercising least pressure).
- Mask it up! - Masking can help deep cleanse the pores and remove all the excess sebum, grime and dead skin cells. Try our certified organic Kakadu Plum, Matcha and Blood Orange Face Mask to not just keep away the blackheads but also get back your glow.
- Use non-comedogenicm Moisturiser or facial oil - Your skin needs all the moisture you can give to it but you have to ensure the ingredients are non - comedogenic. Try our Saffron And Red Raspberry Facial Oil or even cold-pressed carrier oils like Argan, Hemp and Rosehip.
- Use BHA - Willow Bark extract gently unclogs clogged pores to remove blackheads. Our BHA serum has cellular willow bark, turmeric and bromelain extract making it a potent yet gentle clarifying serum for daily use.
How to Remove Blackheads at Home With Lifestyle Changes
- Keep your skin clean.
- Wash your face twice a day, especially on days when you step out.
- Use clean laundry.
- It is very important to ensure that you use clean towels, pillowcases and everything that comes in touch with your skin regularly.
- Clean your phone screen regularly.
- Believe it or not, your phone screen is exposing you to a lot of dirt. Clean it regularly before bringing it near to your face.
- DO NOT touch your face often.
- Our hands touch so many things and carry a lot of germs as well as dirt. Keep them away from your face unless you wash them first.
- Invest in the right products.
- Pick the right products for yourself. Be cautious of what you are exposing your skin to and what works the best for the health of your skin.
Some myths about Blackheads -
- While blackheads are more common for oily skin, you may get them even if you have dry skin!
- While it may look like dirt is trapped in the pore, it is not dirt! The head gets black from oxidation.
- You can get blackheads even when your skin is not acne-prone.
- Blackhead removal: Things to consider (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Management of acne (nih.gov)