If you’re like most people, you’ve probably caught yourself peering into the mirror and trying to figure out what those small bumps on your face are. Maybe they’re white or yellow, or even darker and almost black. What you’re looking at may be a form of acne called whiteheads or blackheads.
Whiteheads and blackheads consist of the same material, which is typically a combination of dead skin cells, oil, and sebum. However, whiteheads are closed pores, while blackheads stay open. This key difference impacts how you should go about treating each type.
|What are Whiteheads?||What are Blackheads?|
Although it’s tempting to pinch and squeeze your skin to get rid of whiteheads, this is not the best way to do it! Popping whiteheads without the proper tools and techniques can lead to more bacteria getting into your pores. But, there are some ways you can help to remove whiteheads.
Blackhead removal is slightly different from whitehead removal. Cleansers and exfoliators can help with both blackheads and whiteheads, but here are some extra tips for dealing with blackheads:
The first step in helping to prevent whiteheads is to make sure you’re regularly washing your face. Washing your face once in the morning and once at night should be enough to keep your face clean from pore-clogging bacteria and oil. If you work out or are very active during the day, you may need to wash your face more often. For cleansing on the go, carry cleansing cloths with you to clean and refresh your skin at any time.
As you go about your day, avoid touching your face. You touch lots of surfaces throughout the day, so your hands can collect dirt and bacteria that can get into your pores.
Finally, you want to maintain a balanced diet filled with low-glycemic carbohydrates, healthy fats, and a lot of protein to support healthy skin. Foods with antioxidants, such as kale and berries, can also help nourish your skin and help prevent acne.
To help prevent blackheads, you should practice a skincare routine for oily skin types that focuses on removing excess oil, dirt, and dead skin—three main blackhead factors.
Start by washing your face twice a day with a Salicylic Acid cleanser. This specific type of cleanser helps loosen the dirt and oil in your pores, so it’s known to be effective in preventing blackheads.
Each week, treat your skin to a face mask and an exfoliating scrub. Masks with clay or charcoal help to remove excess oil and deeply cleanse your pores while an exfoliating scrub helps get rid of dead skin on your face.
If you notice that your face gets oily during the day, carry cleansing wipes in your bag to remove excess oil.