For today’s post, I thought of sharing my solution for a very common skincare concern – “how to get rid of blackheads”. Not very long ago, I used to have very stubborn blackheads especially around my nose and it felt really frustrating not being able to do much about it even after trying a number of products meant to treat blackheads. I was an avid user of Biore pore strips as they seem to help a bit but the blackheads always came back in a few days (later I found that these pore strips should anyways be avoided). Finally, I tried something about 6-7 months ago that has since become my HG product to keep my skin clear of these unsightly blackheads –Paula’s choice Exfoliating 2% BHA Liquid (BHA is beta hydroxy acid or salicylic acid)
If you have been following my blog for a while, you probably know that I am a fan of skincare expert Paula Begoun and her site Beautypedia.com that’s a treasure of information for beauty enthusiasts like me! Anyways, coming back to the product -here is the product description from their website :
Exfoliating 2% BHA Liquid
• 2% salicylic acid liquid formula exfoliates to reveal smoother, firmer, younger-looking skin
• Calms redness and builds collagen
• Gentle but still effective on the most stubborn acne and blackheads
• Unclogs and diminishes enlarged pores
• Anti-inflammatory ingredients calm signs of rosacea
• 100% fragrance-free, contains no dyes or coloring agents. No animal testing
My review – This exfoliant has a clear liquid consistency and seeps quickly onto your skin without leaving any residue.. I just take a dime-sized amount and apply to clean skin with my fingers. It is gentle enough to be used everyday but I normally use it 3-4 times a week at night (before my night cream). Although it is best suited for normal to oily or combination skin, it works well on my dry skin as well to keep it smooth and clear.
After using this exfoliating liquid consistently for a few months now, I can honestly say that this product has helped tremendously with the look and texture of my skin. My blackheads are almost gone now and my skin doesn’t break out as often. Not only that, the large pores on my cheeks are overall less noticeable and clearer (wish they could disappear completely!)
Paula’s choice 2% BHA liquid is without a doubt one of my favorite skin care products of all times as it treats acne, clogged pores and blackheads all at once! Don’t’ you just love multitasking products? I sure do and plan to use this product as long as it is available. And the price is so affordable too. ($18.95) .
Paula’s choice exfoliating 2% BHA liquid is available at paulaschoice.com
Paula also suggests an easily available drugstore product that works well on blackheads and blemish-prone skin – Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-In-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment. (I haven’t tried this one)
Want to know more about blackheads and what else you can do to keep them at bay? Below I have copied an excerpt from Paula’s newsletter with more information …..read on!
Blackhead Myths & Facts
Before you can really begin to work on reducing blackheads, or possibly even getting rid of them for good, it’s important to know exactly what you are dealing with. Here’s what you need to know:
• Blackheads start forming deep inside the pore lining where dead skin cells and cellular debris (such as tiny hairs) get trapped in your skin’s oil. Over time, this mixture gets stuck in the pore lining, forming a plug. As the plug makes its way to your skin’s surface, the contents of the plug interacts with air and oxidizes, turning black.
• Despite how they look, blackheads have nothing to do with your skin being dirty. That’s why treating blackheads isn’t as simple as washing your face more often (although daily cleansing is still important). All the cleansing in the world won’t stop blackheads from forming, but over-cleansing can make matters worse.
• Blackheads cannot be scrubbed away, nor can they be completely removed with pore strips. Such products remove only the top portion of the blackhead; they do not address the underlying cause. The result? In a very short period of time, sometimes overnight, your blackheads come back, and you’re on an endless cycle of scrubbing and stripping skin, which hurts your skin’s healthy functioning, stimulates oil production, and creates deeper and longer-lasting blackheads.
• Unlike acne, blackheads are not caused by bacteria. Therefore, topical disinfectants such as benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil have no effect on them.
To have the best chance of resolving a problem with blackheads, you need to use a product that penetrates the pore lining, dissolves the plug, and restores a free flow of oil to the skin’s surface. The plug is the root of the problem; just like pulling a weed without removing the root won’t rid your lawn of these pests, you must know how a blackhead is formed and treat it appropriately if you want to see lasting improvement.
The Secret Ingredient for Getting Rid of Blackheads
The #1 solution to relieving skin of unsightly blackheads is to use a well-formulated exfoliant whose active ingredient is salicylic acid. Also known as beta hydroxy acid (BHA for short), salicylic acid not only exfoliates the skin’s surface, but also penetrates into the pore to dissolve the plug.
Using a BHA product regularly normalizes the flow of oil and reduces your skin’s tendency to form blackheads. Surprisingly, well-formulated BHA products are hard to find. Paula’s Choice offers several options, which have become customer favorites because they work as claimed. In particular, the 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Liquid has become a must-have product for those with stubborn blackheads.
What else helps to get rid of blackheads? Regularly using a hand-held tool known as a comedone extractor (comedone is another name for blackhead). Most beauty supply stores or shops like Sephora sell comedone extractors.
Another thing that helps is avoiding products with irritating ingredients, which is good for everyone’s skin! Irritation not only damages collagen and makes red marks from acne worse, but it also stimulates oil production, making blackheads worse. You should also avoid bar soaps or bar cleansers because the ingredients that keep these in their bar form can clog pores. Also avoid thick, creamy moisturizers because the ingredients that make them thick can clog pores.
Hope you find this post useful. I would love to know what’s your go-to product to get rid of blackheads……share your thoughts and suggestions!