Blackheads can be defined as small bumps appearing on the skin’s surface. They result from clogging of pores due to oil or dead skin. They are usually mild type of acne formed more commonly on face, around the nose and chin area. However, they are also common on the chest, back, arms, neck, and shoulders. They occur most commonly during teenage or pre-menstrual period. Blackheads hinder the dream of having a smooth and clear skin. These are early symptoms of acne, a condition of the skin wherein the skin pores get blocked due to oil, grime, and dead skin.
Causes of Blackheads
Usually, blackheads form when a plug or clog develops in the mouth of hair follicles over the skin. Every follicle is contained with a hair and sebaceous gland that does the job of producing oil (sebum). This sebum functions to keep the skin soft and supple.
When the oil and dead skin cells accumulate on the opening of the follicle, it leads to the formation of a bump, known as whiteheads or blackheads (depending upon their condition).
Some common causes leading to the formation of blackheads are:
- Buildup of bacteria on the skin
- Excessive oil production by the skin
- Irritation of the hair follicles when dead skin cells do not shed regularly
- Side effect of specific drugs
- Hormonal changes causing increased oil production during menstruation, teenage, or intake of contraceptive pills
Some other causes that contribute a major part to the occurrence of blackheads are listed ahead. Many of us are unaware of these causes, although they are a major part of our daily lives.
# Make up
It is very harmful for your skin to sleep with make up on. Sleeping with un-cleaned makeup can cause the pores to clog. This is one of the major causes of acne and blackheads. The cosmetics used for make-up contain certain chemicals that are very harmful for the skin.
Stress is a common thing in today’s hectic life. Well, the daily dose of stressing not only leads to premature graying of hair but also leads to cropping up of blackheads and other skin conditions. However, the reason and relation between stress and blackheads is not yet known. But, this is probably because your skin gets neglected when you are under stress.
# Caffeine and Alcohol
If you are among those who like to start the day with a cup of hot coffee or among the ones who prefer to wind down a long day of work with some wine at night, you are more susceptible to get hit by skin problems, especially blackheads. It has been revealed through studies that caffeine and alcohol have the potential to pose harmful effects on your skin.
Caffeine is known to contain such stimulants that kick-start the oil glands of the skin. Similarly, alcohol influences the sleeping patterns. Adding further, alcohol also reduces the size of pores, thus making them more prone to getting clogged.
Your diet plays a crucial role in determining the health of your skin. What you eat reflects on your skin. There is a direct relationship between diet and blackheads. Excessive intake of sugary foods, fried foods, and foods with high carbohydrate level pose a great impact on the skin health. If you notice that intake of foods like chocolates, doughnuts, and French fries are leading to blackheads, it is high time you limit their consumption.
We all know that smoking is injurious for health. Well taking a puff has become all the more harmful for your skin as well. It blocks the pores, thus leading to acne formation. In addition, it also deters the treatment process of blackheads as well as other skin problems. It has been stated by experts that the smoke from cigarettes contains fine particles of ash, tar, and numerous chemicals thus damaging the skin surface. This further becomes a cause for blocked pores and dead skin cells.
The appearance of blackheads can make your skin look dull. Many people squeeze them out to get rid of blackheads. However, this is not the correct way to do away with blackheads. This can rather smash up your skin. Furthermore, you it is not always possible to visit a beauty parlor or using commercial products to cure this problem.
Besides being expensive, these products and parlor treatments can also result in some side effects or skin reactions. Here are some easy yet effective home remedies to get rid of blackheads at your home.
Sugar is an excellent natural scrub and an amazing exfoliating agent as well. Add some fresh lime juice to a teaspoon of sugar. Rub this mixture onto your nose and chin area, in gentle circular motions. Let it work for 10-12 minutes. Follow with a cold rinse. The results are simply amazing.
Turmeric is a great antiseptic. In addition, it also contains antibacterial properties. It is also a good exfoliating agent. Prepare a paste by mixing turmeric powder with juice of coriander leaves. Apply this paste on the blackheads affected areas to get rid of them easily.
