We've all had them at some point right? In fact, some of us have them on a constant basis and they can be really really annoying.
I'm talking about blackheads or as we know them in the professional world 'open comedones'.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE THEY?
They are open pores which get blocked with oil, makeup, dirt and grime. Sometimes the colour of them can be from the melanin in the skin, sometimes it's the oil oxidising and other times it can be false tan/poorly removed makeup.
Comedones tend to appear more often on oiler skin around the nose area, however it is not always the case.
SO WHAT CAUSES THEM?
Poor or incorrect cleansing: If you wear makeup during the day, it's really important that you do a double cleanse in the evening. If you are more prone to blackheads, then it's imperative that you keep your pores clean and clear.
Pore blocking products: These are products such as makeup primers, heavy foundations, false tan and rich face creams that contain ingredients such as silicones and mineral oils
Over production of oil: This can be due to so many different things. Usually it can be hormonal, but if you are using harsh skincare products i.e. face washes and scrubs, they can cause a major imbalance in your skin, impair the skins natural barrier and in turn have an effect on your oil production.
HOW TO TREAT THEM
The main way is to extract them: I would always recommend having a facial done by a professional and getting them to steam your skin first. This will hopefully cause minimal damage to the skin. Do not attempt to squeeze them yourself with your nails... with makeup still on.... at the traffic lights!
Keep your skin regularly exfoliated: It's important to keep your pores super clean, so a gentle exfoliation twice a week should help to keep them clear. Maybe a nice clay mask applied afterwards will also help.
Try an oil based cleanser: These are great as they actually help to dissolve the oil, where as other cleansers can just wash over them - leaving them behind.
Avoid harsh products: Do NOT be tempted to use a hideous 'black face mask' to remove them. I'm also not a massive fan of pore strips either. They tend to remove very little and instead strip layers of your skin off. This will leave it sensitive, red, prone to pimples and imbalanced. Pore cleansing face washes which foam up are also too strong. These are tough little plugs inside your pores, they need to be extracted or dissolved with oil, not stripped away with harsh washes.
WHAT CLEANSERS RECOMMEND
I love to do a double cleanse at night the Emmaline Tsui Cleansing Balm and then follow with the Cleansing Cream afterwards. You can buy these as a pair here (and save some pennies too in the process!)
Thanks so much for reading, please put any questions in the comments box below.