Oh, blackheads. First it was my nose, then it was my chin and now they’ve even claimed my forehead, too. And if, like me, you’ve been scrubbing away at your face in the hopes that your blackheads will magically vanish, it might be time to up the ante and try out a professional skin treatment. So, let’s look at three options that can help remove blackheads and give your pores a good clean.
But, first up, what is a blackhead?
What are blackheads?
Aside from being the skin gripe that knows how to push my buttons above all else, blackheads are a mild form of acne - open comedones, to be precise. In simple terms, they’re clogged pores and they crop up when a mixture of dead skin cells and excess sebum (oil) get stuck inside our pores (a.k.a. hair follicles) and form a plug - lovely. And they tend to hang around the oily places of our skin, like the infamous T-zone.
How can I get rid of blackheads?
The thing about blackheads is that they sit below the skin’s surface. So, simply using a face wash or scrub, unfortunately, won’t necessarily do a great deal in the way of clearing them up. But, before you lose all hope, let’s quickly turn to three fab treatments to let your blackheads know who’s boss.
Chemical peels for blackheads
We all know the deal with chemical peels, right? An acid solution is applied to the face to melt away dead skin cells, taking uneven skin tone, texture and fine lines with it too. (You can head over to this article if you want to learn more).
The chemical peel benefits are great for loads of skin concerns, but there are some particularly great acids which are famous for their ability to kick blackhead bothers to the ground. And the most well-known of the lot is salicylic acid, a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA). Now, don’t be put off by the term acid and the scientific lingo - it’s a good type of acid, I promise. This BHA works by getting deep inside pores and dissolving blackheads - yes, it actually dissolves them! And after a course of chemical peels (your practitioner will recommend how many), you can bet your blackheads will have improved.
Microdermabrasion for blackheads
Okay, now onto microdermabrasion. This skin treatment sloughs off dead skin cells by either using exfoliating crystals or a diamond-tipped tool, combined with a vacuum to suction up the debris. Got oily, congested skin? Welcome to your new favourite skin treatment.
Whilst a microdermabrasion treatment is a fab go-to for lots of skin issues, like hyperpigmentation and sneaky signs of ageing, it’s also great for taking hold of blackheads and removing them straight from the skin. Essentially, the vacuuming effect loosens dead skin cells, brings them to the surface and extracts blackheads - excuse me whilst I go and book myself in!
HydraFacial for blackheads
Now, let’s look at the third and final blackhead treatment: the HydraFacial. This 5-step skincare treatment is what skin care dreams are made of (who doesn’t want a deep cleanse and detox?). And there are a couple of HydraFacial steps which are similar to both chemical peels and microdermabrasion: exfoliation and extraction.
During the exfoliation part of the HydraFacial treatment, different acids are applied to the skin via a pen-like device, where they’re left to do their thing for a couple of minutes. These acids include glycolic and, the familiar face, salicylic acid.
And after your skin has been treated to a round of exfoliating goodness, it’s time for the extraction stage. Here, your practitioner will up the suction for first-class blackhead removal, where your pores are gently freed of dead skin cells and oil using a rotating nozzle. And, if your skin’s particularly prone to blocked pores, an extra dose of salicylic acid can be thrown in, too.
To learn about all 5 steps, as well as the HydraFacial benefits, head on over here.
So, now you know how to get rid of blackheads - well, most of them. It’s likely that the battle to keep these blemishes away will be an ongoing one. And, whilst these treatments can be great for helping us get a clearer complexion, we might just have to learn to live with the odd blackhead!
HydraFacial is a registered trademark