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Best Way To Remove Blackheads

How do you safely remove blackheads? Learn about the best blackhead removal mask, solutions, and sebum fighting ingredients to get porefilicious skin!

Best Way To Remove Blackheads

Blackheads can be frustrating – they’re persistant, awkward to treat, and inescapable, even if you’re not typically prone to acne. When it comes to blackhead removal, things can get even more perplexing. Are manual extractions safe, or is a blackhead mask a better option? Will picking and squeezing cause them to spread, or worse, scar? Will moisturiser make them multiply? The questions are numerous, while the answers are murky (especially on the internet).

If you’re feeling defeated by the tiny, dark-coloured clogged pores on your skin, you’re not alone. The good news is there are safe and effective ways, namely products, that will work to reduce them.

What Exactly Is A Blackhead?

Because of their dark appearance blackheads are often thought of as trapped dirt. This however isn’t the case. Blackheads are an oxidised mix of dead skin cells and sebum sitting within a hair follicle, otherwise known as a pore. They’re the same as a whitehead, but the exposure to air causes them to oxidise and turn black.

Blackheads tend to occur in high volumes where sebaceous, or oil-producing glands are concentrated – the nose, chin, forehead, and upper back.

Should I Squeeze Blackheads?

It’s natural to want to pick and squeeze if you’re suffering from blackheads. Lauri Fisher, the Senior Scientific Advisor at La Roche-Posay, states this method is not good for your skin. “While it’s tempting, squeezing blackheads can leave your skin inflamed and open to infection,” she explains. This can also lead to skin damage, scarring and unsightly marks, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark marks that appear post-blemish). Instead, look to safe blackhead removal options like oil-dissolving ingredients and clay-based blackhead masks. More on these below.

What Is The Best Way To Remove Blackheads?

The best way to remove blackheads is to incorporate ingredients into your routine that will break down sebum and clear out congested debris.

Also choose products that…

Look For Blackhead Fighting Ingredients: LHA, BHAs And Salicylic Acid

According for Fisher, Salicylic Acid or Lipo-Hydroxy Acid can help clear the pores by breaking up the dead ‘sticky’ cells that are blocking the pore.

Choose A Cleanser That Suits Your Skin Type - Not Everyone With Blackheads Has Exactly The Same Skin Type.

For oily skin, choose cleansers with ingredients such as Zinc Pidolate which reduces sebum that blocks pores. If your skin is weak or irritated choose a cleanser with active ingredients such Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) to soothe and decrease redness.

Both La Roche-Posay cleansers contain anti-oxidant Thermal Spring Water to help soothe and protect.

Gently Remove Blackheads With The Right Mask

Blackhead masks are a useful step when it comes to blackhead removal. Fisher notes that, clay masks “gently draw out impurities without damaging the skin”. They work by “absorbing excess oil and dead skin through a capillary action, and kaolin clay is gentle and effective for all skin types,” she adds. For a gentle but effective clay-based mask that works as a blackhead remover, La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Sebo-Controlling Mask is a great choice. Kaolin Clay along with Thermal Spring Water and Glycerin will gently absorb impurities without stripping the skin.  

Use a mask weekly, and especially on areas prone to a high level of oil production like the nose, chin, and forehead. Apply the mask after a warm shower as the steam and warmth will soften and slightly open the pores. Follow up with the Effaclar K (+) for smooth, clearer skin.

Moisturise With Right Ingredients For Blackheads

La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar K (+) is a gel moisturiser designed specifically for oily, congested, and sensitive skin types. It’s packed with Salicyclic Acid – a Beta Hydroxy Acid that breaks down blackhead-causing sebum, and sloughs off dead skin cells. Similarly, Lipo-Hydroxy acid gently exfoliates, breaking-down oil. Effaclar K (+) also works to mattify the skin, and works as a great base for makeup. The powerful dual-action Effaclar K (+) works to keep your skin hydrated and also breaks down sebum and dead skin cells. Use it daily, both morning and night after cleansing.

Learn more about a moisturiser for blackheads.

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Thermal Spring Water Mist packshot from Thermal Spring Water, by La Roche-Posay