Blackheads and whiteheads on our skin is a common problem not only among teenagers, but also among those in their twenties, thirties and even forties, specially those with oily skin.
What causes blackheads and whiteheads?
The sebaceous glands, our skin’s self-moisturizing mechanism, secrete oils called sebum, which are stored in the follicle. When the follicle is full, the oil is spilled off to the skin to keep the skin healthy and moisturized. But sometimes, the oil is trapped inside the hair follicle instead of flowing onto the skin. When this happens, bacteria develop in the follicle which causes pimples. Sometimes, though, instead of being infected, the follicle just gets all clogged up and forms comedones – those we call blackheads and whiteheads.
What is the difference between a blackhead and a whitehead?
A blackhead is a comedone formed when the opening of the follicle becomes wider than normal. Because the follicle opening is wider, the sebum and the trapped dead skin cells there react chemically with the air, resulting in the oxidation of melanin, which makes it black in color. A whitehead is a comedone formed from a hair follicle that is not open to the air. It is also clogged with sebum and trapped dead skin cells, but the lack of exposure to the air does not lead to the oxidation of melanin, so the clogged matter stays white.
How do we get rid of blackheads and whiteheads?
Maintaining a clear and beautiful skin, takes time, consistency and effort. Dermatologist may recommend lots of products, but some of them can be expensive and may actually take a long time to work. You can, however, incorporate some home remedies for blackheads and whiteheads into your daily beauty regimen and in a few weeks, you will experience a drastic reduction or even total elimination of the problem.
Toothpaste – Toothpaste is an effective blackhead and whitehead remover. Apply a thin paste to your infected areas and let it sit on your face for at least 25 minutes. You will probably feel a burning sensation when you apply the toothpaste, but this is normal and will pass. Once you remove the toothpaste, the top of your blackheads and whiteheads will disappear, but you still need to thoroughly wash your face to remove the buildup underneath. Repeat this home remedy every other day for two weeks.
Tomato – Tomatoes have natural antiseptic properties that dry up whiteheads and blackheads. Peel and mash a small tomato. Apply the tomato pulp to your blackheads and whiteheads before going to bed. Leave the tomato pulp on your face while you sleep and then wash your face in warm water in the morning.
Lemon –Wash your face in warm water. Then, squeeze the juice of one lemon into a bowl. Add in a pinch of salt and stir the mixture. Apply the mixture to your blackheads and whiteheads. Leave the mixture on for approximately 20 minutes and then wash your face with warm water again.
Lime – You can also use equal parts of lime juice and cinnamon powder and apply this mixture to blackheads. Leave it on overnight and rinse it off in the morning
Cornstarch – Mix about a three-to-one cornstarch to vinegar ratio into a paste. Apply it to your problem areas and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the paste with warm water and a washcloth.
Yogurt – Mix three tablespoons of plain yogurt with two tablespoons of oatmeal. Add one teaspoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of lemon juice to the mixture. Stir the mixture thoroughly and apply it to the effective area of the face. Let the mixture sit for five to seven minutes then rinse off with cold water.
Almond or oatmeal – Mix either oatmeal or almond powder with just enough rose water to make a spreadable paste. Apply it to your problem areas with your fingertips first and then apply it to the rest of your face. Let it set for about 15 minutes and then rinse your face with cold water.
Rice – Soak rice in milk for 5 hours and then grind this in a blender until it is paste-like in consistency. Use the paste as a scrub on affected areas of the body.
Potatoes – Grate raw potatoes and then rub the area with the mixture. Wash it off after 15 minutes.
Fenugreek leaves – Crush some fenugreek leaves and mix with water to form a paste. Put this on the face for 15 minutes and then remove it. Do this every night to keep your face free of blackheads.
Coriander leaves – Mix some coriander leaves and a little turmeric powder with water and form a paste. Use this as a mask to eliminate blackheads.
Oatmeal -Grind oatmeal into a powder in a blender and then add some rose water. Use this on affected areas for 15 minutes and then wash it off with cold water.
Baking soda – Prepare a mixture of equal parts of baking soda and water and rub it onto your face or other body areas prone to blackheads. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water.
Honey is also good for removing blackheads. Spread honey on the affected area and remove it after 15 minutes.
Remember – Be gentle to your skin. Never pinch, scrape, poke, press, or squeeze too hard!