The pores look like they have dirt trapped inside them but in fact blackheads are not caused by dirt. Inside a typical blackhead you will find dead skin cells, sebum (oil) and hair. Yep, that's right, hair. That is because blackheads occur inside hair follicles.
Your skin renews itself every month and old cells are shed from the surface. In fact most of the dust around your home is actually your own dead skin cells. The dust mites love it! Nom mom!
Anyway, some of these dead skin cells can actually clog up the opening of the hair follicle, plugging it up preventing the hair and oil flowing onto the surface. The oil becomes waxy and together with the dead cells forms a plug. The hair is also unable to escape so it curls up and grows inside the hair follicle. I heard once when a blackhead was extracted they found 18 hairs inside it!
The clogged pores appear black from the surface because of the oxygen in the air. Just like when you cut an apple in half and leave it out, it turns brown. The top of the blackheads turn black because the filament has been oxidized. When you squeeze a blackhead, the tip is black and the rest is white because it has not been exposed to air.
So how to get rid of blackheads?
1. Use an oil balancing cleanser, but be careful not to strip your skin because this will cause the skin to produce even more oil
2. Exfoliate 2 to 3 times a week to remove excess dead skin cells. Enzymatic or BHA exfoliants are most effective for clogging, congestion and blackheads
3. Use a deep cleanser or a specialized product designed to melt away blackheads to soften and draw them out
4. BHA serum are excellent as they exfoliate the pores from inside out
5. Masks are one of the fastest acting treatments to treat open pores, clogging and blackheads. They draw out impurities, detoxify and refine the skin. You can use a mask once or twice a week.
6. Using a moisturizer specifically prescribed for open pores, oily skin or skins with clogging and blackheads will be really helpful. These treatment creams will continue working on your skin throughout the day and prevent any further problems from occurring.
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