It’s a guilty pleasure we all secretly share: giving our noses a good squeeze to unleash the grime clogging up our pores. But no matter how much gunk you get out, the blackheads just keep coming back.
Now they’re all over the internet, as well as all over your face. Graphic and extreme, blackhead-busting videos are being shared around the world, with the popularity of professional squeezer Dr Pimple Popper ever-growing.
Louise Thomas-Minns, skin therapist to the stars and director of U & Your skin says: “Everyone will have blackheads at some point in their life, since we all naturally secrete oil from our pores. When this oil is allowed to build up, it oxidises with exposure to daily oxygen and turns black.”
But should we squeeze blackheads, or is there a better way to battle the blemishes?
Here’s how to get rid of blackheads:
Louise recommends using a Salicylic acid based exfoliator. Salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory. It breaks down the grime that clogs our pores by loosening keratin, a protein which forms the skin’s structure. “You can find Salicylic acid in the form of a toner, pad, lotion or mask.
This wonderful ingredient will whizz through the oil in the pore.” Most blotting papers contain Salicylic acid and will treat the skin while removing excess oil. Be sure to exfoliate at night time, otherwise your make-up and the pollutants in the air will fill up your pores all over again.
It’s best to get blackheads extracted (or squeezed out) by a professional skincare therapist. You can easily book an extraction facial. Louise says: “Professionals can work the plug of oil from the pore, giving you a truly deep pore cleanse.” But it can be done at home: “Always make sure your skin and hands are clean, and ideally perform extraction after a warm shower or bath, as the steam will have opened up the pores.”
Taking your make-up off before bed and maintaining a regular skincare routine are two easy steps towards beating blackheads for good. Louise says: “Prevention comes in the guise of regular, gentle exfoliation.” She recommends choosing skincare products containing anti-oxidants. These are easy to find as they are usually labelled: “Anti-oxidants will prevent that oxidisation process and the blackening of the plug of oil.”
Dump your old flannel and use a Konjac sponge for your cleansing and exfoliating routine. Konjac is a pH neutral plant rich in anti-oxidants, helping to maintain healthy, balanced skin.