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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to get rid of Blackheads

The question I would get asked by my clients both online and in my clinic MANY times a week is:

How do I get rid of blackheads??

I want to break this down into 2 categories to explain this best:
1) blackheads on the nose
2) blackheads on other facial areas


But first, let me tell you in very simple terms what the common blackhead is. 
  • Our pores contain a few things: oil (sebum) , hair follicle, dead skin cells
  • makeup and dirt also find there way into our pores
  • see the sebaceous gland in the picture, well that is what produces the oil that nourishes and protects our skin
  • when the oil comes into contact with oxygen, it oxidizes it - giving it a black appearance. 
  • you will notice this oxidation wherever your pores are larger - typically the nose/chin area
  • when we exfolliate our skin, we are removing dead skin cells and part of that oxidized cap which makes our skin look brighter and fresher. 
  • removing the oil plug or black cap with pores strips is a temporary solution, it simply removes the oil cap taking away that oxidized black cap
Blackheads on the Nose:
Unfortunately we can never get rid of blackheads completely. Due to our pores typically being larger on the nose and sometimes chin area, it is only natural that oxidized oil will be seen as "blackheads". We can however minimize them. This is how:
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  • First we must clean out the oil, dead skin, dirt, makeup residue BEFORE we can minimize. 
  • First things first. Change to a mineral makeup such as Jane Iredale Mineral Make up which is designed to sit on the surface of the skin. Also if you suffer breakouts .... this is a must. Breakouts find it hard to stop when your pore keeps getting filled with unwanted gunk!
  • To assist in cleaning out your pores, use a product such as Defy from Cosmedix - a fruit acid cream to be used of a night will help break down hardened oil, makeup and dirt built up over the years. 
  • Now that we are on the right path to cleaning out our pores, we now need to minimize them. 
  • Use a vitamin A product that contains either Retinol or Retinaldehyde. For minimizing pores, anything except the above stated forms of Vitamin A will not minimize pores, they will give the skin an antioxidant benefit only. Retin A which is the strongest form of Vitamin A, I am not a big fan of. It is very irritating, causing flaking, dryness and the skin burns very quickly in the sun which can lead to pigmentation problems down the track. Typically you can only use Retin A for a period of 3 months, before you need to give the skin a break. Products that you should be looking for are: Renew from Osmosis or Refine or Define from Cosmedix.
  • Treatments that will assist are: microdermabrasion, Vitamin A infusions or peels such as the Osmosis Peel or the Cosmedix Benefit or Timeless Peel. Read more on these peels here.
  • Microdermabrasion gives you quick satisfaction as the oxidized caps are removed. For long term satisfaction, the peels and infusions will help to restructure your pores and refine them. 

Blackheads on the Rest of the Face:
Blackhead on the other parts of the face are not as common as on the nose. Everyone has blackheads to some degree on their nose, but not everyone has them on the cheeks for example.
Unless my client has a acne and/or problematic skin where the pores are enlarged and their natural oil flow is very high, blackheads on the rest of the face is commonly a topical problem.
Usually a skin product is smothering their pores and not allowing their natural oil to flow naturally on the skin. Products that contain Parrafin or liquid parrafin, mineral oil and lanolin and there are many others can, on some skins, cause blackheads. We need to allow the skin to breathe to function as it was designed to. Smothering it with barrier creams will only benefit very sensitive skins, people who suffer from eczema and dermatitis. Once I find the culprit that is responsible for the blackheads and remove it from the skin routine. I will then need to put them on some sort of fruit acid cream light Defy from Cosmedix and manually extract the blackheads.
If however the pore has been stretched over a period of years, it makes minimizing a little more time consuming as there is a lot more to minimize than the standard enlarged pore. It would be nice if our pores snapped back into position once all the debris was removed from the pore, but no such luck.
I have found that the Dermaroller Treatment, Skin Needling is FANTASTIC for minimizing pores.

I would highly recommend Skin Needling to anyone that was concerned with enlarged pores, blackheads etc. Make sure you go to a clinic that uses a Skin Needling device that is approved by the TGA (therapeutic goods administration) of Australia. These devices are designed to penetrate to your Dermis (second layer) of the skin, so you want to insist the procedure is sterilized and the technician is highly trained in skin needling.

Also as a tip, I highly advise you ask your technician is they reuse their rollers. Some clinics do, and some don't. You are paying decent money for this treatment, so you want sharp, new needles every time, a new roller that has been taken out of a sterilized packet every time.
Read more on Skin Needling with the original Dermaroller here

Some other helpful tips for a clean pored complexion:

  1. cleanse with a cleanser morning and night
  2. double cleanse or use clear on a cotton round to remove any excess make up
  3. use a moisturiser that sinks in deeply and nourishes the skin. Unless you have dermatitis, eczema, super sensitive skin,  or a thin skin you do not need products with heavy waxes, oils and paraffin that only sit on the surface of your skin and clog up your pores. Use a moisturiser like Quench that deeply hydrates and sinks in super quick.
  4. Thoroughly cleanse your skin after using chemical sunscreens, they are notorious for hanging out in your pores long after your lovely day at the beach!
  5. Exfoliate with my facial scrub at least once a week
  6. Do not squeeze blackheads, over time you develop scar tissue around the pore - even harder to minimize!
  7. Visit your Aesthetician for a deep cleansing facial/peel/infusion or microdermabrasion at least once a month. You WILL see a difference. 
  8. Change to a 100% mineral makeup like Jane Iredale
  9. Throw away that mirror in your bathroom that magnifies your face 1000 times! No one is going to look that close, it is impossible to have magnified vision.
  10. Be loving and kind to your skin
Hope this helps answers many of your questions!

Happy Skin Days,


Sarah Wilkinson
Skin Matrix
0417 404 700
sarah@skinmatrix.com.au










1 comment:

  1. This works but it takes time to see results... I do recommend it anyways as it's the only way to reduce acne scarring!

    ReplyDelete