Blackheads are simply blocked pores filled with dead skin cells and oil that are open to the air, they oxidize (much the same as an apple when bitten it turns brown). The dead skin cells and oils mix and when the air dries the top they turn hard to form a bumpy plug known as a blackhead, these just keep on growing, so pore size will be different sizes due to the age of the impaction and lead onto enlarged pores.
Blackheads can be found in oily areas known as the T-zone (the forehead straight down the nose to the chin) usually between the eyebrows, nose, lip line and chin are the most common but can be on the back/chest.
Blackhead are known as open comedones where the surface is open to oxygen whereas whiteheads, closed comedones these are yellowy/white made up of dead skin cells, oils and bacteria. These can be painful as the white (possibly yellow) heads are infected and can be inflamed sore to touch and redness around the breakout more commonly known as a “zit” or pustule… this can then lead onto acne in all levels.
Why do they appear on my face?
Blackheads and whiteheads can appear from diet/sugars (after a night on the booze), hormonal changes, poor hygiene/removal of makeup, comedogenic ingredients in skincare and makeup products, to using fabric softener on your pillows… animal fats in fabric conditioner causes a film on your skin leaving it open to irritation especially if you use on your pillows, not to mention the perfume that is a well known comedogenic and a huge cause for concern. Lots of other nasty ingredients that are actually in well know teenage/ acne/ oily skin brands of skincare on the open market over the counter products that strip the skin of natural oils but then fill your skin with pore blocking ingredients causing more irritation into a continuous circle of breakout activity and unsightly blackheads.
Did you know that whilst a teen is going through puberty, skin is producing excess oil whilst the pores are maturing, so “stripping” the oil from your skin with some notorious alcoholic toners will actually promote more oil…do you really want an oil slick city on your face? Didn't think so.
Should I squeeze them out myself?
Is there anything I can do to stop blackheads and whiteheads?
YES! By using NON comedogenic products and looking for fabulous ingredients like salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids (these are great for a more sensitised skin) hyaluronic acid, TT complexes these will certainly help to slow down and diminish the process of blackhead and breakout activity…
Did you know that if your skin is so dehydrated it will cling onto those blackheads for moisture!!! NICE HEY?
Having regular professional skin treatments, and addressing Blackheads/comedones with professional extractions/removal you'll be well on the way to clearer happier and healthier skin. By checking in monthly with a skin health professional and having a skin health plan in place, you'll have long term and a lifetime of skin health and much smaller pores!
For more information and advice please get in touch, I can design a skin health plan especially for you, provide you with targeted skin health products and your new skincare routine, your professional skin treatments and together we’ll get your results you've been waiting for. Invest in your skin health now.
Professional Skin Health Expert.
Zest skin and bodycare, Kendal, Cumbria.