Monday, 21 January 2013
BLACKHEADS : Understanding, controlling and preventing them.
Like i promised one of my readers who commented on one of my posts, here i am with a post on blackheads. Like the title says, this post will be explaining what blackheads are, letting you know how to manage them, and how to prevent new ones from forming on your skin. If you are fortunate like me and don't ever have blackheads, then you can close this page. But if you just need the information for a relative or perhaps for a friend.....read on.
I believe that if someone has an understanding about something or a problem, then they will be able to handle it better. So what are blackheads and how are they formed? Also, what causes them? Now......let's see...... I'll try to explain this as simply as i can. I did a little research on it, and i will break down my findings for you below....
Blackheads are those tiny black plugs you see on the tip or side of your nose when you look in the mirror. Contrary to what most people say, blackheads are not a result of poor hygiene. What actually causes them are excess oil that are trapped in your skin's sebaceous glands.
The sebaceous glands which are found near the surface of our skin secretes an oily substance called 'Sebum'. When this sebum is produced too much, mixes with dead skin cells, and blocks the skin pores, they form blackheads.....so basically, you can say that the over-production of oil is the main cause of the emergence of blackheads. Blackheads can also be caused by the build-up of dirt and oil on the surface of the skin from the use of excess cosmetics and moisturisers, or if the skin has not been cleaned properly. So, it's safe to say that blackheads mostly sprout on the faces of people that have oily skin. You hardly see it on dry-skinned people.
Now that we have an idea of what blackheads are and what forms them, now we move on to knowing how to control them. You can controll them by extracting the existing ones on your face and keeping your skin clean always.
To remove a blackhead, first wash your face. If you try to remove blackheads without first washing your face, you risk infection or more breakouts. Next, give your face a steam to open pores. This can be done simply by leaning over a bowl of hot water with a towel placed over your head for a few minutes, next, make sure your hands are clean, then wrap small pieces of tissue around your fingers to protect your skin from your nails. Gently extract the blackhead. If it doesn't come out easily, leave it. If you force the blackhead you risk aggravating or inflaming the skin and this might lead to scarring.
Another way of extracting blackheads is by using 'Biore pore strips'. They are deep pore cleansing strips that can get rid of the dirt that causes blackheads. You can probably find them at some cosmetic stores.
Give yourself a facial every week and don't forget to exfoliate. Exfoliation is important because if you can
remember at the beginning of the post, i mentioned that when the sebum (oil) mixes with the dead skin cells and blocks your pores, it causes blackheads. Now, its advisable to frequently get rid of these dead skin cells on your face so as not to allow them the opportunity to mix with the sebum and block your pores. The dead skin cells are removed through exfoliation. Use the St, Ives Apricot scrub for blackheads. Every step of the facial is important. See HERE for a simple but effective do-it-yourself facial treatment.
Don’t wash your face with harsh cleansers. This makes your skin overreact and produce more oil, which means your blackheads will be back much faster.Wash your face in the morning and at night, but don't do it more than twice per day. While it may seem logical to wash more often to control oil, doing so will typically dry your skin out too much and lead to the production of even more of that dreaded oil
Cleansing your face is important because it helps prevent more blackheads from showing up by unclogging your skin pores of dirt and oil.
Wear makeup as little as possible.
Wash your pillowcase on a weekly basis (to clean off any dead skin cells and oils your face leaves behind on it).
Blot your face with blotting tissue paper throughout the day to soak up oil before it can accumulate and nix with dead skin and block your pores again, forming more blackheads.
Following the tips above are ways in which you can control the blackheads, because whether you want to believe it or not, blackheads are very stubborn and sometimes, they may never go away entirely.....but you can learn to control them
Since oily skin is the main reason why blackheads exist, it is safe to say that the best way to prevent blackheads is to control the production of oil in your face. There are several factors that can contribute to oily skin, and that includes heredity, stress, and hormonal imbalance (for women). While there's nothing much you can do about these factors, there are certainly things you can do that will help you manage your skin's oil production so that there's very little chance for blackheads to appear. Here they are:
Get a good cleanser for your oily skin. Use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid in them to wash your face, as both of these are known for helping to control oil on the skin.......For example 'Neutrogena oil-free acne wash' or 'Clean 'n clear cleanser'. Keep in mind, however, that they won't cure your oil-production problem. Instead, they'll help to make it more manageable. Wash your face twice a day. You could also use the cleanser with the salicylic or glycolic acid in the morning and then a gentler one like 'cetaphil gentle cleanser' for all skin types at night. Remember......not more dan 2 washes a day.
Use an oil-free moisturizer. Also use oil-free makeup products.
Try to keep oils off your face. Even if your hair is oily, minimize its contact with your face. Make sure your cell phone sef is clean because it can spread bacterias to your face too.
Stop touching your face frequently, if you must, make sure that your hands are clean.
I really hope this post was enough to answer the questions on blackheads, and i hope i was able to help at all. I tried as much as i could to break down my research findings. Try out the products i mentioned.....they would help i'm sure.
Pls pardon any typos you might have seen.
Thanks for reading.