Blackheads are small bumps that appear on skin due to clogged hair follicles. These bumps are called “blackheads” because the surface looks dark or black. Blackheads are a mild type of acne that usually form on the face specifically on nose, the forehead, and chin. But some people get blackheads in other places such as back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulders. Whiteheads and blackheads can actually form anywhere on the body where there is a hair follicle. Blackheads and Whiteheads are very similar with a very slight difference. They are both called comedones, and each are formed when sebum and dead skin cells get trapped in hair follicles. The difference between whiteheads and blackheads is simply if the hair follicle is open or closed. When it is open comdone, the oxygen in the air oxidizes the trapped oils and skin cells turning them brown – this is a blackhead. A whitehead, on the other hand, is a closed or almost closed follicle which prevents the oxygen from oxidizing the oil so it appears like a white bump on the skin.
- Small black colored bumps usually on nose and chin.
Home Remedies for Blackheads
- Baking soda: Mix baking soda with water to form a thick paste. Using a gentle circular motion, massage the paste on the affected area. Rinse thoroughly with plain water, pat your face dry, and then make sure you moisturize. The antiseptic quality of it makes it a wonderful product for the skin. It works as an exfoliant to scrub away dead skin cells leaving skin soft and smooth. Baking soda helps to neutralize the skin’s pH and also it encourages the skin to produce less oil.
- Cinnamon: Apply a paste of cinnamon mixed with honey on the affected area. Apply in a thin layer over the blackheads and then press a strip of clean cotton over it. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes before removing and then rinse your face and follow up with a moisturizer. Cinnamon is an anti-bacterial spice that can be used to make an aromatic face mask that offers all sorts of benefits to the skin, including the removal of blackheads. It also helps to eliminate flaky skin as well as acne, and it can be used as a body scrub for a smoother, more glowing complexion. Honey is both antibacterial and antiseptic, properties that help remove blackheads by destroying germs or impurities that clog pores.
- Epsom salts: Mix Epsom salt with few drops of water and massage slightly on affected area and leave it for 10 min. Then, rinse with warm water and pat dry. Epsom salts are great way to remove blackheads. Epsom salt mixture actually pulls the plug out of each clogged pore so they simply wash away. Be careful if having sensitive skin.
- Egg whites: Stir egg white and freshly squeezed lemon in a bowl. Apply this mask and let it dry. Pull the mask off to remove blackheads. Rinse with water and pat it dry. This method draws out sebum and pulls out any deep within the pores. Egg whites offer numerous benefits to the skin. They’re rich in protein which offers skin toning properties and helps to promote wrinkle free skin. Due to their ability to tighten skin and minimize pores, using egg whites is especially good for oily skin which also reduces the chances of future blackheads while removing current blackheads at the same time.
- Green tea: Steep 2 bags of green tea in a cup of boiled water for 30-40 minutes. Dab this liquid on the affected area and allow it to dry for 15-20 minutes before rinsing. Green tea helps unclog pores, clear blackheads and calm redness. It diminishes oil and irritation on the skin, and also serves to secure it from future harm.
Do’s for Blackheads
- Emphasis on raw foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted seeds, raw nuts and whole grain cereals, especially millet and brown rice.
- Take fresh juicy fruits such as apples, grapes, pineapple peaches, pears and grapefruit.
- Take a diet rich in vitamin A and E. Eat raw almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds which are a good source of skin-healthy vitamin E and essential fatty acids.
- Eat meat products once a day only and also make sure that they are organic, and are free of hormone and antibiotic.
- Drink eight to ten glasses of pure water daily. Water flushes out the toxins, which could cause a variety of skin conditions.
- Gently wash affected areas twice a day with lukewarm water and a non-oily, perfume-free, mild soap.
- Keep your hair off your face.
- Keep your colon clean.
- Do aerobic exercise. Also, do facial exercise to help relax the muscles of the face and increases the blood supply.
- Manage stress, practice deep breathing and relaxation exercise.
- Keep your hands off of your face such as touching face during day or resting head on the hands which can prevent the oils and dirt from hands on to your face.
- Exfoliate regularly which can prevent dead skin cells and oil from becoming trapped in pores and forming more blackheads.
Don’ts for Blackheads
- Don’t squeeze blackheads which can lead to scar and damage.
- Avoid certain products such as facial scrubs, astringents and masks, because they can irritate skin and makes it worse.
- Try not to rub or touch your face absentmindedly while you are absorbed in something such as watching TV or reading book.
- Avoid food that has heating or warming properties, such as hot chili peppers, beef, and lamb. Also stay away from fatty, deep-fried, and greasy food since they create more heat.
- Restrict starchy and sugary food. Simple carbohydrates and sugar encourage oil production and feed bacteria and yeast.
- Avoid soft drinks, candies, ice-cream, strong tea or coffee, condiments, pickles, refined and processed foods.
- Avoid oil-based cosmetics and creams and opt for noncomedogenic products.
- Avoid using harsh cleansing and exfoliating products that can aggravate the problem by encouraging the skin produce more oil.
- Avoid medications that trigger lesions such as corticosteroids, few oral contraceptives, or the medications with iodine.
- If you have a lot of blackheads, and can’t improve with self medication.