THE TRUTH ABOUT BLACKHEADS
You scrub, you mask, you spend a fortune on those strips that pull the junk out (at least that’s what they say in the commercials). You go from product to product, trying the latest miracle in clear skin. You see no difference in skin clarity, despite your beauty ambitions. Is this you?? Well, I’ve got the 411 for ya.
I became an Aesthetician ten years ago, partly due to my own curiosity about the skin, because I was tired of constant disappointment in results, and I was tired of spending money on the latest thing that never worked. I have oily skin (which is a blessing for anti-aging, so don’t totally despair), and I’m always dealing with the blackhead issue myself.
What’s the answer? Well, here’s the deal. You’re stuck with those little jerks forever. Why? You can blame Mom and Dad for that. Your skin cell DNA is programmed a certain way based on your genetic heritage. So, no matter what you do, you will never totally get rid of blackheads. Your oil glands act how they act. Your skin cells shed, and get mixed up with the oil after they fall down into the hair follicle, creating a plug.
What do you do???
Here are some tips for still having beautiful skin. The key is, CONSISTENCY (sound familiar? Isn’t this true about pretty much anything in life???)
First and foremost, your skin care routine should be twice a day. You should cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Moisturize??? But you’re oily, so you don’t need to moisturize, right? WRONG. One big mistake people make, is they tend to neglect hydrating the skin properly to achieve balance. The oil glands then overcompensate by producing a lot more oil to help balance the skin. So the solution would be to hydrate/moisturize with a humectant, or some type of oil- free formula.
When it comes to WHAT to use, that’s tricky. It’s a good idea to meet with a licensed Aesthetician who can analyze your skin and find the right balance of ingredients. It’s necessary to use ingredients that help skin cell turnover (like retinols, AHA’s/BHA’s), but as mentioned before, it’s also important to make sure the skin gets proper moisture/hydration. The right regiment will depend on whether you’re really oily, or combination skin. Most of my clients think their skin type is a certain way, and realize that is not the case at all.
Getting your pores cleaned out by a licensed Aesthetician will be key. Many times, the results are excellent with treatments that incorporate microdermabrasion and AHA/BHA peels, which help slough off a lot of the dead epidermis cells that are blocking the opening to the hair follicle where the debris builds up. Once a month is recommended, as the life cycle of a skin cell is approximately 28-35 days, so you want to get your pores cleaned out regularly so that there isn’t lots of build up, which can result in milia (whiteheads) or acne, and that’s a whole other horrible problem you’ve got on your hands if it gets to that stage.
Don’t fret. You can have beautiful skin!!! Become educated on the physiology of the skin. Know your ingredients and what they do. Be consistent, and patient. If your problem has been going on a long time, it can take a few months to get it looking good, but it is totally possible!