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You may have noticed small dark dots on your skin – and they never seem to go away despite your best efforts. These dark dots are most likely the all-too-common skin blemish known as blackheads. You may think you are doing everything in your skin care power to get rid of them – but it takes special care and patience to remove blackheads and to help prevent future blackheads from forming. To effectively help clear your skin of these blemishes you should first understand what’s causing them and then investigate your options for the most effective removal.
Blackheads are clogged pores in the skin. The develop a dark color, not because of dirt in the pore, but because the blackhead is “open” and your skin’s pigment melanin reacts with oxygen in the air; giving it that dark color.
Blackheads can appear anywhere on your body, but you are most likely to notice them on your nose, chin and forehead. Wherever your pores become clogged and if that pore stays open and exposed to air, there is chance for a blackhead to develop.
It’s suggested that you address existing blackheads with regular cleansing and regular microdermabrasion treatments. Microdermabrasion works to remove the top layer of dead skin cells on your skin’s surface. This removal process can allow for the exposure of the newer, younger skin cells that exist underneath the pile up, thereby potentially reducing existing blackheads on your skin’s surface. Typically, monthly treatments are recommended but your dermatologist who will be able to offer a personally-tailored suggestion.
One way to avoid blackheads is by using skin care products with retinol. Retinol and retinoids, derivatives of vitamin A, can help keep pores clear of the buildup. Some formulas are gentle enough to use daily, while other formulas are best to use two to three times a week at most. Look for over-the counter options that contain retinoids--like pro-retinol--or consult your dermatologist for stronger, pure retinol formulas.
What’s a good skin care regimen for blackheads?
A good skin care regimen to help keep blackheads at bay will include daily cleansing and regular exfoliation. Cleanse skin in the morning and at night, and be sure to effectively remove all makeup residue before bed. You can also consider looking for skin care products that use other chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid, lactic acid or LHA. If the formula is gentle enough, you may be able to exfoliate daily. Typically, though, it is recommended to exfoliate two to three times a week with mechanical exfoliation methods.
Blackheads are stubborn blemishes that can leave an unwelcome mark on otherwise beautiful, clear skin. Focus on gently dissolving away existing blackheads and keep up with a diligent morning and nighttime skin care routine to help protect against blackheads from forming – and consider speaking with your dermatologist on in-office treatments to jump start any blackhead removal.