At one point in our lives, we have all experienced the dreaded blackheads. For some of us it is a day to day struggle. A blackhead forms when dead skin cells and oil gang up and create a “plug” that clogs the pore and the surface remains open. The best method to tackle these bad boys is to break up the plug. Many products claim to banish blackheads, but what really works? Start by trying these tried and true tips and you’ll be on the road to smoother, clearer skin!
•Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid dives deep into the pores to break up any mischief that the cells and oil can cause. It is oil soluble, which means that it can easily blend with other oils, such as skin’s sebum (oil), making for easy access into the pores. Once inside, salicylic acid continues mingling with the oil and begins to separate the oil and dead skin cells, essentially unclogging the pore and ridding the blackhead.
•Benzoyl Peroxide and Alpha Hydroxy Acids: Ingredients that promote quick cell turnover, like benzoyl peroxide and alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid, lactic acid, etc….), can also help prevent blackheads. They remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin before they have a chance to clog our pores.
•Try the Clarisonic: Exfoliation is the key! What better way to work in gentle, daily exfoliation of your skin than with the Clarisonic brush? The sonic frequency moves the soft brush back and forth at more than 300 times per second, thoroughly clearing pores and cleansing and exfoliating the skin’s surface.
•Retinoids: Topical retinoid products work by activating the skin receptors that lead to an increase of collagen production and faster growth of skin cells. This in turn will speed up the rate that skin debris is shed, preventing it from binding with the skin oil and blocking the follicle. These two factors accelerate skin renewal and the natural reduction of pesky blackheads.
•Look for “non-comedogenic.” Many products’ efficacy simply depends on each person’s skin type and how the products are formulated. However, your best bet is to only buy products with a “non-comedogenic” claim. That means that the product has been tested and proven to not increase the number of “comedones” (fancy word for blackheads and whiteheads).