Blackheads. If you’ve never had one, consider yourself lucky. Officially known as comedo or comedones (plural), these dark dots on your face (or body) can hold you back from obtaining complexion perfection. Contrary to popular belief however, blackheads are not caused by poor hygiene or dirt. So, this month we are debunking this dirty beauty myth and getting to the source of blackheads.
While it is commonly thought that blackheads are dirt, this is not the case. This belief often leads to over washing and scrubbing of the face. But actually scrubbing your face may aggravate comedones! It is more likely that products are getting into your pores and creating a blockage, such as greasy hair products, skin butters and certain BB creams with ointments. Genetics also come into play as certain ethnicities are known to be more predisposed to form comedones. Blackheads are actually a combination of oil and dead skin cells that collect inside your hair follicles. So what is the reason for the blackened color of the appropriately titled blackheads? The answer is oxidation. Being that the effected follicle is open and exposed, oxygen is able enter where the oil and dead skin is residing and create that darkened color, this is same as when an apple is cut open and darkens.
So how can you stop these blackheads from forming on your precious skin? Well, there are two issues that we must address, the overproduction of oil and dead skin cells remaining on the surface of your skin. A soap-free cleanser, such as the Hydra Medic® Face Wash Foaming Gel Cleanser, with salicylic acid will help you gain control over the production of sebum while also gently exfoliating. This fantastic formula provides a deep cleanse without causing dryness; this is key because over drying your skin can cause it to produce more oils as it is trying to compensate for the moisture it lost. See my blog post on Oily Skin! And your skin will further benefit from this fabulous product as it contains micro-alga and zinc which are known to help regulate oil production, bringing more of a balance to your overall complexion. Another important element in helping to decrease the oils on the surface of your skin is using a toner. A facial astringent is essential because these products are known to help rebalance the pH level of your skin which can be altered after cleansing. The Hydra Medic® Astringent helps to clear congestion and also contains salicylic acid to continue the gentle exfoliation you began with the cleanser. See my video on the importance of toners and astringents!
Now, what to do about those dull, dead skin cells that are clogging your pores? While the cleanser and toner exfoliate your skin it is also nice to have the Honey and Almond Scrub on hand too which contains pure honey, oatmeal, almond meal and St. John’s Wort which are known to help purify the skin of excess oils while buffing away the excess of dead skin that is getting trapped in your pores. And to really treat your skin you can apply the Hydra Medic® Beta Hydroxy Serum nightly which penetrates pores to help control breakouts and stop them before they even start!
Along with using the proper beauty products to banish your blackheads it is important to never squeeze your blackheads! This could damage your skin and cause bacterial infection. Always have a licensed esthetician or dermatologist extract your comedones.
What is your favorite product to keep away the blackheads? Tell us in the comments below!