Blackheads can be the bane of our lives, can’t they?
Just sitting there and not shifting. Looking ugly and making us feel bad.
But too many of the blackhead removal treatments in the stores and all over YouTube and Pinterest actually damage our skin and make our blackheads worse.
Black head popping scars sensitive skin. And pore strips, exfoliating face scrubs, AHA & BHA chemical peels and harsh cleansers both dry out or destroy layers of healthy skin and in the long run make our skin even oilier.
Together all these treatments stress out our face.
And you know what it’s like when we’re stressed. We over react, lash out and do crazy stuff attacking everything and everyone in sight. Our skin is just the same.
So what we truly need, is treatments that get rid of even deep rooted blackheads gently and help our skin to heal naturally from within to prevent the blackheads coming back.
I know, I know it sounds lame and like it will never work because truth to tell we’re all weirdly addicted to popping and pore strips and peels!! But if you are spending a small fortune on blackhead removal treatments that just don’t work, you have to to give these tips for getting rid of blackheads gently and naturally a go.
All these DIY treatments are super simple and will barely cost you a thing. And better still they make our whole body feel much healthier. How good is that?
How Blackhead Removal Damages Skin
Many popular blackhead removal treatments damage our skin and shock it into over reaction.
Blackheads popping causes long lasting skin cell damage and scarring and makes blackheads worse by spreading infection into the damaged skin cells. However tempting don’t do it, even in on deep rooted blackheads.
Homemade Pore Strips
Pore strips do look like they work don’t they?
We have the evidence in front of our eyes after all. But they are also yanking out healthy skin cells and hair follicles and actually put our skin into shock. And when it goes into shock it reacts with inflammation but doesn’t have what it needs to repair itself.
Exfoliating Face Scrubs
Exfoliating face scrubs like so many DIY black treatments are strangely satisfying. That doesn’t mean they work. The abrasive scrub is more likely to damage healthy skin cells than actually remove blackheads.
Skincare For Acne
When we first get blackheads as teenagers, we too often reach for acne skincare treatments and harsh cleansers. But blackheads however horrid are not acne. Most acne treatments contain benzoyl peroxide which is very drying and actually causes our skin to produce more oil in response.
AHA & BHA chemical peels aim to remove whole layers of “dead” skin along with blackheads. But whole layers of are skin are not dead and with the right ingredients inside our body will regenerate cells. Chemical peels shock our skin into regeneration but don’t give it any of the food it needs to do that. It also destroys the infection fighting balance of our skin so we are more likely to get more blackheads.
The real problem with all of these blackhead treatments is that they don’t tackle what really causes blackheads.
What Really Causes Blackheads
Most skincare problems are a sure sign our digestion and hormones are out of balance and the root causes of blackheads are typically :
- Sluggish metabolism
- Slow cell renewal
- Poor infection response
- Excess oil production
A sluggish metabolism usually goes hand in hand with constipation.
All the waste we are not clearing really does show up in our face as a dull complexion pitted with blackheads. And that skulking waste also plays havoc with our hormones which contributes to excess oil production which cause more blackheads.
Slow Cell Renewal
Our body naturally renews itself with fresh cells so we really don’t need to go lifting half our face off with chemical peels to get glowing skin. But out body needs plenty of vitamins C, A and E plus iron and protein to replenish cells and many women are seriously deficient in those last four so our skin doesn’t renew itself as it should leaving old blocked pores in place.
Poor Infection Response
Our bodies are super clever at fighting off all sorts of unwanted stuff lurking in our skin. But our body depends on both vitamin C and iron again plus critically vitamin D and lots of healthy gut bacteria to do this.
Deep rooted blackheads that don’t shift are often a sign we’re low on one or more of these.
Excess Oil Production
Blackheads themselves are actually oil clogged up in our pores that has turned black on exposure to the sun. The reason we all start getting blackheads as teenagers is that imbalanced hormones trigger more oil production from our sebaceous glands.
