4 Ways to Exfoliate Blackheads

If you have blackheads, you will know only too well how pesky these dark-colored spots can be. Caused by a build-up of sebum and dead skin cells, when these substances oxidize in the air, the opening turns black, hence the name blackheads. 

Although people with acne-prone skin are more likely to be affected by blackheads, as well as age groups going through hormonal changes, they can happen to anyone. 

Fortunately, there are ways that you can get rid of blackheads without harming your overall complexion. Here are four ways to effectively exfoliate blackheads. Plus, which exfoliation and extraction methods you should avoid at all costs! 

How to exfoliate blackheads

While there are lots of blackhead removal techniques being bandied around online, not all of these are good for your skin. To make sure that you are not left with an inflamed, red, and irritated complexion, try one or more of the below exfoliation methods. 

1. Use products that contain mandelic acid 

Mandelic acid is a chemical exfoliant that is designed to remove layers of dead and dull skin cells. It has been shown to help unclog pores and dissolve blackheads and comedones. 

For best results, use a mandelic acid serum that gently exfoliates your dead skin and unclogs pores, making it a good choice for people with sensitive skin. 

2. Add a retinoid to your skincare regime

Retinoids, which can be bought over the counter or prescribed by a dermatologist or doctor, are highly effective at ridding the skin of blackheads. These work by promoting the turnover of the skin and decreasing blockages of the follicular ostia

It is worth noting that you may notice your blackheads worsening in appearance when you first start using a retinoid but they will improve as you continue treatment. 

3. Enlist the services of a dermatologist

If you have tried both of the above to no avail, it might be a good idea to book an appointment with a professional dermatologist who will be able to recommend a treatment based on your complexion. 

There are several blackhead exfoliation treatments that they may offer you such as nonablative resurfacing, also known as laser treatment, or microneedling. 

4. Consider using hydroxy acids

Hydroxy acids such as lactic acid and glycolic acids are another popular treatment for blackheads. As these types of acids are lipophilic, they can penetrate blackheads and effectively exfoliate the pores without causing any damage to the skin. 

What to avoid when removing blackheads

Certain treatments for blackheads should be avoided as these can irritate the skin and cause more harm than good. 

  • Using harsh scrubs. Harsh scrubs strip your skin of its natural oils and this, in turn, encourages the creation of more oil. This can lead to even more blackheads. 
  • Manual extractions. Manual extractions, such as squeezing the blackhead, can cause the follicle to rupture and cause an inflammatory lesion. 
  • Suction devices. Suction devices that are designed to suck the sebum from pores can harm the delicate skin on your face and cause broken blood vessels. 


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