Blackheads. They’re the little spots that cause big confidence issues. We all know what they are, but do you know what causes them?
Blackheads are on oxidized mix of oil and dead skin cells that are sitting in pores. The exposure to air is what causes them to oxidize and turn black. It doesn’t mean that your skin is dirty and you need to invest in a good face scrub. It’s the opposite, actually. Don’t go off and just blindly cause damage to your skin.
There’s one golden rule when it comes to blackheads: Don’t squeeze them. They’ll just come back, two-three or four-fold.
What else do we need to know about these pesky little dots?
Myth #1: Every dot on your nose is a blackhead
Truth: No, they’re not. For many of us, they’re sebaceous follicles, a natural and permanent part of our skin. You can remove them any way you want, but they’ll keep coming back. You’ll probably just end up damaging your skin constantly trying to get rid of them.
Myth #2: You can ‘open’ and ‘close’ your pores.
Truth: Sorry ladies, we wish! Pore sizes are genetically determined, so you’ve got your Mum and Dad to thank for that. Although facial steams or salycilic acid can loosen debris in your pores, they don’t actually ‘open’. By removing gunk, it doesn’t mean you’re ‘closing’ your pores, but they might just seem a bit larger after you get a blackhead out. They’ll resume their natural size regardless of what you do.
So, what can you do?
Blackhead masks: Yay or nay?
There are all kinds of blackhead masks out there – ones that pull them right out, others that loosen the gunk in your pores and claim to open your pores.
If you have blackheads, it’s best to stick with a consistent, mild-skin treatment that balances your natural oils and doesn’t over-strip your skin. Ripping them out with a mask or a sticky strip is a short-term solution. You’re best off trying to get to the root of the growth, solving the underlying skin chemistry that allowed the blackheads to occur in the first place.
Yay for no painful strips!