No one wants to deal with having unsightly blackheads or other forms of acne on their face or body but, unfortunately, they are a part of life. Although more common during adolescence, you can develop blackheads at any age. Luckily, there are also treatments and home remedies for blackheads that you can use at any age, too.
What Causes Blackheads?
Blackheads are caused by clogged hair follicles in the skin, resulting from a buildup of excess dirt, oils, and dead skin cells. This buildup clogs the pore and forms either a blackhead or a whitehead. With a whitehead, the pore is fully clogged and no air is getting in. With a blackhead, there is an opening in the skin and the air causes it to turn yellow or black. There are a number of contributing factors, including improper skin care, stress, hormonal changes, and cosmetic products in addition to genetic factors. If untreated, blackheads can cause acne breakouts. Although these can occur with any skin type, they are more common in people with oily skin.
How to Prevent Blackheads:
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so let’s talk about prevention first. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent blackheads from forming.
1. Properly wash your face regularly:
Good hygiene goes a long way toward helping to prevent blackheads from forming. Here are a few things to consider when washing:
- Choose a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type. Look for something with a balanced PH. If you have oily skin, choose one that does not contain oils. If you have dry skin, look for one that is cream based or has glycerin to moisturize. Avoid bar soaps and any cleansers that are not designed for use on your face.
- Wash your face daily, especially before going to bed. You want to remove any dirt, oils, makeup and other residue that has built up throughout the day.
- Wash your face with warm water, not hot. Hot water can strip oils and cause skin irritation, leading to more break outs.
- Be careful not to over-wash your skin or scrub too vigorously. This also strips oils and can cause skin irritation. You skin should have a thin layer of oil to protect it, so your goal is simply to cleanse excess oil. Twice daily should be enough.
2. Take a Shower After Workouts and other Strenuous Activity:
Aside from the fact that you will smell a lot better if you shower after participating in activities that cause you to sweat, this will also help prevent blackheads and breakouts. Sweat creates excess oils and bacteria that can lead to clogged pores.
3. Hydrate and Watch Your Diet:
You know the saying, garbage in, garbage out? Well, this certainly applies to what you put into your body. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and your skin will be much happier. Avoid junky, highly processed, fatty and sugary foods. Eat more fruits and veggies. Look for foods high is essential fatty acids, beta carotene, and Vitamin A. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. A healthy diet is a key ingredient to having a healthy body and healthy skin.
4. Get the Right Skin Care Products:
The stores are stocked full of all sorts of soaps, lotions, cleansers and other skin care products, and it can get a bit overwhelming to know what is best to choose. Not all skin care products are the same, and not all skin care products will work for your skin. Here are a few tips:
- Choose products designed for your skin type.
- Choose hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic products. These will not cause irritation or clog your pores.
- Talk to a dermatologist to get recommendations for the best products to use for your skin type.
Home Remedies for Blackheads:
Bentonite Clay Mask:
Bentonite Clay is rich in minerals and has a number of medicinal properties, including many benefits for healthy skin. It is wonderful for cleansing your pores by drawing out oils, toxins and other impurities, and helps to both prevent and treat blackheads and other forms of acne. It also improves skin tone and helps regenerate healthy skin tissue. You may mix either water or raw Apple Cider Vinegar with the clay to make your mask. Apple Cider Vinegar will increase potency but is also drying so if you have dry or sensitive skin, just use water.
- Mix 1 T Bentonite Clay with enough water or Apple Cider Vinegar to make a thick paste that you can easily apply to your skin.
- Apply liberally to your face.
- Leave on for 20 to 30 minutes (longer if you prefer), then rinse off with warm water
- Use a gentle toner such as Rose Witch Hazel and then moisturize as usual.
Egg White Mask:
Eggs whites are nutrient rich and nourishing for your skin. Using this type of mask is less drying than others, so it is great for those with dryer skin types. Egg whites help to tighten pores, draw out existing blackheads, and prevent future blackheads from forming. This makes it the perfect ingredient for home remedies for blackheads.
- You will need 1 to 2 eggs, yolks removed and facial tissues
- Apply a thin layer of egg whites to your face, then place a layer of facial tissue over the egg whites and let dry.
- Apply a second layer of egg whites and tissues and let dry. (A third layer is optional).
- Once the egg whites and tissues are completely dry, peel off the tissues gently.
- Rinse with warm water to remove any egg white residue.
- Use a gentle toner and moisturize as usual.
Cinnamon Herbal Blend Remedies:
Cinnamon is great for stimulating blood flow, giving you healthy glowing skin. Honey has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can help prevent acne. Tumeric has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Lemon is high in antioxidants and rich in vitamin C which helps promote healthy skin.
- You will need cinnamon powder, raw honey and cotton strips. Blend equal parts cinnamon and honey – enough to cover the affected area. Apply a thin layer over the area and cover with a cotton strip. Let set for about 5 minutes (some recommend leaving on overnight). Remove the cotton and rinse your face.
- You will need cinnamon powder, lemon juice and turmeric powder. Blend equal parts cinnamon and lemon juice (about a teaspoon each) with a pinch of turmeric. Apply to your face and leave on for about 15 minutes. Rinse your face thoroughly with warm water.
Just Honey, Honey:
- Applying honey all by itself makes a great treatment for removing blackheads. The honey will pull blackheads and dirt from your skin while moisturizing your skin and killing bacteria. It’s an all-around win win.
- Simply apply raw honey to your face like a mask, being sure to cover affected areas. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Some recommend a second rinse with cool water, too.
- Boil ½ cup of water (remove from heat), add 1 tsp of Epsom Salt and 3 drops of iodine. Let cool. Apply to affected area with a cotton ball.
These home remedies for blackheads work best when used regularly, so it’s not a one-time deal. You may want to experiment a bit to see which remedies work best for you and your skin, then use those on a regular basis (i.e. weekly) in conjunction with daily preventative treatments.