7 Awesome Ways to Get Rid Of and Prevent BLACKHEADS -5 min read-

Joseph Lee22 comments

Blackheads are one of the worst annoyances when it comes to skincare. They are usually not big enough of a problem to warrant a trip to the doctor, unlike acne, but serious enough to cause you stress every time you look in the mirror. However, understanding what they are can easily help you minimize the presence of them or get rid of them completely! Here’s a little breakdown about them as well as 7 awesome ways to rid of and prevent blackheads from coming back.

Blackheads are simply pores that are clogged with a mixture of sebum (your skin’s natural oil), dead skin cells, and sometimes dirt particles. They are actually considered a mild form of acne in the medical world. When exposed to air and light throughout your day, certain metals and debris in the mixture oxidize and become a darker color, therefore making the clogged pore look “black.” If you don’t know what “oxidize” means, it’s a process that is very common in the world where a chemical reaction occurs in the presence of oxygen. When a metal rusts or an apple turns brown after being cut, it is all because of oxidation. So now that we have a better understanding of what they are, here are 7 ways to treat and prevent them!

ClearLee Mineral Water Cosmetics

1. Clays. When it comes to removing blackheads, there are 3 general ways we can do this: Extract them, Dissolve them, and/or Reduce pore size. Clays are amazing for extracting blackheads. Bentonite clay works exceptionally well in this case because the minerals in the clay hold a natural charge, which add to the extraction power when the clay dries on the skin. Although pore strips are fun to look at after peeling off, a bentonite clay mask will be a lot stronger and more efficient when it comes to extracting deeply buried blackheads. The use of clay masks can leave your skin dry so make sure you follow up with a toner and moisturizer afterwards!

 

2. Salicylic acid. When looking for ways to dissolve the blackheads, salicylic acid is one of the best options. Found as an ingredient in many cleansers and products for acne, salicylic acid helps by slowing down skin shedding in follicles (pores) to prevent clogging as well as breaking down blackheads and whiteheads. It works as a keratolytic, which breaks down and softens a protein called keratin. When targeting blackheads, try to look for a “leave-on” product with salicylic acid instead of a cleanser so that it has time to work. Dissolving a blackhead can take time so while some might take a couple of days to a week dissolve, others might take longer or simply stop dissolving after loosening up a little.

 

3. Enzymatic Exfoliator/Granular Exfoliator. An enzymatic exfoliator is a product that removes dead skin cells off the surface of the skin by digesting and breaking down proteins, oils, and debris. Cleansers and masks with ingredients like papaya, pineapple, and rice enzymes are most popular. On the other hand, granular exfoliators are products that contain small granules to debride dead skin cells. Cleansers and masks with ingredients like bentonite, charcoal, pumice, sugar, or salt make for great exfoliators. Exfoliating not only helps remove and break down blackheads, but it also make your skin glow radiant, lively, and healthy!

ClearLee Mineral Water Mud Mask Cleanser

4. Toners. There are many ways to reduce pore sizes (enough for a future article!), but toners are a great option. Toners that are great for acne will probably serve you best. Look for ones with ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree oil, and witch hazel. Toners targeted for acne will not only keep your skin moist to slow down oil build up and dense clogging, but they will also help fight off microbes while your pores open after a nice cleansing!

 

5. Retinoids. Retinoids are different forms of vitamin A and are another great option for targeting blackheads. They work by increasing the break down rate of cells on the surface to allow new cells to grow and migrate towards the surface. By doing so, you can essentially think of this method as pushing all the old skin out with new skin from below the surface. This is why they are great for wrinkles and for removing blackheads.

 ClearLee Mineral Water Toner

6. Cleansing. It may seem obvious, but cleansing is a great way to prevent blackheads. The good ole’ soap does a great job at washing away oils and dirt. Having blackheads does not mean you are dirty or washing improperly, since washing with soap or a cleanser would only target the surface while blackheads can form much deeper inside, but it can help prevent many surface level blackheads. Who knows, maybe you simply live in a polluted area or work in a dust-filled place, which are ideal for dirt buildup and shallow blackhead formation.

 

7. Doctor.  If you have a much severe case of blackheads, acne medication and/or micro-needling may be the magical treatment you are looking for. The common acne medication, spironolactone, or even some birth control pills can help control sebum production. Micro-needling can also be a quick way to dissolve or melt blackheads by heating specific areas of the deeper skin with lasers without hurting the surface. Make sure you see a doctor and get the full rundown of the drugs and procedures if you choose one of these methods.

     ClearLee Mineral Water Cosmetics

    Blackheads are definitely a nuisance when it comes to skincare but they are not too difficult to treat and prevent! Just stay vigilant and stay on top of your skin regime. We discussed some awesome ways to get rid of blackheads so try one, a multiple, or all of them out and see what works for your skin. If any of these options worked for you, I would love to hear about in the comments below! If you have any questions, feel free to ask as well! Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next time!

