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What an Esthetician Says About Blackheads

What an Esthetician Says About Blackheads

From big to small, and all the ones in between, blackheads are stubborn, annoying, and frustrating to extract. Even though there are tons of products on the market claiming to make the black dots disappear, many people never had much luck getting rid of blackheads. 

However, knowing how to spot a blackhead, what really causes it, and how to remove them can save you a lot of struggle.


What Are Blackheads?

Blackheads are large, open pores containing debris, buildup, and oil that have oxidized from the air, causing them to turn black. Ultimately it’s a form of acne, so the bacteria that causes acne is present in producing blackheads. 

They usually form on the face, but they can also appear on your back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulders. 

You can remove the blackhead by extracting it, but once the oil fills back up in the pore, the air will cause the oil to darken once again. Unfortunately, blackheads are an endless cycle, which means extractions and maintenance are highly recommended. 

What Causes Blackheads?

For more detail, blackheads form when a clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles in your skin. Each follicle contains one hair and a sebaceous gland that produces oil. 

This oil, called sebum, helps keep your skin soft. 

Dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening to the skin follicle, producing a bump. If the skin over the bump stays closed, the bump is called a whitehead. When the skin over the bump opens, exposure to the air causes it to look black, and a blackhead forms. 

Some factors can increase your chances of developing acne and blackheads, including:

  • Producing too much body oil
  • The buildup of bacteria on the skin
  • Irritation of the hair follicles when dead skin cells don’t shed on a regular basis
  • Undergoing hormonal change that causes an increase in oil production

Because of their dark color, blackheads are easy to spot on the skin. They’re slightly raised, although they aren’t painful because they aren’t inflamed like pimples which form when bacteria invade the blockage in the hair follicle, causing redness and inflammation. 

How to Remove Blackheads at Home

During a professional facial, an esthetician will raise the temperature of the skin by applying warm steam to the skin and performing a facial massage to soften the hardened oil within the pores to make for easier extraction. If the skin is properly prepared, extractions shouldn’t leave the skin with significant red marks. 

Applying a cooling mask will help calm the skin and reduce any visible redness. You can create a similar experience with an at-home extraction plan. First, you’ll need plastic wrap, two washcloths, facial tissue, a heavy moisturizer, and a blackhead extractor tool. 

Make sure you remove your blackheads immediately after a shower since the skin temperature has been raised, which softens the oil within the pore, making for easier extractions. 

Follow these steps to achieve an at-home extraction:

  1. Apply a Thick & Creamy Moisturizer: After showering, use a rich moisturizer to create a temporary occlusive seal to keep the heat trapped in the skin for extraction purposes. 
  2. Apply a Hot Compress: Next, cover the area with plastic wrap and apply the first hot, damp washcloth. Then get a second washcloth nice and hot, and apply it over the other one. This will help retain its heat longer. Afterward, remove the plastic and keep the skin moist by applying a bit more moisturizing, as more than likely, it will have wiped off onto the washcloth. 
  3. Use an Extraction Tool: If you're using a tool, hold the tweezers in one hand, and place the open tips on both sides of the blackhead you plan to extract. With the tweezer body perpendicular to the area to be extracted and using the round, curved ends, gently press on each side of the blackhead until it begins to release. Apply slowly, even pressure, and lightly pinch the tweezers and pull the blackhead out from the skin to extract it.

Klassi-La'Chiq Beauty Supply

Let’s face it, blackheads are pretty much a fact of life, and almost everybody will experience them at some point or another. Essentially, they’re inevitable, but there is definitely some strategy when it comes to managing and treating them. 

Klassi-La’Chiq Beauty Essentials in Asheville, NC, offers a variety of all-natural beauty products to keep you looking and feeling your best. For more information, give us a call today