Blackheads are a very common problem, especially on the nose and in the oily areas of the face. Many of us think blackheads are dirt lodged in the pores but they are really oil that has oxidized from the air (which turns oil black similarly to how rust forms on metal) and pigment from old cells. Oil gets clogged more easily if the oil is viscous and slow moving through the pores. The viscosity of oil can be effected by a diet high in saturated fats (esp. dairy). Also, runners are more likely to get blackheads because when they run, air hits the skin and oxidizes the oil. Air also evaporates moisture from the skin, creating a hardened surface that traps in oil.
To keep blackheads at bay start by getting a facial. Tell your esthetician to concentrate on extractions to unplug those clogged pores. Verbalizing this concern will help your esthetician to focus on this problem instead of something else that may not be as important to you. Your esthetician will use techniques to soften the clogged oil and make for easier extractions. She may not be able to remove all blackheads in the first treatment, but this will get the ball rolling and she can advise you as to what routine you need to follow at home to prepare your skin for future treatments and offer products to help dissolve blackheads at home.
At home treatment includes using a Vitamin C Serum which contains Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate to help prevent oil from oxidizing, reducing blackheads. This product should be used daily in the morning. Next you should use an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) blend that contains Glycolic Acid. Glycolic goes in deeper than other AHAs and is most effective in a serum form. Three times a week you should use a physical scrub to loosen the clogs and remove dead surface cells that trap in oil. Finally once a week one should use an at home peel to clean out pores and exfoliate on a deeper level.
For stubborn blackheads you should consider a series of professional peels. If you also have a problem with blemishing I suggest Salicylic Peels. If you have a layer of dry skin trapping in oil you should consider Lactic Acid Peels which are not only skin softening but very hydrating. If you have thicker skin you might want to try a Blueberry Peel which is a combination Glycolic Acid with a little bit of Salicylic and Blueberry Enzymes. Once your pores are clean, you’ll want to keep them that way. Keep up with regular monthly maintenance facials and be fastidious about your home care.
Click here to book a facial at Elizabeth Renee Esthetics Skincare Spa.