The skin’s pores accumulate dirt, sebum, oil and dead skin cells on a daily basis. This accumulation of grime results in clogged pores and hair follicles, leading to concerns like blackheads, whiteheads, acne and so on. Blackheads are a mild type of acne in which the acne lesion is not closed. No matter how well you take care of your skin, this pinhead-like black lesion on the skin – that can affect face and body – just shows up sometimes.
Blackheads – tiny, raised bumps on the surface of the skin that mostly black in color – occur if your skin is not cleaned properly. When oil, dead cells and sebum block the pores on your skin, it settles in the pores over time and when these materials are exposed to air, they get oxidized and turns black, forming blackheads.
In addition to lack of proper skin cleaning, other factors that cause blackheads include:
- Hormonal changes
- Excessive production of skin cells
- Excessive use of cosmetics
- Excessive sweating
- Shaving parts of your body – it expose the hair follicles.
- Health conditions like stress, PCOS, and even PMS
Though frequently seen on the nose, corner of the nose, cheeks, forehead and the chin area, blackheads can appear on other parts of the body as well.
If blackheads are not tackled in the early stages, it can cause your face to look pigmented. Here are some highly effective natural ways to get rid of blackheads.
- Lemon Honey Mask: Applying a simple lemon-honey mask is an easy and effective way to get rid of blackheads. For this mask, take one teaspoon of lemon juice and add half a teaspoon of honey to it. Mix it well and apply this mixture on to your blackhead area. After 15 minutes, check if it’s dried. If it is, wash it off with lukewarm water. Repeat this 3-4 times in a week for best results. Lemon has astringent properties which open the clogged pores, while honey has antibacterial properties that can tackle bacterial action which causes blackheads and nourish and hydrate the skin.
- Egg White and Lemon Mask: Mix three egg whites with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and apply the mask to clean skin. Once the mask is dried apply a second layer. Rinse off after 20 minutes. Egg white has skin-tightening properties that can reduce the appearance of blackheads.
- Baking Soda: To remove blackheads, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of water to make a smooth paste. Apply this on the concerned areas and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Baking soda has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also helps in exfoliating dead skin cells and extra sebum.
- Cinnamon Lemon Mask: Mix 2 tablespoon of cinnamon powder with 2 tablespoon of lemon juice and make a smooth paste. Apply this mask on concerned areas and leave it on for 20 minute. Rinse off with lukewarm water. Apply this mask 3 -4 times a week. The cinnamon powder helps tighten pores and improves blood circulation, whereas lemon has anti-bacterial properties that aid in fighting blackheads, whiteheads and acne.
- Charcoal Peel Off Mask: Mix half a tablespoon of activated charcoal and a teaspoon of gelatin with warm water. Apply the mask on the affected areas and leave it to dry for about 20 minutes. Gently peel off the mask and rinse and moisturize your face. Charcoal is one of the best skin care ingredients. It not only removes blackheads from the roots, but also tones the skin, removes toxins and deep cleanses the skin.
- Oatmeal Scrub: Exfoliating skin helps to get rid of blackheads. An oatmeal scrub is a great exfoliator. It acts as a mild cleanser and can quickly remove blackheads and dirt. Oatmeal unclogs pores, removes blackheads and leaves your skin moisturized and radiant. For oatmeal scrub, mix 2 tablespoons of oatmeal and 1 tablespoon yogurt with a few drops of olive oil. Add some lime juice for better cleansing. Apply this mask on a clean and dry face, and leave it on for 10 minutes. Once the mask has dried, remove it by rubbing it off gently in a circular motion. Rinse and moisturize.
Here are some tips to prevent blackheads forming:
- Change clothes immediately after engaging in any sweat-producing activity. Sweat that sticks close to your skin can clog the pores on your skin and cause blackheads.
- Wear loose clothing made of natural fiber such as cotton. It allows the skin to “breathe” and avoids irritating friction.
- After a workout, wash your sweaty face.
- Drink a lot of water to hydrate the skin’s surface and keeping the potent oil blocks at bay.
If these at-home measures to reduce blackheads don’t work within 8 weeks, the American Academy of Dermatology (ADD) recommends consulting a dermatologist.