Blackheads are simply collections of debris that form in your skin’s pores. A mixture of sweat, sebum (from the sebaceous glands), grease and keratin are oxidized and produce a type of blackhead. The lesion is dark in colour and can grow to about one millimetre wide.
Anybody can get blackheads although they are more common in teenage skin because of the action of hormones. They can be very annoying because they don’t look great. They appear mainly on the face, around the area of the nose. However, they can also appear on the back.
It is not true that blackheads are always related to acne. Although they can arise in the same areas and at the same time.
Blackheads develop from sebum. This is a natural excretion which is designed to lubricate the hair and skin and usually drains out of a sebaceous glands onto the skin’s surface. Sometimes the sebum becomes blocked in a skin pore and bacteria like to live in the collection of sebum. If the build up of bacteria and sebum has no opening to the surface of the skin it forms a lesion called a whitehead. A blackhead forms if the pore opens to the surface allowing air to enter.
Sebum contains a pigment called melanin which is the same pigment that gives skin its colour. Melanin turns dark when it is exposed to air and that why blackheads are black! The dark colour is not dirt, and scrubbing then does not help!
There are many expensive remedies available for blackheads but most of them contain harsh chemicals which may alter the pH and natural balance of the skin. You should never squeeze or pick blackheads because this can rupture the delicate structures of the skin and can simply introduce a nasty infection. Instead, try some of these natural remedies for blackheads. They are made from ingredients that you can easily find and, because they are wholly natural, they will not irritate or damage the natural balance of the skin.
Remedy 1 – Yogurt, cucumber and parsley mask
Place two tablespoons of natural yogurt, parsley leaves and a half a cucumber in a blender. Blend thoroughly to an even paste. Apply the paste to your whole face and relax for 15 minutes. Remove carefully with warm water.
Remedy 2 – Steam
Pour very hot water (not boiling) into a wide bowl. Lean your face into the steam rising from the bowl. Keep far enough away to avoid getting burnt. Stay in the steam for a few minutes. Now you can gently ease out some blackheads with clean fingers and wipe them away. Do not apply excessive force. If the blackhead does not come out easily leave it until next time. The heat expands the pores and makes blackheads easier to remove.
Remedy 3 – Gelatin and milk mask
Pour a tablespoon of milk into a saucepan and add a tablespoon a gelatin. Mix together into a smooth paste and heat for ten seconds. Use a tweezers to put sheets of the gelatin mix on areas of blackheads. Leave them in place for ten minutes and the peel off. It will have formed a gel-like mask.
Remedy 4 – Lemon mask
Mix a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice with almond oil and glycerin. Apply it evenly to the affected area every night after removing your makeup. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
Remedy 5 – Honey and cinnamon exfoliant
Mix four teaspoons of honey with some powdered cinnamon. Mix into a paste and apply it to the areas of the face where blackheads are found. Leave it on over-night. Repeat the process for two weeks.
Remedy 6 – Oatmeal shake
Pour some oatmeal into a cup and add half a cup of warm water. Stir into an homogenous mixture. Smooth it on your face and leave until it is completely dry. Rinse with warm water and dry with a clean towel.
Remedy 7 – Apple mask
Cut a red apple in half and remove the seeds but leave the skin on. Place it in a blender along with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Spread this on the area of blackheads and leave it on for 10 minutes. Remove with warm water.