How to Get Rid of Blackheads and Put a Fresh Face Forward

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Blackheads are no joke. From afar, they are barely visible, but up close, they can stick out like a sore thumb. Some people are more prone to blackheads than others and their size and shape vary from one person to the next. So while it may not affect the overall complexion of one person, it can do quite the opposite for another. Either way, blackheads are a form of acne that you should be aware of and proactively target. They don’t hurt or look as obvious as an irritated pimple, but they are indication that your diet or skincare habits aren't promoting clear skin. Learn how to get rid of blackheads with these 3 suggestions.

A blackhead is a wider-than-usual opening on the skin with a blackened area of skin debris covering it. They are often dark, small spots but can also appear yellowish in color. The wide opening is formed at the root end of a hair follicle, which collects debris, bacteria and oil. Blackheads generally group together in the same area of skin, usually concentrated around the nostrils. However, they can be found all over the body. The question is how to get rid of blackheads effectively, efficiently and for good.

1. Do Not Touch!

This is the number one recommendation I give to people who compliment on my facial skin: don't touch your face. This doesn't mean getting paranoid about every small graze of a hand or hair strand across your face; however, it does mean internalizing the idea that the face is off limits for your hands, hair and other people's hands. Your hands are full of bacteria and when you touch your face, you simply transfer the bacteria to your pores. Meanwhile, if your hair touches your face, any hair product used will also attach itself to your skin and add more to your blackhead conundrum. Be sure to use a toxic-free, all-natural hair gel or cream to prevent the inevitable for those among us with long locks. Also, wear your hair up in a ponytail (or halfway) to avoid loose locks from touching your facial skin. If you have bangs, clip them to the side or get used to a headband until your blackheads clear up. Meanwhile, regularly change your pillow cases - they are full of bacteria!

2. Diet

Research often tries to downplay the relevance of the diet in terms of the onset of acne, but the link cannot be denied. What you eat affects your body from the inside out, your complexion being no exception. If you eat fatty foods that are acidic to your body's system, your body will attempt to eliminate the toxins via various channels, including the skin. Luckily, you have complete control over your diet! Eat a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits, their juices as well as lean protein, legumes, nuts, seeds and high-quality grains. Avoid processed, fried, white sugar and flour-laden foods. Stick to Mother Nature's bounty and your skin will thank you later! If you want to know how to get rid of blackheads in the most elemental way possible, start with the diet.

3. Cleanse, Exfoliate and Moisturize Smartly

Wash your skin twice a day - once in the morning and again before going to bed. In the morning, exfoliate; at night before bed, cleanse. Your skin repairs and rejuvenates itself during the nighttime, so it is important to go bed with well-cleansed skin. However, in the morning, all you need is a product that will sweep away dead skin cells and reveal a glowing complexion, which is why an exfoliant is key. Be sure to use an all-natural exfoliant and cleanser, avoiding toxic chemicals. Keep in mind that washing your face more than twice per day can cause irritation and ultimately inflict the opposite of its intended purpose.

Your daily moisturizer is also critical in avoiding blackheads. A build up of natural skin oils, called sebum, are part of what cause blackheads. If you are using a heavy moisturizer, you may be exacerbating the situation, causing already oily skin to become oilier. Use a light but hydrating moisturizing, preferably an all-natural homemade version, to keep the oil build-up in check.

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Image: tommerton2010

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