Now obviously during puberty – and later in perimenopause – our hormone levels are changing significantly but they don’t have to be such a roller coaster. Erratic hormone surges – that trigger excess oil production – are the result of our bodies being deficient in :
- Complex B vitamins
- Healthy fats
Many teenage girls and women are really short on these. This deficiency also makes us more vulnerable to surges of stress hormones like stress cortisol which triggers excess oil production that without the right treatments gets trapped in our skin as blackheads.
The good news is all these 4 causes of blackheads can be eased with a simple blackhead prevention diet supported by gentle blackhead removal treatments.
Blackhead Prevention Diet
When we’re struggling with blackheads the first thing do is check out these basics :
- If needed relieve constipation naturally.
- Be really sure you’re eating enough:
- Enjoy a mix of gut friendly food.
- Get enough sunshine for your skin type so you are not vitamin D deficient.
If we don’t sort these out, we will keep getting blackheads that won’t shift, however much we spend on expensive blackhead removal treatments.
Once we’re on top of those basics we just need to make sure we are enjoying these skin glowing goodies as many days as we possibly can …
- Lots of water
- 2 helpings of leafy green veg
- A good handful of nuts & seeds
- Some whole grains
- 2 or 3 portions of vitamin C rich fruit but don’t overload on citrus juices which can be very acidic if you suffer with heartburn. Guava, kiwi, strawberry, papaya & mango are good gentle alternatives.
- 1 portion of vitamin A rich fruit or veg including squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, tomatoes, cantaloupe, red peppers, pink grapefruit, dried apricots.
- A good helping of healthy fats – oily fish or dairy (or an alternative) plus nuts & seeds
- A cup of green tea which helps with all the four causes of blackheads.
Most of these are super easy to enjoy every day and don’t need any fancy meal prep – they really are grab and go. But in our crazy busy lives it is too easy to skip the 2 helpings of leafy green veg every single day and this is non negotiable for great glowing, blackhead free skin.
Leafy green veg are super easy to cook well in minutes but bizarrely it becomes a “thing” we avoid so green soup, green smoothies and green juices we can make in bulk and pop in the fridge for a few days or even in the freezer are brilliantly helpful for glowing skin.
Delicate Cleansing For Blackheads
Harsh cleansers and exfoliating scrubs dry out our skin triggering more oil production and damage skin cells triggering stress reactions and inflammation. But there is a gentle alternative for removing blackheads that soothes and stimulates our skin and that’s oil cleansing which is the key element of the now super popular Korean skincare routines.
You don’t have to fork out for fancy oil cleansers. You can use a combinations of any of these :
- All skins types : safflower, argan, grape seed, jojoba
- Oily : rose hip, castor, evening primrose
- Dry : olive, almond, sunflower, apricot, avocado, coconut
- Mature : avocado, coconut
Even the best quality oils cost less than £10 and will last months and months. And a large jar of coconut oil can also be used as a natural antibiotic and anti fungal to relieve everything from cold sores and athlete’s foot to dandruff, frizzy hair and sunburn.
DIY cleansing oils couldn’t be simpler to use :
- Rub a few drops of your chosen oils together in your hands
- Massage for a good few minutes all over your face and neck
- Really relax into the massage
- Gently rinse off with a warm face cloth.
For more tips check out these guides to washing your face with oil cleansing.
And then follow up your cleanse with a simple DIY toner for blackheads.
DIY Toners For Blackheads
Simple DIY toners rebalance the PH and microbiome of our skin so that it can naturally protect itself from blackhead infections. And they are incredibly quick and cheap to make from ingredients in our bathroom and kitchen cupboards and even our gardens!!
If you have set in blackheads around your nose dab them after oil cleansing with one of these DIY toners :
Then make yourself one of these gentle herbal tea toners to use all over your face after cleansing :
- Green Tea
Just make a weak cup of tea of with your herb of choice and then pour into a jar or little glass bottle and keep in fridge for a week, using it with reusable wipes to tone your face after cleansing morning and night.
