Blackheads, or comedones, occur when pores on the face become clogged with oil in the skin known as sebum. They are a common problem for those with oily or combination skin, and can be very difficult to get rid of. There are some blackhead removal methods to try, however, that may be effective at getting rid of existing blackheads and at preventing new ones from forming.
The first method of blackhead removal is to use a deep cleansing, exfoliating scrub. Used regularly, a soap-free facial cleanser can help dissolve blackheads in the pores without damaging the surrounding skin. An exfoliating scrub may be used once or twice a week to attempt to remove persistent blackheads. When applying moisturizer to the face, choose a gentle moisturizer that is oil-free and will not clog the pores.
Of course, sometimes simply cleansing the skin is simply not an effective blackhead removal method. Many people find it impossible to resist squeezing the blackhead in order to remove it. Though this method should be avoided because it can actually make the blackhead worse and cause scarring, if it is absolutely necessary to squeeze, there are some tips to remember.
First, place a warm washcloth over the blackhead for a few minutes to loosen it. Then, using a cotton ball or tissue around the fingers, press around the sides of the blackhead and up. Do not scrape the skin with the fingernails, and if this method does not work in one or two tries, stop for the day and try again the next day. Continued pressure can force the oil deeper into the pores and make it worse.
Some department stores and drugstores sell blackhead extractor or blackhead eraser tools, which use a similar method and may be slightly more sanitary. Sticky strips that adhere to the face and are then pulled off for blackhead removal are not recommended, as they can damage the skin. For natural methods of blackhead removal, some people recommend the application of honey, lemon juice, baking soda and water, or even grated potatoes directly to the skin. After applying any of these to the skin, simply wait for approximately ten to 15 minutes and wash it off; the blackheads should dissolve.
Be sure not to over-cleanse the face, which can encourage the overproduction of oil and make blackheads worse. Try to find a gentle cleanser designed for oily skin. In addition, remember to always wash makeup off at the end of the day to prevent blackheads from forming.