People of any age can have problems with blackheads on their skin, but most often it is an issue during the teenage and adolescent years. Blackheads are small yellow or black bumps that form when a clog develops in the opening of hair follicles due to a combination of excess sebum and build-up of dirt and dead skin cells.
Common and annoying, blackheads occur when your pores become clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells. The difference between a black head and a white head is simply whether or not the pore is open or closed. If the pore is open, the plug of sebum/skin cells oxidizes as it is in contact with the oxygen in the air, which turns it black. Blackheads are not caused by dirt.
Let’s make that clear from the beginning. 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, and…well it’s a vicious cycle. For this reason, don’t use some of these remedies more than 2-3 times a week, such as the sugar scrub and pore strips. I know it can be hard to resist, but your skin will be better off this way.
Baking Soda & Water
A little baking soda goes a long way for blackheads, but don’t overdo it, as it can seriously dry out your skin thanks to its saltiness. While pH may or may not have a role to play in blackheads, the biggest reason baking soda helps is because of it’s small, fine, granules that can work as a natural and inexpensive way to occasionally exfoliate and remove anything clogging your pores (and therefore causing blackheads.). You will need 1 part baking soda-Fresh water, 1 tablespoon (roughly).
Mix water with enough baking soda to form a thick, but spreadable, paste. Using a gentle circular motion, massage the paste into your skin. Rinse thoroughly with plain water, pat your face dry, and then make sure you moisturize.
Bentonite clay is a mineral rich healing substance that has been used for centuries to treat a number of ailments, chiefly skin related. Because of its molecules “electrical charge” when wet, it does an amazing job of drawing out oils or other impurities locked in your pores. When you apply the mask your skin gets to drink in all the minerals, while the clay simultaneously draws out the blackhead.
It also helps with circulation, which helps with overall skin tone and health. You can mix the clay with water or apple cider vinegar, maybe sticking to the former if you have dry or sensitive skin. Experiment! This mask will make you feel like your face is tightening as it dries. Whether or not you let it dry entirely is up to your preference-I tend to let it dry most of the way and then just moisturize afterwards, but other people find that dries their skin out and irritates them.
Mix in enough water or ACV to form a paste that is thick but still applicable. Using clean fingertips cover your face with a thinner layer of paste and let it sit for 10-25 minutes, depending on how long you are letting it dry. Rinse off with lukewarm water and moisturize as usual.
H2O Daily Blackhead Treatment
While pore strips and face masks work wonders, they can only be used several times a week to avoid drying your skin out to much. If you want to do something daily to prevent your blackheads, a gentle rinsing with water 1-2 times a day is the way to go.
This keeps things that can make your pores appear larger-such as excess sebum and dead skin-flushed away and your pores clear. Be sure to use a light moisturizer when you are done to prevent your skin from trying to produce excess sebum to accommodate for dryness.
Twice a day splash your face with clean, fresh water. Pat dry with a soft towel and apply moisturizer as usual. I suggest doing this early afternoon (so you wash away anything that has built up in the first part of the day) and evening, but morning and evening works as well.
Honey and Milk Pore Strips
Milk and honey both have properties that are good for skin. Honey has antibacterial properties, and the lactic acid in milk is said to help keep skin soft and supple. The main purpose here though is, when mixed together, to act as an adhesive.
Mix 1 tablespoon of organic raw honey with 1 teaspoon of milk. Heat it for 5-10 seconds in the microwave, and then mix again to blend thoroughly. When it’s a comfortable temperature, apply a thin layer over blackheads, and then gently but firmly pat a strip of dry, clean, cotton onto it. Let dry (to play it safe, wait at least 20 minutes) and carefully peel the strip away. Rinse with cold water and moisturize as usual.
Egg White Mask
Egg whites form an easy mask that can be used to temporarily tighten pores, thus reducing chances of future blackheads, and will also remove current blackheads. Egg whites are also rich in nutrients for your skin, and are a little less drying than some other home remedies for blackheads.Separate the yolk from the white and rinse your face. Pat your face dry and then apply a thin layer of egg white over your skin. There are two ways to go from here:
Place a strip of facial tissue or toilet paper over the wet egg white, being sure to press it onto your face gently. Allow the first layer to dry. Carefully apply a second layer of egg white over the tissue (try dipping your fingers in it and dabbing it on so the tissue doesn’t slide around a bunch. Let this layer dry as well before applying a third (optional.) When the mask is dry, your face may feel tight-this is supposed to happen. Peel the tissue off, and then gently wash your face to remove any residue. Pat dry and moisturize as usual.
Alternatively, you can leave out the tissue and simply apply 3-5 layers of egg white, being sure to let each layer dry in between applications. If you do not let the layers dry, this will not work!
Cinnamon & Honey Strips
It sounds like a delicious candy, but cinnamon and honey make a wonderful combination for getting rid of blackheads. Again, the anti-bacterial agents in the honey can help keep away bacteria that are causing acne (not necessarily blackheads, but still a bonus) as well as act as the adhesive to pull out anything clogging your pores. Cinnamon improves circulation, and this increased blood flow gives your skin a smooth, healthy, glow. Mix the honey and the cinnamon together until you have enough paste to cover the affected area. Apply in a thin layer over the blackheads and then press a strip of clean cotton over it. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes before removing and rinsing your face. Don’t forget to follow up with a moisturizer!
Sweat It Out
Although sweat glands and hair follicle pores aren’t the same thing, sweating can still help minimize blackheads. When you work up enough of a sweat, the liquid naturally flows over and softens/flushes anything clogging your pores. It is absolutely vital, however, that you wash your face immediately before and immediately afterwards, otherwise the affect can be detrimental. If you leave on make up or anything before this the sweat can carry it into your pores, and if you don’t wash afterwards not only is all that stuff still in there but now there’s dried sweat blocking up your pores as well. So on one hand sweat can cleanse pores, on the other; it could also clog them. Be sure to do it right from the start! Rinse your face, than work up a good sweat. Rinse your face with water, than pat dry with a clean fluffy towel. Moisturize as usual.
Toner for Tighter Pores
Since blackheads are caused by open, clogged, pores reacting to oxygen, it only makes sense that “shrinking” your pores down will help. Lemon juice is just the astringent substance needed to get the job done, however, it can lighten skin temporarily and it does make you sensitive to the sun, so load up on sunscreen if you plan on using this method in the summertime. If you have sensitive skin, try diluting the lemon juice with water first. Rinse your face and pat dry. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bottle and then use just enough to dampen a cotton ball. Apply to affected areas 3-4 times a week, at bedtime. When you wake up, rinse your face with luke-warm water and apply moisturizer as usual. Store the rest of the juice in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be aware-the juice can sting sometimes!