Five things you need to know
1.Forego the pore cleaning strips
Using pore strips certainly gives you satisfaction as you peel away what seems like a whole bunch of blackheads. However in many cases, blackheads are too deep to be extracted using these strips, so all you remove is dead skin, or at best, the top of the blackhead
which leaves room for bacteria to get in.
A better alternative is to use a chemical exfoliant, such as Beta Hydroxy Acid (read more about BHA below).
2. Skincare can make blackheads worse
Shock, horror!!! There are some pore clogging ingredients found in our skin care such as oils and stabilisers, that are not good if you are prone to blackheads.
Actively look for products that say they are non-comedogenic, non-pore clogging, non-acne forming, non-acneigenic and oil free. You should also look for products that are not too creamy, or rich. Even without pore blocking ingredients, oily or excessively moisturising products will have a detrimental effect on pore blocking, so stick to gels and serums.
And if you’re a label reader…. always avoid: Isopropyl isostearate, Isopropyl palmitate, Isopropyl myristate, Myristyl myristate, Laureth-4, Oleth-3, Coconut butter, Acetylated lanolin and Cocoa butter, to name a few.
3. These Active ingredients can help clear up blackheads
Active skin care for pores may include creams with vitamin A (such as retinol or retinaldehyde) and vitamin B (niacinamide). Prescription strength vitamin A, which must to be used under the supervision of a doctor or dermatologist, is excellent at clearing pores and is termed comedolytic, as it burrows down into the hair follicles breaking up comedones. Black heads are a type of comedone; the mini blockages that cause pimples, which means this product benefits acne in general.
4. Blackheads are not a buildup of dirt in the pores
Despite sometimes looking like little grains of dirt, blackheads are not caused by dirt on the skin. They are actually a buildup of oil and sloughed-off skin cells that become trapped in the follicle on the way to the skin’s surface. As mentioned, this plug of dead cells and oil is called a comedone.
Blackheads get their colour because the comedone contains dislodged melanin, which are the cells that give our skin colour.
5. Freeze the squeeze
Squeezing acne does not help the situation or speed up the healing process. Just don’t do it! If your blackhead is really bothering you, DIV can perform a manual extraction, but always leave the squeezing up to the professionals.
Do your blackheads or acne bother you? Talk to our medical professionals about a personalised skin treatment plan at DIV or book a complimentary consultation with our skin care expert Alani, by calling the clinic on (03) 9826 4966 or filling in the below form.