I have been dealing with blackheads forever. I can’t seem to get them to go away! What causes them, and can I get rid of them?
When a follicle or pore fills with sebum and dead skin cells, a blockage can form. These blockages are called open comedones, and when exposed to oxygen, they oxidize and turn the sebum a dark color - hence the name blackheads. Blackheads can be found all over the body, but form primarily on the T-Zone area of the face, where the most sebaceous glands are present.
You can get rid of blackheads. Along with proper extraction, there are remedies you can do to prevent buildup and blockage in the pore.
Gentle exfoliation is a great place to start. In the studio, we are able to utilize multiple forms of exfoliation to help unblock clogged follicles. One of our favorites is a machine called the ultrasound water peel, which uses ultrasonic waves to gently exfoliate and remove cellular debris and excess sebum from the skin.
For an at home treatment, one of my favorite exfoliators is the Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder. Using products with salicylic acid can help to keep comedones and breakouts to a minimum, as salicylic acid has a unique molecular structure that actively penetrates your pores and dissolves impurities. Be careful not to over exfoliate, as this can aggravate the skin and even worsen acne.
Vitamin A is another helpful ingredient when it comes to battling blackheads and acne. Vitamin A helps to promote cellular turnover and normalizes sebum production. A line that I love that is centered around these ingredients is Environ’s C-Quence Serums 1-4 . These products are intended to start at level one, and then gradually increase to level four as the skin adjusts.
I love Environ’s vitamin A product line because they are formulated with retinyl palmitate and propionate, which are encapsulated in lipids making them easily absorbable by skin cells. This form of vitamin A is great for everyday use, and a consultation before purchasing the line is recommended to ensure that you are starting at the right level for your skin.
To help slow down the natural process of sebum production, Biologique Recherche’s Serum Dermapore contains java tea extract which reduces pore size and helps prevent the formation of comedones.