A blackhead is a pore filled with debris and dead skin cells, commonly found on areas of the face, back, chest and shoulders. Blackheads are considered a form of acne but tend to be painless and non-inflammatory in comparison to other skin outbreaks. When the pore gets clogged it will either open or stay closed – if it opens, it becomes exposed and oxidises, forming the appearance of a blackhead. If the clogged pore stays closed, it tends to develop into a whitehead.
There are many causes for blackheads – hormones in particular play a significant role in excessive oil production. The male sex hormone androgen, triggers a higher secretion of sebum including puberty and hormone-related conditions like polycystic ovaries (PCOS). If you have a dry skin type or are in the process of ageing, the skin’s cellular turnover system will slow down, resulting in deep-rooted blackheads. Dairy foods, hair growth, hair removal methods, high humidity environments and stress can also lead to a development in this imperfection.
It is almost impossible to avoid the occurrence of blackheads forever, although there are a few tactics you can use to prevent and manage the imperfections when they occur. Cleansing twice daily and using non-comedogenic and oil-free products will reduce your dead skin cell build-up. Abrasive scrubs can
actually worsen the condition, so look out for salicylic or benzoyl peroxide based products to use as a replacement. Despite the beauty world encouraging the extraction of blackheads at home, we would personally recommend to leave it to the professionals to prevent skin damage and scarring. Salicylic acid-based chemical peels are an excellent go-to treatment if blackheads are something you suffer with often such as the Obagi blue peel radiance.