3. Fenugreek Leaves
Crush 5-6 fenugreek leaves. Add some water to prepare a paste. Prepare a paste by adding water to it. Rub this paste over the affected areas. Apply this remedy regularly for desired and effective results.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great exfoliating agent. This makes it a great home remedy to treat blackheads. Mix it with water. Use it over the affected areas, most particularlythe nose and chin areas. Let it stay for about half an hour. Wash off the application with warm water.
The antioxidant properties of honey work great to provide smooth and supple skin. Apply a layer of honey over the blackheads. This remedy helps to get rid of blackheads quite fast.
6. Olive or Almond Oil
Take a clean cloth and put a few drops of olive or almond oil on it. Dab some toothpaste on the oil soaked cloth. Rinse your face with lukewarm water. Now, rub the oil soaked cloth over the affected areas. Wash off your face with hot water after five minutes.
Salt has the properties to extract the excessive oil from the skin. Just add a tablespoon of salt to a glass of water. Use the prepared solution to rinse off the areas affected with blackheads. Daily application of this remedy can provide desired results.
This is also a simple and quick remedy to remove blackheads. Just apply some toothpaste over your nose and other areas affected with blackheads. Rub gently using a toothbrush. This would not only remove the dead skin cells, but also open up the clogged pores, thus providing smooth and supple skin.
9. Hot Compress
This is another easy and effective home remedy to get rid of blackheads. Take a clean towel or cloth. Dip it in hot water and place it over the affected areas, especially the nose and chin. This will provide deep cleansing while removing blackheads.
10. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera contains antioxidants and vitamin E that helps to nourish the skin effectively. In addition, it soothes the skin, thus treating the problem of blackheads. To apply, take an Aloe Vera leaf and slit open it using a knife. Rub it over the facial skin. Let it dry and do its work.
The best way to use this remedy is to apply it before bed and leave it to work overnight. Wash off your face with cold water. Besides being helpful to remove blackheads, it also prevents premature aging of skin.
Steam helps to open the skin pores and supports deep cleansing. It also softens the blackheads and they can be removed easily and effectively. Take boiling water in a bowl. Sit with your face over the bowl and drape a towel to cover your head. Doing this would help to prevent the steam from escaping. Sit for 5-10 minutes. Repeat the remedy every week for desired results.
12. Rose Water
Use rose water to daily cleanse your face. Everyday use is quite effective to remove blackheads quickly and effectively. In addition, daily use also supports deep cleansing of the skin.
13. Cinnamon Powder
Grind some cinnamon sticks. Prepare a paste by mixing this powder to lemon juice. Apply this paste over the affected areas. This remedy works great to exfoliate the skin and remove blackheads effectively.
14. Orange Peel
Take some dried orange peels. Convert it into powder using a blender or grinder. Add water to this powder and prepare a thick paste. Use this paste as a scrub and massage gently on the affected areas. Use this remedy for a few days to get rid of blackheads.
15. Lemon Juice
Extract some lemon juice from two or three lemons. Take a cotton ball and dip it in lemon juice. Use this cotton ball to massage the affected areas, especially the nose and chin. Keep it overnight. This remedy provides 100% results to get rid of blackheads, not only over the nose and chin areas but other blackheads affected areas as well.
Grate a potato and rub it over your nose and other affected areas. Rinse it off after a few minutes. This is one of the most effective ways to get rid of blackheads.
17. Lemon Tomato Mask
Tomatoes have amazing antioxidant properties. Besides, they have the potential to pull the extra oil from the skin. Take an overripe tomato and peel it off. Mash it using a blender.
Add a teaspoon each of lemon juice and oatmeal to this puree. Apply the prepared mask over your face, specifically over the affected areas. Allow the mixture to work for 15-20 minutes. Wash your face with lukewarm water.
18. Oatmeal Mask
Oatmeal mask is another effective way to get rid of blackheads. All you need is a teaspoon of baking soda and three teaspoons of aloe Vera gel. Mix these ingredients to a cup of oatmeal. Prepare a paste and apply it over the affected areas. Let it stay for five minutes and follow with a cold rinse.
