What are blackheads and whiteheads?
Blackheads and whiteheads are types of acne. They consist of the same combination of dead skin cells and sebum. However, there are differences between the two. And it is essential to differentiate between them before you begin your treatment.
Whiteheads are closed pores and are typically known as closed comedones. They are yellow or white in color due to a buildup of bacteria and sebaceous products. Whiteheads basically close the opening of pores and often turn into pimples if left untreated. After a while, whiteheads turn red and become inflamed, indicating that they have become pimples. Whiteheads are not only limited to your face. They can occur at different places of your body, including arms, shoulders, or back. The follicles under your skin are filled with bacteria, leaving little to no space for air to enter. Resulting in a chemical reaction with the bacteria, turning it white.
Blackheads are called open comedones. Although like whiteheads, blackheads form when the pores become clogged, blackheads live in open pores. They look like black dots but are often bumps that make the skin uneven. Like whiteheads, blackheads can turn into pimples if left untreated; however, they are non-inflammatory. The large pores are clogged with sebum. Due to oxidation, the melanin trapped inside the open pores becomes black, giving it a dark appearance. Blackheads and sebaceous filaments can sometimes look alike. However, sebaceous filaments are grey or tan in comparison to blackheads.
There are several reasons behind the regular occurrence of blackheads and whiteheads. The reasons range from hormones, excess oil production to your skin coming in contact with harmful bacteria. Whether you have blackheads or whiteheads, both are unwanted. They are noticeable and make the skin texture uneven.
Lucky for you, they can be treated and avoided by following a few tips and tricks!
Do not pick or squeeze them:
As tempting as it may be to pinch or squeeze the blackhead or whitehead out of your skin, you surely must not. Popping them requires proper tools and techniques to prevent more bacteria from entering your pores. It’s essential to resist the temptation to pick or pull them out. Although it might seem the easy way to get rid of them, it will do more damage to your skin than good! Furthermore, they might become permanent spots on your skin, or worse, the bacteria from your hands can mix with your skin. Practice good hygiene, and avoid touching your face frequently.
Cleanse your skin to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads:
Cleansers can help both blackheads and whiteheads. But for whiteheads, begin with a pore cleanser. And for blackheads, you can add pore strips to your routine, for immediate removal. People with oily skin should be more careful. Keep a cleaning cloth, or wipes for effective cleansing throughout the day.
It is essential to clean your skin off excessive oil every day because it is the root cause of these blackheads and whiteheads. Cleansers with salicylic acid and charcoal are the most effective in cleaning out pores and washing off excess sebum.
Remove your makeup before going to bed:
One of the most vital tips for avoiding blackheads and whiteheads, is to keep your face clean while going to bed. Make sure you go to bed without makeup. Remove makeup at night, to avoid excess accumulation of bacteria on your skin.
Include an exfoliator in your routine:
Add a gentle exfoliating scrub to your routine. Exfoliation can help in the removal of dead skin cells that may clog pores. Furthermore, it helps in reducing the amount of oil production on your skin surface. However, over-exfoliating the skin may damage the skin further and result in frequent breakouts. Exfoliate your skin once a week.
Add facial masks to your self-care routine:
Regular facial masks benefit the skin in different ways. It smoothens the skin and makes it glow while keeping it clean. For most people struggling with blackheads due to excessively oily skin, a facial mask with charcoal or clay will suit them best. Charcoal and clay help in absorbing excess oil, which is the root cause of blackheads. While facial masks with salicylic acid help with whiteheads.
For healthy skin, it is essential to keep it hydrated. Therefore, moisturizing is a must. However, over-moisturizing may lead to excessively oily skin. Therefore, use a light moisturizer or gel that will help in the prevention of plugged pores. Non-comedogenic moisturizers are the best to avoid black and whiteheads. During the day, you can use products mixed with antioxidants and a high SPF.
Following a regular yet straightforward CTM (cleansing, toning, and moisturizing) routine helps prevent blackheads and whiteheads. But if your condition persists, maybe it’s time to see a dermatologist!