We pinch, we squeeze, we cry. We even plead with them to leave our pretty faces and never come back, yet they always come back to haunt us. The culprit you ask? The infamous blackhead. Just as sure as seasons change, these unpleasant pore cloggers continue to appear without so much as an invitation. It’s time to break up with your pesky blackheads and send them on a one-way trip to problem skin Neverland! Here’s how to get rid of them — the right way!
1. Exfoliating Cleanser
To get to those blackheads rooted deep in the skin, you first have to clear away any oil or impurities blocking the surface. Use an exfoliating cleanser like L’Oréal Paris Go 360° Clean Deep Facial Cleanser in combination with a mechanical facial brush like the Clarisonic Mia 3, using the Deep Pore Brush Head to loosen dirt, oil buildup and any remaining makeup from the day.
Warning: Resist the urge to pick at a blackhead, especially if you’re still wearing makeup (bad, bad, bad)! Doing so could push bacteria further in and potentially lead to severe inflammation.
2. Purifying Mask
Although commonly forgotten, this step is just as important as washing your face. While cleansing and exfoliating help slough away dead skin cells that stand in the way of blackheads, masks meet the pesky skin-cloggers head on. Choose a mask with salicylic acid — or clay — to loosen and draw out blackheads from their hiding places. Try Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque, which gently removes skin-clogging impurities.
MDC Quick Tip: Don’t forget to steam while masking! If you don’t have an at-home steamer, just run hot water in your sink, put a towel over your head and faucet and let the steam surround your skin. This will allow the mask’s ingredients to better penetrate your pores and properly clean them out.
Now that your blackheads are primed and ready to come out, it’s time for some extractions (the big step!). Wrap a piece of tissue around your index fingers (or wear disposable gloves) and push down around the blackheads, changing the tissues as many times necessary once they start filling up with ickiness!
Warning: Don’t force a blackhead to come out if it isn’t ready. Doing so will cause more harm than good, meaning scars, scars, scars (especially if your fingers aren’t covered)! Regular exfoliation and masks will get them out soon enough. If the blackhead is ready to come out, it will do so easily.
Once you’ve finished with your oh-so-fun extractions, be sure to apply a toner like SkinCeuticals Equalizing Toner to help soothe, refine and balance your skin. This will help in shrinking your pores and preventing future blackheads.
How do YOU keep your skin blackhead-free? Let us know in the comments below!