19. Egg White
Take an egg white and add a handful of corn flour to it. Mix well to prepare a smooth paste. Apply the prepared paste over the blackheads and leave to work for half an hour. After 30 minutes, wet your fingertips and use them to gently massage the paste onto the nose. Follow the process with a tepid rinse.
20. Gram Flour
Take a bowl of gram flour. Add a teaspoon of crushed raw almonds or milk cream along with a few drops of lemon juice to it. Mix it well. Wash your face. Then, use the prepared mixture to gently scrub the affected skin areas. Let it stay for about 30 minutes.
Later, remove it using your fingertips. Finally, rinse off with tepid water. If you feel the skin to have become dry, use a light daily moisturizer. Else, don’t use any face wash or cosmetic over the skin.
Tips to Prevent Blackheads
Blackheads are a very common problem faced by many of us. They can appear on different body parts, like chest, nose, back, neck, and forehead. Among the other causes of blackheads, improper cleansing routine also contributes to the occurrence of blackheads.
Above all, blackheads have a tendency to re-appear all by themselves. It is, therefore, important to take some preventive measures, apart from the treatment remedies, to avoid the occurrence of blackheads again and again.
Some good and easy ones are listed below.
* Regular Cleansing
This is the best way to prevent the occurrence of blackheads. Take good care of your skin and make sure to follow a good cleansing routine. Try to wash your skin thoroughly, at least two times a day.
It is good to include an anti-bacterial face wash in your cleansing routine. This would also help to keep your skin free from oil and germs, major contributing factors to blackheads.
Scrubbing is important to remove dead skin cells. Use a mild facial scrub to scrub the affected skin areas 2-3 times a week. However, it is important to be gentle with the application. Avoid rough handling of the skin.
* Use a face mask
Invest in a good quality herbal face mask. For better results, go for face masks that contain ingredients like mud or citric acid. These face masks absorb excessive oils from the skin, thus making it clear and smooth. Use this face mask one or two times a week.
* Eat Healthy
Watch what you eat for it reflects on your skin. Try to eat less oily foods. Include green veggies and fresh fruits in your diet. Also, increase the intake of water and other liquids, like vegetable and fruit juice, in your diet. This would help to keep the skin moisturized while simultaneously detoxifying the body from harmful chemicals and roving a clear and smooth skin.
* Make a Wise Choice for Your Makeup Products
For healthy skin, it is important to make a careful and wise choice for makeup products, specifically the concealer and the foundation. Go for oil free products. This will help to keep the pores open. If your skin has a tendency to sweat more, it is recommended to stay away from makeup. Most importantly, make sure to remove your makeup with a cleanser at the end of the day.
* Maintain Good Hygiene
Make sure to use clean bed sheet, towel, and pillow case. It is important to wash them regularly as your face comes in contact with them daily. Use of dirty stuff can lead to accumulation of dirt and grime on your face, thus leading to clogging of pores and formation of blackheads.
Furthermore, it is also important to maintain good personal hygiene, especially your hair. Oily hair can be a cause for blackheads. It is, therefore, important to wash your hair regularly to keep it oil free. If, however, you don’t have time to wash your hair, pull it back to make a ponytail to avoid contact with your face.
Also, avoid frequent contact of dirty hands with your face. This is because our hands contain more oil as compared to our face. Above all, unnecessary touching of your skin can lead to infections of different kinds.
* Use an astringent
Use a good quality astringent on your face. This will help to absorb extra oil from the skin. In addition, you can also use an effective toner. This would reduce the size of open pores on the skin. Besides, toner also tightens the skin pores and the skin.
Most importantly, avoid squeezing the blackheads. This is not a hygienic way to get rid of blackheads. Above all, this can also cause scars on the skin or some type of skin infection as well. Also, avoid rough and harsh scrubbing of the skin as this can lead to irritation and aggravate the blackheads all over.