Blackheads, *sigh*. Arguably the most stubborn of breakouts to banish, they’ve taken up rank in our life challenges list. And we’d really like to cross them off. So, for all you squeezers and pore-strip users out there, we’re going to jump into the three safest ways to treat blackheads and help prevent their unwelcome return (all while minimizing possible skin damage and scarring from squeezing, tools and whatever else you can get your hands on!).
Firstly, what is a ‘blackhead’?
Blackheads are dead skin cells and oils which collect in the pore. And if the pore isn’t covered by skin, exposure to air causes it to turn black as it oxidizes (ahh, science!).
Now let’s get to it.
1. Antioxidant-rich products prevent blackheads
One thing you probably didn’t know about antioxidants in skincare, is that they actually prevent oil from oxidizing – hence the name ‘antioxidants’.
Antioxidants should already be included in your skincare regime because of their many benefits – e.g. lightening discoloration, encouraging collagen production and slowing down the production of skin-damaging free radicals too - but when it comes to preventing blackheads in particular, they are essential!
Antioxidants to look for:
- Green Tea
- Resveratrol – found in red wine, red grapes, nuts and some fruit
- Retinol (vitamin A)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
To up your antioxidant skincare, we recommend:
- Purified: Purifying Cleanser (which includes a green tea antioxidant)
- Refined: Clarifying Red Wine Mask (which includes a resveratrol antioxidant)
- The Foundation: Flawless Retinol & Vitamin C Lotion (which includes a vitamin A antioxidant)
With The Foundation in particular, the retinol (vitamin A) works to tighten pores so that they appear smaller – which in turn, keeps blackheads virtually invisible. The cherry on top? It can even make the other products in your routine more effective since they will be able to penetrate deeper without being blocked by clogged pores! And don’t forget that there’s strength in numbers – these powerful antioxidants listed above perform even better together in a dedicated routine!
2. Exfoliate using these important ingredients
To keep blackheads at bay, we suggest exfoliating with acids such as AHA’s and BHA’s to absorb directly into the pores and keep them cleaned out... while also preventing the oil from filling back up immediately.
AHA’s work to exfoliate the surface of your skin, while BHA’s penetrate deeper into the skin and have both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits. An added ingredient you should include in your routine is salicylic acid, as it works to fend off dead skin cells and oil, both of which can lead to blackheads.
To exfoliate with effective ingredients including AHA’s, BHA’s and salicylic acid, we recommend:
3. Lather on a clay mask
Clay masks are designed to draw out dirt, oil and other impurities from the skin. Ingredients such as kaolin works to absorb impurities that lead to congestion and remove excess oil from the skins’ surface by clarifying pores and reducing the formation of blackheads and breakouts - essentially giving your pores a major detox! So, indulge in a clay mask weekly and follow up with a deeply hydrating moisturizer to avoid dryness.
- Refined: Clarifying Red Wine Mask (not only is it formulated with kaolin clay, but also a resveratrol antioxidant too)
- Luna Vitality: Restoring Moisture Cream (to lock moisture back into the skin after masking)
And there you have it. When it comes to dealing with blackheads, it’s all about cleansing, exfoliating, masking and treating with the right ingredients. Definitely no squeezing, tools, pore strips or what-have-you needed, because the last thing we want to replace blackheads with is scars!