Things to know:
- Everyone has sebum- think of it as your skin’s natural moisturizer. Sebum is good, too much sebum is bad.
- Everyone has sebaceous filaments. They’re those little (possibly grayish) dots around the oilier parts of your face. You’ll know they’re filaments if they’re pretty smooth to the touch and when you try to squeeze it out, you just get a little white, squiggly, snake-looking thing.. Those are normal.
- Blackheads look like little plugs. They’re usually much darker, larger, and raised. You might see a little rim around it as well.
So what are blackheads?
You get blackheads when your skin produces too much sebum and all that excess oil mixes with dead skin cells and plugs up your pores. It turns black because the oil oxidizes with the air.
How can I get rid of them?
1. Use products that will loosen up the dead skin cells and oils.
Volcanic ash is great for absorbing deep-seated impurities. It’ll soften any blackheads and dirt so you can gently remove them afterwards! I like that it’s nourishing because irritation and dryness = more blackheads.
These little sheets contain essence that soaks into your pores to soften the gunk. After about 15 minutes, you just use a clean cotton swab to wipe away any loosened blackheads.
2. Gently remove existing blackheads and impurities.
I’m personally not a fan of the basic pore strips because I feel like they yank on my skin too roughly and are just all around painful. I prefer these 3-step kits because the first step loosens up the pores, making the second step (actual pulling) hurt less. Then, there’s a third step that soothes my skin.
This mask pretty much gets rid of everything. If you have dry patches of loose skin or other stubborn impurities, this one does a great job of really clearing it all out.
3. Control excessive sebum.
Again, too much sebum leads to clogged pores, so keep that oiliness under control. Those with oily skin will usually have larger pores and more sebum, so using products that have sebum control is great. By the way, those little dots in the image above? That’s where the sebum is being pulled out!
Amazon Clay is really good for absorbing sebum as well! This mask gently pulls out impurities and minimizes the appearance of large pores.
*Caution: Don’t overdo the sebum control! If your skin is too dry, it’ll start producing sebum in overdrive to compensate.
4. Keep your pores clean.
Scrubbing too hard and too much is bad for your skin and will probably cause more breakouts! Be gentle with your skin. I love this dual pore brush because the bristles are super soft and dense. The tiny microfibers really cleans out your pores without irritation. It’s like gentle fingers, except with 550,000 tiny bristles that go deeper.
Once a week, indulge in an at-home spa treatment with a mask that will do a little of everything: absorb excess sebum and impurities, and unclog and tighten pores. This one is a favorite because it dries quickly and doesn’t hurt at all when you’re peeling!