Blackheads are enlarged pores that have a hair follicle and have been clogged with dead skin cells and sebum. It is a part of the acne cycle and when the oil in the pores gets oxidized from air exposure, these open comedones turn black in color. Dirt and leftover makeup that hasn’t been cleaned off also contribute to blackheads. “Blackheads don’t directly harm your skin, but they do serve as an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and are a potential cause of acne, spots, and scars.
The scrubbing myth
When you think of clogged pores and dead skin cells the first solution to come to mind can often be scrubbed. The truth is, scrubs on their own will never help you get rid of your blackheads. “A face scrub can help temporarily reduce blackheads, it doesn’t really help in the long run. Over exfoliating, your skin can make your skin sensitive, and it can also cause overproduction of sebum and aggravate skin congestion. If the skin is a combination or oily type, it leads to frequent clogging of pores unless they are deep cleaned regularly and properly exfoliated with an active exfoliant.
What you can do to fix it
Make sure you double cleanse with a non-soap foaming cleanser and micellar water at night, especially if you use makeup. Avoid products containing silicones as they clog pores and ensure optimum skin hydration to maintain a good oil-water ratio in your skin, skipping moisturizing is not going to stop them. For normal skin, use an active exfoliant with glycolic acid, for combination to oily skin, use salicylic acid, if you have sensitive skin you need gluconolactone. Active exfoliation is a process, so follow through with masks, don’t expose skin to the atmosphere right after exfoliation.