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    How Often Should I Exfoliate My Face? -7 min read-

    Joseph Lee

    “How often should I exfoliate my face?” This is a common question asked by many skin enthusiasts. I’ve read many blog articles and seen many videos written and made by skincare gurus, but none seem to accurately and completely answer the question and most generally lean back on sharing how often they do it. Now, they are definitely not wrong when they share their skin and exfoliation routine, but their answer only applies to THEIR SKIN and NOT YOURS. Then what concerns me, is that there are those who just make up things because it sounds logically correct in their mind. I’ve seen everything from you should exfoliate every day to exfoliating everyday will ruin your face and leave you with scars, wrinkles, and scratches (without taking them out of context).

     So, what’s right? And is there a secret formula? I will do my best to explain the best exfoliation routine for you!

    ClearLee blog mud mask exfoliate

    For those that don’t know what exfoliation is, it is the process of removing the dead skin cells on the outer surface of skin. This sometimes involves the use of an exfoliating glove, a cleanser, or a scrub.

     To figure out how often we should exfoliate, let’s begin by understanding how our skin cells grow and divide. Now I don’t want to dive into too much science and biology, so let’s think of our skin growth this way. In general, our skin cells grow from the inside-out. There is a layer deeper down in our skin called a basal lamina where our skin cells are essentially born (they are differentiated into basal cells from a stem cell for those who want more specifics). As they grow older, they start making their journey towards the surface of our skin. Along the way, they lose their nucleus, flatten out, and layer themselves to become part of the skin you and I feel with our hands. Eventually, they die and flake off leaving behind the newer generation of skin cells. They will always grow inside-out like this except for certain situations like when healing a laceration or cut, where the dividing happens sideways in order to cover and patch up the injury. But that is a whole different study in itself.

    Skin cells divide and multiply the fastest. I can’t answer how often they multiply because that is different for every person as well as controlled very specifically by the body. But it’s a good thing that I can’t answer the question, since if your body had no control of the growth rate, it would be the definition of cancer. So yes, your body will decide how quickly you need new skin cells and this rate can change depending on the environment.

    Cell division cells dividing ClearLee blog exfoliate

     Now that we know a bit more about the skin, let’s forgo a couple of misconceptions that people may have.

    1) “You will damage your new skin if you exfoliate too much.” This is not necessarily wrong, but it’s not true either. By the time your skin is on the surface, it is not really a new skin cell anymore. In fact, it is closer to a dead skin cell and researchers sometime say that they are already dead since they have lost their nucleus. However, it is possible to damage your skin if you exfoliate too much and I’ll get to that in a second. 

    2) “Will you run out of skin if you exfoliate too much?” While it might sound funny to others, it is a valid question if you think about exfoliating at a faster rate than your skin divides/multiplies. But now we know that your body controls the rate of skin cell production or differentiation. On top of that, if you are exfoliating too much and start touching the newer not fully developed layers of your skin, your body will tell you to stop because it will be painful. 

    3) “What if my skin stops growing but I keep exfoliating?” Fun fact: Your skin will never stops dividing and multiplying in your lifetime. Sure as people get into the elderly age, their skin might get less firm and tight, but skin cells will still be made.

    ClearLee exfoliate blog soap sinkSo what is the best exfoliation formula for you? Here are a couple tips and advice to help figure that out.

    1) Exfoliate GENTLY! This applies to everyone. Exfoliating is meant to simply remove the outer dead skin cells that are ready to flake off so that it doesn’t block the glow and radiance of your healthy skin. Being harsh with any exfoliator is no different from you rubbing your face on sand paper.

    2) Start by exfoliating 2-3 times a week. This is a super safe method. We naturally lose around 30,000 cells every hour and over a million a day. So there will be plenty of new cells to exfoliate every 2-3 days.

    3) Start making your way to exfoliating every day by adding an extra day every week. This not only allows your skin to become accustomed to the process, but you also will be able to see if your skin is reacting in a negative way. If it gets too red or feels uncomfortable, take off a day and that is probably where your routine should stay.

    4) If you can get to exfoliating once a day without problems, then that is the routine for you. It means your skin is regenerating at a fast enough rate and it also means that you can show off glowing, radiant skin every day since you will have minimal amount of flaking cells.

    ClearLee blog exfoliate

     Hope that helped not only develop another step in your skin routine, but also expanded your knowledge about your skin! If you have any questions or want to share your skin routine, comment below and I’ll be sure to read them. Let me know if your routine changes when using the ClearLee Mineral Water Mud Mask/Cleanser compared to other exfoliators. Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next time.

     

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