Blackheads are a problem that just about everyone has to battle at some point in their lives. They plague people of all skin types – not just acne prone individuals. Depending on how prominent your blackheads are, you may find your eyes being drawn to them automatically when you stare into a mirror. And this is understandable; after all, blackheads are not desirable by any means! While not technically an indicator of the cleanliness of one’s skin, most people are not aware of this fact and assume that the presence of blackheads means that someone likely doesn’t take care of their skin properly. Well, if you aren’t doing any of the following practices, this may be true!
What is a blackhead?
I’ll do my best to keep this as simple as possible. A blackhead is a clogged pore.
Generally, a blackhead can be classified as a comedo, which is just a fancy word for a clogged pore. A comedo can be open (blackheads) or closed by skin (whiteheads). Contrary to popular belief, blackheads do not form due to poor hygiene (i.e. not cleansing your face) or the build up of dirt on your face. Rather, the reaction of the dead skin cells trapped inside the clogged pore with the oxygen in the air is what causes discoloration to create what we know as blackheads. If you have oily skin, you are more likely to see blackheads on your face as an increased production of sebum (oil produced from the glands) tends to result in the formation of blackheads.
What can I do about blackheads?
If you suffer from blackheads, know that you are a part of the majority. It is not at all uncommon to have these stubborn black specks live on our faces.
Also know that you have options to remove them. For the most part, the options available are temporary (at least in my personal experience). Unfortunately, this means that you may find yourself having to manually remove your blackheads on a regular basis.
However, to start off, it’s a good idea to maintain a few practices to reduce the amount of blackheads that appear on your face.
- Avoid cleansers with alcohol, as these will dry out your skin and stimulate the production of extra oil from your glands
- Avoid harsh facial scrubs as these will cause skin irritation
- When searching for facial products, always look for non-comedogenic products to prevent your pores from becoming clogged
- Rest! Getting more rest will reduce stress, which in turn can reduce the amount of sebum (oil) that your glands produce.
In addition to the practices above, there are products on the market that are specifically targeted towards removing blackheads (albeit temporarily).
What products can help me remove blackheads?
While there are products on the market that can help to remove your blackheads, it should be noted that some of these practices are going to be harsh on your skin. This is to say that you should proceed with caution! If you feel so inclined to use any of the products below, it is strongly advised to try it just the once and see how your skin reacts. If you notice an adverse reaction (more blackheads, worsened acne, unbearable skin irritation), this is a sign to stop this action. Naturally, if you notice a positive reaction (fewer blackheads), feel free to proceed.
That being said, let’s take a look at two of the products that have worked for me personally in removing my blackheads.
MiroPure Electric Blackhead Remover
The idea of using a blackhead “vacuum” on your face may scare some people off. However, don’t be alarmed by the naming here – this electric blackhead remover is actually very gentle on the skin. MiroPure’s Blackhead Remover works by using a suction action to remove both blackheads and whiteheads. Additionally, it can also be used to reduce wrinkles in the skin, although I did not bother to put this to the test (as it is presumably a long-term effect).
This blackhead vacuum comes with 4 interchangeable “probes” that each possess their own intended purposes. The “big” circular one is advertised to be used in your T-zone (the area above your eyebrows and down the nose; hence “T”-zone), but this can be used in any area that is wide enough and is the probe you’ll be most likely to be using as it covers the largest area. The “small” circular probe will be able to remove blackheads that are embedded in areas that the big probe can’t reach. In my experience this was the sides of my nose. The “oval” probe is intended to reduce wrinkles and lift the skin. Again, I do not have extensive experience with this probe as wrinkle reduction is not a primary concern of mine so I can’t speak on its effectiveness. Finally, the “matte” probe is used to exfoliate the skin and rub off any dead skin cells on the face.
This device has 4 speeds that can be toggled with a single press of a button. Naturally, it is advised that you start with the lowest speed to get your skin used to the sensation. To prep your skin to use this device and to see best results, MiroPure advises that you:
- Use a hot steamer or hot towel on your face for 3-5 minutes to totally open up the pores.
- Choose a suction nozzle and connect it to the device according to your needs. Start with the lowest speed setting until you are used to the device.
- Hold it and move back and forth slowly; 1-2 minutes is recommended for first time use.
- Use a cold steamer or cold towel and moisturizer to shrink the pores.
Additionally, it is not recommended to hold the device at any one spot for more than 3 seconds at a time. This is to reduce skin irritation! I found that if I held the device on a spot for longer than 3 seconds, it would get noticeably irritated and leaves a hickey-like “bruise”. So, don’t do this.
Following the above steps, I found that I was able to remove about 85% of visible blackheads on my face (and most notably in my T-zone, where they tend to pop up). The sensation is going to feel foreign at first, but as you continue to use the device (as with most things) you will get used to it. Note: it is imperative that you follow the step in the first bullet point and hold a hot towel to your face for an extended period of time prior to using the device. Failure to do so will likely cause the device to have minimal or poor results!
If you want to give this blackhead vacuum a go, check out it’s current price on Amazon.
FIXBODY Blackhead & Splinter Remover Tools
At first glance, these tools will look like some scary devices that you would only see a professional (like a surgeon) use. As you get familiar with the process that FIXBODY recommends to remove your blackheads and pimples, you will find that it really isn’t as complicated and scary as it may seem at first!
This is a cheap, simple set of 2 tools – one “piercer” and one tweezer like device. There are 6 steps involved, which can be summarized as follows:
- Cleanse your face before beginning the process.
- (Optional, but recommended) Apply disinfectant (aka. alcohol wipes) on your face to kill any bacteria.
- Using the “piercer”, prick your pimple (or blackhead).
- Using the tweezer, carefully squeeze out the residue from inside the pimple/pore.
- Using the other end of the “piercer” (the end that resembles a small lasso), gently scrape out any remaining residue from the pimple/blackhead.
- Use a cotton swab or other gentle cleaning cloth to clean the treated area.
It may seem daunting at first, and this is a sign that you should be very gentle with this entire process. Notice the bolded words above? Yeah, it’s important!
These tools are incredibly cheap and effective, not to mention durable. In my opinion, I would actually recommend leaving most pimples alone and to just focus on any glaring blackheads. However, if you have a pimple that’s just ripe for the picking, go for it! Again, the key words here are to be careful and gentle when using these tools on your imperfections.
Check out these pimple popping, blackhead extracting tools on Amazon.
Blackheads are not pretty. It would be nice if we didn’t have to deal with them, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, you’re more likely than not to come to a point where you will stress about how to get rid of these pesky black specks. Remember – your blackheads are not a sign of your cleanliness! You may be as clean as a baby’s bottom, but still be plagued with blackheads.
If you want to give the above devices a try, remember to be very gentle with your skin. The path to clear skin is only open to those who understand that you must avoid skin irritation. I wish you the best of luck with your blackhead removing endeavors – stay tuned for more tips on how to properly treat and care for your skin.