Although blackheads are not necessarily caused by poor skin hygiene, these darkened little oil specs can make the skin look and feel rough, oily, and dirty. We have countless skin products and methods of removal, but what should we really be looking for when choosing products, ingredients, and services?
In this article we will focus on defining the ‘blackhead’. From selecting the right ingredients to DIY pore cleansing techniques, our tips will help you minimize and control blackheads.
What is a blackhead?
Blackheads are quite simply clogged hair follicles in the skin. These tiny follicles can become clogged due to enlargement and/ or years of buildup.
Our hair follicles are a type of pore found throughout the body, except for the palms and soles. They are most visible in areas with higher oil production or areas where the oil collects throughout the day such as the creases of the nose.
A combination of waste.
This particular type of pore consists of a tube-like structure in the skin that sprouts hair, excretes oil, and retains a combination of waste within the its tiny canal. This combination includes dead cells, oil, makeup, dirt, and basically anything that can melt into the pores. Over time the debris can become solidified when neglected by being left inside the pore.
Loss of elasticity.
Adding to the cause is the loss of skin elasticity. Over time the opening of the pores can become weakened due to underlying skin condition, skin trauma, or pressure from buildup. Once the pores have lost their ability to contract it becomes difficult to regain this elasticity without resorting to advanced skin therapy such as LASER or IPL.
Dead keratin, not dirt!
Blackheads may vary in colour, diameter, and depth, but they all have the same characteristic opening that can be easily spotted. The dark pinpoint that we see at the surface of the skin, is actually a result of dead keratin cells being exposed to the open air (oxidized). This reaction causes a browning similar to the effect caused by leaving cut fruit such as a banana or an apple open to the elements. Contrary to popular belief, the dark tip is not dirt!
Blackheads are different from whiteheads due to the opening being present and the causes vary. If a blackhead becomes infected it can then transition into a pustule aka a “pimple”. Improper extraction and/ or excess pressure are most commonly the cause of infection.
Now that you’re familiar with the composition of a blackhead, let’s move on to some solutions and prevention, and DIY techniques for extraction.
Are you constantly battling with breakouts, blackheads, clogged pores and excessive oiliness throughout the day? Does your skin have a thick, uneven texture and shiny complexion? These are the most common characteristics of an OILY skin type.
Why is my skin OILY?
Your skin produces natural oils throughout the day, keeping it elastic, protected and moisturized. When the sebaceous (oil) glands produce an excess of oil, your skin does not have use for the extra oil and it begins to collect on the surface of the skin and within the pores.
This buildup of oil, in combination with dead skin cells, causes the pores to become clogged and infected. Blocked pores are present in the skin as blackheads (open pore/oxidized buildup), whiteheads (closed pore/congested), pustules (infected pores/pus buildup).
Although it sounds like there are a lot of negatives to having OILY skin, there is one major bonus! With age our sebaceous glands slowdown in oil production, but in an OILY skin the glands continue to produce a sufficient amount of oil later on in life. Therefore, when properly cared for your skin your skin will virtually defy the natural aging process!
When caring for your OILY skin, it is important to remain consistent with your homecare regimen. Keeping your oiliness and breakouts under control will help improve your complexion and prevent future irritation and scarring due to blemishes.
Here are Dermica’s tips on making the right choices for your OILY skin!
Cleanser– Select a foaming cleanser, or gel cleanser-these will help wash away debris trapped underneath the oil buildup. Double cleanse, morning and night. Rinse with lukewarm water to prevent simulating oil glands. Try Glo Skin Beauty’s Purifying Gel Cleanser. The antibacterial ingredients in this gel cleanser keep your skin clean and free of harmful bacteria.
Exfoliant– The best exfoliation option for OILY skin is a chemical exfoliant that can deliver deep exfoliation without irritation and overstimulation of the skin. Use according to manufacturer, or 2-3 times a week in the evening. We recommend Glo’s Gentle Enzyme Exfoliant. Free of fragrance and dyes, this formula has been clinically tested for skin not well suited for manual exfoliation.
Eye Care– Should be selected according to your age range. For OILY skin we recommend a gel for ages 18-40, lotion for ages 40-55, cream for ages 55+.
Moisturizer: Use a water-based, oil-free moisturizer. Oily skins benefit from hydrating products such as a hydrating gel (ideal for med-high oily skin) or hydrating lotion (ideal for light-med oily skin). Some OILY skin moisturizers will also feature oil absorbing, or antiseptic ingredients. Glo’s Oil Free Moisturizer is a popular moisturizer amongst our clients.
Mask– Clay masks are excellent for OILY skin. They absorb oil and help tighten pores. Bentonite is a great ingredient to have in your mask product. Use 1-2 times a week, after cleansing in the evening. If your surface oils are under control, spot treat down your t-zone. The Pore Refining Mask is a great option!
Toner– Using a toner can help tighten pores and balance your pH. Mist over your skin and gently pat using forefingers.
To maximize results, incorporate a professional treatment into your maintenance schedule. Our suggestions include:
Skin rejuvenation phototherapy treatments can help tighten pores and even out the texture of your skin. These treatments are excellent for anti aging when done twice per year. Phototherapy is not for everyone, ensure you meet the treatment criteria.
Facials- not just “a fancy wash”
A deep cleansing facial, which includes an ozonized steaming (sterilized steam) session, and pore-extractions, will help clear blemishes, blackheads, and purge impurities out of the skin.
DIY Recipe for Toner
Mix 2/3 of Witch Hazel with 1/3 distilled water in a spritz bottle. Shake well before use. Mist over face after cleansing, and gently pat into your skin using forefingers.
Hi Dérmica, I’m struggling with blackheads. I just wonder if you can help with this problem. Please give me some information of any technique that could help to reduce or get rid of blackheads. Thank you so much.
Blackheads are a common skin issue that can easily be treated at Dérmica. We recommend a 2-part treatment as follows:
Step 1:FIX Facial ($85) to remove the existing blackheads from the pores. This treatment includes cleansing, exfoliation, steaming, and pore extractions.
Step 2: Photofacial ($45 – $175) to seal the pores closed and reduce the appearance of uneven texture and redness caused by enlarged pores. This treatment is performed by using IPL (Intense Pulse Light) device to treat the targeted condition.
Bookings are available at dermica.ca/book-now.
Hope this information helps…😊
Any questions you’d like answered?
Write to us through our “Ask Dérmica” feature. We remove all names to ensure your identity remains anonymous.
Runner up is the photofacial, more specifically, the ACLARA.
ACLARA removes hyper pigmentation caused by sun damage, aging, and acne scarring.
Photofacials change your skin in ways a facial cannot. For example, while a facial can clean pores, it cannot shrink them. The ALISA photofacial can. Photofacials are the next step up from a facial and are great for anti-aging.
1. The brow Sculpt
We were not surprised to learn that your absolute favourite is the dérmica brow Sculpt! Thank you for loving and trusting the way we do brows.
If you haven’t tried this service yet, add it to your visit next time :)
“It took me so long to find you. I don’t trust anyone else with my brows.”
As we are appreciate your loyalty and support, we welcome new faces :) New clients receive 10% off during Client Appreciation days when they like us on Facebook.
Client appreciation days runs from June 4 -29, 2019. No other offer is valid with this promotion.
Thank you for choosing Dérmica, we can’t wait to see you again!