Thursday, October 29, 2009

How To: Get Rid Of and Prevent Blackheads

Don’t squeeze that blackhead! There’s a gentler way to get rid of it, and several steps you can take to prevent new ones from forming.

You Will Need:

Step 1: Don’t pick them
Don’t try to remove blackheads either with your fingernails or with any kind of instrument. Both can lead to infection and scarring.

Step 2: Steam your face
Boil a medium pot of water, add a few drops of tea tree, eucalyptus, or lavender essential oil, and place it on a table. Sit with your face over the pot for five minutes, with a towel draped over your head to trap the steam. The combination of steam and those particular oils will loosen existing blackheads. Repeat weekly. Keep your face at least 12 inches from the water to prevent burning.

Step 3: Wash your face
To prevent future blackheads, wash your face daily with warm water and a mild soap or cleanser that is color- and fragrance-free. Replace your face cloth with a natural sea sponge, which exfoliates skin better.

Step 4: Moisturize
Slather on an over-the-counter moisturizer containing the collagen-booster retinol every night after you wash your face. If you have sensitive skin, only use it every other day. Retinol increases skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so use a sunscreen with SPF 30 daily.

Step 5: Clean up your makeup act
Always use oil-free foundation, never put makeup on a sweaty face, remove makeup at night with a cleanser that contains glycolic acid, and clean makeup brushes and sponges with baby shampoo monthly.

Step 6: Put on a mask
Use a facial mask once a week. Clay masks are especially good for drawing impurities out of pores.

Step 7: Go to a pro
If new blackheads keep developing, consider going to a dermatologist for a medical facial.
Did You Know:
The “black” in “blackheads” isn’t dirt. Your skin’s natural oils turn black when they oxidize after getting trapped in clogged pores.
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