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What Are Blackheads?

What Are Blackheads – Causes and Treatments

Grace Michaeli

We’ve all had them, we’ve all faced the irresistible urge to stand in front of the mirror and squeeze them out as we cry out in pain, and more importantly, we’ve all wondered; What are blackheads and how can we get rid of them once and for all? 


But in order to answer that question, it’s important that what we first dip deep, and under the skin (pun intended) of what blackheads are. 


Let’s cut to the chase – tell us what are blackheads? 

Blackheads, the most popular form of acne from which 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 suffer, are caused by overproduction of body oil, buildup of bacteria – and basically are what happens when dirt and oil are trapped under the skin and clog our pores. These pores appear as bumps and can also be formed by clogged hair follicles (which is one of the reasons, men suffer from them more than women). Though they usually form on the face, sometimes those sneaky buggers can also appear on your back, chest, neck, arms and shoulders. 


Whether it’s any consolation – you’re not alone. Blackheads are the most common skin disorder in the United States, affecting nearly 50 million people. That means both good news and bad. The bad news are that there’s no remedy, or secret formula that would ensure your skin remains forever blemish-free. On the flip side, non-inflamed blackheads can be treated and can in fact be prevented. Just a little spoiler ahead; food and drink have nothing to do with it… 


Don't squeeze them out
You shouldn’t squeeze them out


So, what CAN you do about it? 

Well, first thing’s first, since blackheads are caused by the accumulation of dirt, washing regularly is of the essence. But simply rinsing your face, won’t cut it. You should make sure to use lukewarm water (hot water might irritate your skin), and wash once in the morning, and once in the evening. For those of you who go bearded, keeping your beard clean is in fact crucial if you want to treat those skin blemishes (check out this, if you want to learn more on how to treat the skin under your beard). The same goes for your hair. 


After you’ve thoroughly (and softly) washed your face, it’s time to dry it properly. Yes, air-drying only applies to your hair dryer, skin needs to be dried with light patting motions – no rubbing. Also, if you have especially sensitive skin, you might want to reconsider the towel you use. Choose soft fabrics, preferably cotton based. You should also use this advice when it comes to your pillow cases, rough fabrics might chafe your skin, and bad quality ones might trap your facial oil, which would basically mean that you keep sleeping on a oily and dirty pillowcase. 


Keeping your beard clean
Keeping your beard clean is crucial


What SHOULDN’T you do about it?

This might seem counterintuitive, but you should definitely not try to extract or squeeze out your blackheads. Yes, the same goes for picking, scratching, popping, tweezing or any other form attempt to unclog that pore. Moreover, you should avoid any sticky pore straps, home extractions tools or any other device or product that have recently become increasingly more popular in the market. The reason for this, is that those tools are meant to be used by professionals and a misuse of them may cause wounds, scratches and even infections. 


One other thing that you should avoid is using soaps, creams and scrubs based on harsh chemicals. Such products can actually work against you in more than way. 

  1. They can hinder the natural and much-needed production of sebum and collagen. Thus, leaving your skin dry, rough, flaky, and a series of other phenomena that eventually, make you look older. 
  2. They can irritate your skin to the point in which the existing blemishes become inflamed, in which case you will need a dermatological intervention, and frankly speaking, no one wants that… 
  3. They can even cause severe burns. While it’s true that most of the chemical-based solutions are not harmful, in the wrong hands, they may be dangerous. 


what are blackheads and what to do?
Studies have proved the importance of a moisturizing and nourishing face cream


What SHOULD you do about it? 

After we’ve covered the very basic thing, which is rinsing your face of course, we can go on to preventative measures. No, we’re not talking about peels and masks. Instead, studies have shown that a steady use of a moisturizing and nourishing face cream, can boost your skin’s health and create the layer of protection that you need. 


It’s no secret that maintaining a certain routine and ensuring your skin is healthy, can prevent and improve concerns such as acne, scarring, dark spots and even accelerated aging processes. And healthy skin, is, well, much healthier. Particle was created to provide that protection and boost your skin needs. Aside from improving your appearance, the health of your facial skin can say a lot and reflect on your health as a whole


Keeping those blackheads away and your skin clean, has actually never been easier… 


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