Blackheads and whiteheads are caused by the same things, so there's no need to treat these two skin issues separately.
Blackheads and whiteheads may look fundamentally different, but they're two sides of the same skincare coin. Both are the result of oil and debris trapped in pores.
Blackheads occur when pores become clogged and stretched by black or brown deposits that leave your skin looking dirty. Whiteheads also arise from trapped debris, but these pores becomes so clogged that they seal themselves, producing small heads of pus just above the skin's surface.
Because both issues are the result of excess oil plus dead skin and other particles, you can simultaneously treat both problems. This is a good thing, since excessive use of skincare products can inflame your complexion, cause excessive dryness, and even make acne worse.
Follow the simple routine below, and you'll soon find your skin blissfully free of acne of all varieties.
Protecting Your Skin From Debris
- Quit your blackhead-popping, skin-picking habit. The more frequently you touch your skin, the more oil and bacteria you introduce into your pores.
- Use makeup only when necessary, and choose oil-free, non-comedogenic products.
- Never exercise or sleep in makeup.
- Limit yourself to no more than three skincare products per day. Overzealous treatment can reduce the effectiveness of each product and even irritate your skin.
Regular cleansing is the cornerstone of any good acne-prevention routine. There's no need to repeatedly wash your face. Simply cleansing in the morning and before bed is enough unless you've been sweating. Try Asap Gentle Cleansing Gel to remove oil, dirt, and debris.
To get the most out of your cleansing routine, don't reuse dirty washcloths or other tools, since these can harbour skin-damaging bacteria.
When you're in the midst of an active breakout, spot treatments are your new best friend. Retinol encourages your skin to heal more quickly, slowing the ageing process and reducing the severity of breakouts. Try Skinstitut Retinol.
Because spot treatments such as retinol can dry and irritate your skin, begin with treatment every other day, gradually increasing to once-daily treatments before bed.
Sometimes your skin needs a little help to shed dead cells. Exfoliating once or twice per week can aid the process. Exfoliation also removes excess oil and debris, directly combating blackheads and whiteheads.
Glycolic acid is a highly effective exfoliating ingredient, as is any treatment with scrubbing beads. Aficionados of natural beauty often turn to products that contain coconut husk for natural exfoliation. It's up to you to choose the product that best suits your needs.
Though exfoliating treatments can work wonders, you can exfoliate with your current cleanser by pairing it with the Clarisonic Mia. This gentle cleansing brush is safe to use daily, but start with just a few times a week to assess how your skin reacts. Then gradually increase your use for optimal exfoliation and skin that's softer than it's ever been.
An Exception to the Rule
Note that blackhead strips won't work on whiteheads, since whiteheads are sealed. However, blackhead strips are a temporary fix that fails to address the underlying cause of breakouts, making strips an unnecessary part of your skincare regimen.