Blackheads are such a bother! They are stubborn and pesky, and considering how deep-rooted they are into your skin, they refuse to budge unless you use just the right skincare actives to get rid of them. But, worry not! There are a host of actives that are perfect to uproot them from its roots, ensuring a speckless face devoid of these prominent marks.
The Channel 46 has collaborated with The Cosmetics Cop, American talk show radio host, author and businesswoman Paula Begoun, to offer expert tips on skincare actives that are effective in removing blackheads for their heads.
1. Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
Out of all of the actives for treating blackheads, beta hydroxy acid ranks as the most impactful. It is a chemical exfoliant that helps remove built up dead skin that would normally mix with oil in the pore and risk turning into a blackhead. This makes it effective for treating the blackheads you see now, as well as helping prevent future blackheads from forming (when used consistently). While this kind of treatment may sound like it would be harsh on skin, just the opposite is true if you find a well-formulated BHA product. BHA has inherent anti-inflammatory properties, so it can actually soothe skin while it goes to work on blackheads.
Consider adding niacinamide to your anti-blackhead routine. Niacinamide helps improve pore functionality and re-establishes a normal flow of oil out of the pore lining. Why is this important? When too much oil is produced inside the pore, it has difficulty flowing freely to the surface. As the flow of oil gets backed up, it mixes with the built-up dead skin and oxidises, forming a blackhead. Daily use of a concentrated niacinamide product helps mitigate that.
3. Porous Charcoal, Natural Clays & Tapioca Starch
Take blackhead reduction a step further by using an oil-absorbing mask that contains key ingredients like porous charcoal, natural clays (kaolin and bentonite), and tapioca starch. These can improve your odds against blackheads and may help dislodge stubborn debris within pores.
4. Gentle Cleansing Actives
Proper cleansing is essential. Steer clear of abrasive face scrubs—these are not advised because blackheads are too deep in the pore to be removed by surface scrubbing. And the vast majority of scrubs contain hard, coarse particles that can irritate and damage your skin. Face washes that leave skin feeling stripped dry are equally bad as they put skin in a compromised state, and the irritation they incite can trigger increased sebum production, which in turn equals more blackheads. Lose-lose!
Gentle, fragrance-free, water-soluble cleansers (the kind that rinse without leaving a greasy residue on skin) are vitally important. The formula should fully remove your makeup, SPF and other debris, to complement your other blackhead-reducing actives.
Read: 2-Step Process for Layering Sunscreen The Right Way
Another key step for blackhead-prone skin is to get hydration without using overly emollient or greasy moisturisers that won’t clog pores. Opt for gel and light fluid lotion types of moisturisers instead of rich creams (the base ingredients that give creams their thick consistency can clog pores). Alternatively, you can also get your daily dose of hydration from a toner that’s loaded with hydrating substances like hyaluronic acid, instead of a traditional moisturiser.
6. Lightweight Sunscreens
It can be tempting to skip SPF when you have skin that’s prone to clogged pores and blackheads, but that’s a huge mistake, as it damages skin and leads to worse problems. Similar to regular moisturisers, you want to look for formulas that are non-occlusive (fluids, lightweight lotions, or gels work great).
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