Blackheads, technically known as open comedones, are a common skin condition that appear as small, dark spots on the skin. If you use fake tans that can look like brown-heads! Although they may look like specks of dirt, blackheads have nothing to do with your skin’s level of cleanliness. They’re actually a combination of excess oil and dead skin cells that have been trapped in the pore and exposed to air, which causes it to turn black.

Blackheads can be annoying and stubborn, but there are steps you can take to make them less apparent.

Cleanse; Using the right cleanser for your skin to wash the skin at the end of every day will help to clear the skin of excessive sebum and pollution while still promoting healthy oil production. Double cleansing at night (especially if you are prone to breakouts) will help to first remove make up and moisturisers from the skin, while the second cleanse will ‘melt’ the sebum from the pores.

Exfoliate; One of the main reasons why pores can become clogged with sebum is the presence of dead skin cells. Skin normally goes through a 28-day cycle during which dead cells on the top layer are shed, making room for new, healthier skin cells. If those dead skin cells were to drop away, they wouldn’t pose a problem. Unfortunately, they often cling to the surface of your skin, blocking your pores. By incorporating a gentle exfoliant into your routine, you can remove those problematic dead skin cells. It does not have to be a gritty exfoliant, there are smooth creams that have enzymes that act as Pac-Man chomping up the skin.

Hydrate; Using a moisturiser that is right for your skin to properly hydrate and promote anti-aging. Blackheads tend to occur more often in oily skin types, heavy moisturizers can make the problem worse.

Using AHA’s and BHA’s; Using a serum that contains hydroxy acids that are able to penetrate through oil, are particularly effective in unblocking the clogged pores that can lead to pimples, blackheads and other blemishes on the skin.

Retinol treatment; Retinol is derived from vitamin A and is effective for treating blackheads. Retinoids work by accelerating skin cell turnover and preventing clogged pores. Though effective, retinol should not be used on the same days as alpha or beta hydroxy acid products.

Gentle extraction; Visiting a trusted skin care professional is also an option to consider when dealing with manual extractions. While we would usually tell you to never squeeze a blemish, gentle pressure using a sterile comedone extractor is an effective way of removing the excess material within the clogged pore. It’s important to avoid applying too much pressure which has the potential to do more damage than good and that is why we would recommend booking a facial. Pore strips  are so much better than they used to be, the charcoal pore strips put on weekly are brilliant, but you must remove them very slowly.