Gentle oil cleansing and DIY toners are really all we need as part of a daily cleaning routine to prevent and see off blackheads. We can just top up this daily routine with a little weekly ritual of a purifying steam and DIY face mask.
Purifying Blackhead Removal Steams
Facial steams aren’t about opening pores but about dislodging all the excess oil clogged into our skin cells without abrasively rubbing at and damaging our skin. The thing to remember is that they are meant to be a very gentle steam and should not involve a scorching hot cauldron of water which yet again will just cause damage!!
What we need to do is half fill a bowl with just boiled water, add some of the purifying herbs below and pop a towel over the bowl. We then need to leave the herbs to infuse and the water to cool for a good few minutes before popping our head under the towel for about 5 minutes.
These herbs are all wonderful added to a facial steam. The first five are all natural antibiotics that can help remove unwanted bacteria from our skin :
Chamomile is a good choice if you have sensitive or delicate skin as it is very soothing and can help skin heal. It’s worth keeping a jar amongst your herbs as chamomile tea is also good for natural headache relief and as a stomach pain remedy.
After gentle cleansing and a facial steam we are ready for the final stage of our weekly cleansing ritual, a gentle blackhead removal mask.
Gentle Blackhead Removal Masks
Simple DIY masks can clear blackheads without damaging skin cells by exfoliating or peeling or sheer brute force yanking half our skin away. They are super easy to make with common kitchen and bath ingredients plus bentonite clay which can be bought very cheaply.
I buy mine from Baldwins a local supplier as I really want to support independent businesses creating jobs in my community.
There’s lots of talk in Korean skincare routines about keeping masks on all night but most masks only need 20 minutes. Wearing them any longer won’t increase their benefits and risks drying out skin which will trigger more oil.
It always makes sense to do a small patch test for just 5 minutes whenever you are trying out new mask ingredients as we can still be sensitive or intolerant to them even when they are natural.
Clay, ACV & Turmeric Mask
This clay, apple cider vinegar and turmeric mask is a great anti-bacterial & anti-inflammatory mask for young skin with lots of excess oil and blackheads plus some inflammation and acne.
Green Tea & Aloe Vera Mask
This green tea and aloe vera mask can be greater for older skin which may be oily but still needs some hydration.
Aloe vera is a very useful natural ingredient to keep in your bathroom cupboard as you can use it in remedies for everything from dandruff, mosquito bites and sunburn to athlete’s foot, cold sores and verrucas.
It can be be very soothing for sensitive skin but some people do react to it so do do a patch test.
Matcha & Coconut Oil Mask
I love this alternative quick DIY mask which is basically just a tablespoon of coconut oil mixed with half a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of matcha powder or the contents of a couple of green tea bags.
Oatmeal, Green Tea & Honey Mask
This oatmeal mask with green tea and honey is wonderfully nourishing if your face is tired and stressed out. It includes essential oils but I would skip these …
Once you have your mask on, just sit back and relax for 20 minutes before gently rinsing it off without any scrubbing or peeling or yanking. Then tone and moisturise your face. You will really notice a difference instantly and by nourishing our skin day in – day out with our diet and sticking to that simple daily routine of gentle cleansing and toning plus the weekly ritual of a five minute facial and 20 minute mask the blackheads really will be gone for good.
I really do hope these simple treatments work for you. I would love to hear how you get on. If you found the post helpful please do bookmark for later and share on social media.
And for more simple healthy living tips check out these other natural remedies you can whip up at home easily :
- Natural Cold Sore Remedies
- DIY Natural Dandruff Treatments
- Home Remedies For Frizzy Hair
- Natural Athlete’s Foot Treatments
- Best Quick Sunburn Remedies
- Quick Natural Bloating Remedies
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