Human skin is porous. These pores are meant for the skin to breathe as well as for the sweat to pass out, as we all know that skin also acts like an excretory organ which excretes sweat as an excretory or waste product. Also the skin has a lot of oil glands, known as sebaceous glands, which secrete oil, forming a protective layer over our skin’s outermost layer. Dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening to the skin follicle, producing a bump like structure. When the skin over the bump opens, exposure to the air causes it to look black and a blackhead forms. Some factors can increase your chances of developing acne and blackheads, including:
- Producing too much body oil
- Build-up of the p. acnes bacteria (propionic bacterium acnes) on the skin
- Irritation of the hair follicles when dead skins cells don’t shed on a regular basis
- Undergoing hormonal changes that cause an increase in oil production during the teen years, during menstruation, or while taking birth control pills.
Blackheads are not caused by dirt. So, scrubbing your face obsessively is not a good way to get rid of your blackheads, and is only going to make it worse as you’ll just end up drying out your skin, which will cause more oil to be created to make up for everything you stripped away. So, how can you treat blackheads?
- Many acne medications are available at drug and grocery stores without a prescription. These medications are available in cream, gel, and pad form and are put directly on your skin. The drugs contain ingredients which work by killing bacteria, drying excess oil, and forcing the skin to shed dead skin cells.
- Chemical peels also remove clogs and get rid of dead skins cells that contribute to blackheads. During a peel, a strong chemical solution is applied to the skin. Over time, the top layers of the skin peel off, revealing smoother skin underneath.
- Use honey and cinnamon. Honey is a natural antibiotic and works to pull out dirt from your open pores. Mix a tablespoon of honey with ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon and use your fingers to dab it onto your dry skin. Rub it in a circular motion for three minutes and then wash off with warm water. Make sure to wash your hands before you start applying the mask.
- Create a clay mask. There are many different kinds of cosmetic clay available to purchase in a powdered form, each with the specialized property of drying out oily pores and removing unwanted residue. Mix a tablespoon of powdered clay with enough apple cider vinegar to make a paste, and spread it over your face. Leave it for 10-15 minutes until it is dry to the touch, and then rinse off with warm water.
- Try turmeric and mint juice. Turmeric and mint help to clean out dirty pores. Create a brew of mint tea and allow it to cool. Then, add two tablespoons of the liquid with a tablespoon of turmeric powder and apply it to your face. Leave it on for ten minutes and then rinse off with warm water.
- Exfoliate your face.