Blackheads, or ‘comedones’ (the medical term), are caused by oil and dirt build-up combined with genetics. The dark colour comes from the oxidization process that happens when the oil/dirt is exposed to the surface of the skin and the melanin within the pore.
The longer blackheads stay on the skin, the more they expand your pores. This makes them fill up with more blockage and leads to large, visible pores. So, getting rid of them early is key.
Here are five ways you can help to clear congestion and blackheads:
1. Try pore strips
Ideal for targeting problem areas like the nose or chin, pore strips clear the blockages that lead to blackheads. Many contain ingredients like tea tree oil and witch hazel for deeper cleansing. Regular use can help to keep skin blackhead free.
Try: Bioré ultra deep cleansing pore strips (£7.99)
2. Use products with salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is a lipophilic – this means it’s attracted to oils. A daily cleanser containing salicylic acid helps to clear excess oil for clean, unclogged pores.
3. Use a clay mask
Clay-based masks work by drawing out impurities deep in the skin, like a vacuum. This can cause spots to come to the surface, so avoid using the day before a special occasion.
4. Apply retinol products at night
Retinol products containing vitamin A help with a variety of skin complaints from wrinkles to acne. They help the skin to repair and are therefore ideal for battling blackheads.
Try: REN bio retinoid anti-ageing concentrate (£44)
5. Try a glycolic peel
Glycolic acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) which removes dead skin cells which can cause blocked pores. We recommend getting this done professionally by a facialist, however there are at-home kits you can use in-between appointments.
Try: No 7 youthful glycolic peel kit (£24.95)