In the unending struggle to have and maintain beautiful skin, pores always seem to be the main focus. What you must always remember is that pores are part of your skin.
Because of your skin’s daily exposure to the elements, stress, and pollution, pores get clogged and even get bigger. You would want to clean them thoroughly, minimize them, and conceal them. Since you were born with them, you cannot get rid of pores.
You just have to learn how to live in harmony with them by knowing them a little bit more.
Facial care should be a regular, daily practice to prevent the accumulation of various skin problems such as blackheads. If you are obsessed with keeping acne away, you should be hell-bent on removing or preventing blackheads.
These growths in your pores may be minute enough to be ignored or undetected, but if you know they’re there, they can be very bothersome.
Paying the dermatologist in your area just to have your blackheads removed is a costly endeavor. Naturally, you keep your eyes and ears open for economical and effective hacks to get rid of these dark colored irritations. They look tiny, so it is natural to think that they are easy to eliminate.
What happen when you squeeze out a blackhead?
One of the most common methods used to remove blackheads is to squeeze them. This is not an ideal way to get rid of blackheads because it is clearly traumatic to the skin. When you get aggressive and try to push out the blackheads, the pores become stretched out.
When the pores are opened wide enough, they become vulnerable to bacterial infection. It is also highly likely that you are actually squeezing out sebaceous filaments and not blackheads at all.
Sebaceous filaments Vs blackheads
Often mistaken as blackheads, sebaceous filaments are oils that stay in the skin to ward off bacteria. They are vital to skin’s general health, different from the despised blackheads, which block the pores.
Once you squeeze and something yellowish comes out of your skin, you may just have removed sebaceous filaments.
You also just paved the way for blackheads to grow. The sebaceous filaments diligently removed can be replaced by the skin in 30 days. If you poke and squeeze your nose every day, your skin won’t have time to heal at all.
There are even occasions when you peel off a thin layer of skin when you squeeze, so you get a dark patch of recovering skin, which is unsightly.
Step by step instructions for a safe DIY blackhead extraction
Removing annoying blackheads without professional intervention is possible, as long as it is safe. Below is a process of doing so without doing harm to your skin and pores:
Step 1 – prepare the essentials
Before you start, get a heavy moisturizer (or Vaseline), plastic wrap, a clean washcloth, and some tissues or Q-tips. It is also best to do this process after a long, hot shower.
By this time, the hardened oil in your skin has already softened. They will be easier to extract.
Remember, you do not need to remove whiteheads at all. A dermatologist would have to use a sterile lancet to make an opening in your skin and extract the comedones.
Step 2 – Apply the Heaviest form of moisturizer
Once you step out of the hot shower, apply a coat of the heaviest type of moisturizer (if in case, you don’t want to use the Vaseline) you have on hand. The moisturizer or Vaseline creates a seal that traps the heat in your skin. This allows your skin to stay warm, keeping the accumulated oils soft.
Step 3 – Prepare a Plastic or Saran wrap
Get your plastic wrap and cut a piece large enough to cover the affected area. Stick the piece of plastic on the area that you moisturized earlier. Tightly wrap your nose (saran wrap is flexible and can easily form to the shape you press it to be).
Step 4 – Warm a washcloth (this is optional)
- Dampen your clean washcloth with hot water. Place it on the plastic wrap covering the moisturized area of your face.
- Let the hot washcloth sit there for about five minutes (repeat if needed). Leave the sarap wrap a bit longer (a few hours) or leave it overnight.
Step 5 – Use a Facial Tissue or Q-tips
- The next morning or after leaving it on for few hours, Take off the saran or plastic wrap. You’ll be surprised that the area around your nose is well saturated.
- Take your facial tissue and wrap it around your fingers. Or you can use two Q-tips to either side of the nose and push hard start at the top. Start pushing the blackhead-filled pores carefully with your fingers.
- Remember that you are creating pressure from underneath your skin, right at the roots of blackheads. If you need to widen the position of your fingers, do so.
Step 6 – Change the Position Each time you Squeeze
- The most regrettable part of extracting blackheads on your own is the marks left behind. Irritation can also set in. To prevent this, make sure you change the position of your fingers each time you squeeze.
- Press at various angles. Keep in mind the “Rule of Three”: If you can’t get it in three presses, stop as you might ruin your skin.
Step 7 – Use an antibacterial Gel after Squeezing
- Whenever you apply pressure on your skin and pores, you agitate your skin in general. You should use skin care products that soothe the skin after the extraction.
- An antibacterial gel that has salicylic acid reduces breakouts, inflammation, and redness.
Pores are Not Like Doors that Close and Open
Through the years, many beliefs about pores have been repeated and often practiced with conviction.
Here are some of those beliefs and the truths behind them:
- Ice Water Tightens or Minimizes Pores. Pores cannot close because they were made to remain open. Ice water merely flushes the skin of impurities and then constricts the blood vessels in the skin, making the pores look a lot smaller.
- Warm Towels and Steam do not Open your Pores. Your pores can never close. They are always open. The warmth provided by the steam or a warm cloth helps soften the hardened oils inside your pores. This makes it easier to clear away blackheads.
- Pores Get Bigger as you Get Older. Pores don’t get larger with age. They just look that way because as you get older, the collagen that surrounds them becomes a lot weaker.
Pores are Here to Stay
You can only make your pores appear smaller, but you cannot get rid of them. Exfoliating your skin with retinoids, AHAs, and BHAs can help accomplish this. You can also subject your skin to chemical peels to reduce the size of your pores.
A pore’s opening looks like a funnel. If you form the habit of exfoliating for long periods, you slough off the top layers of the skin. This helps remove the wider portions of the pores. Going through treatments such as fractional lasers can also achieve the same effect.
If you want to prevent your pores from clogging up, you can exfoliate with salicylic acid (BHA) and lactic or glycolic acids (AHAs). Make this a habit so you can have healthier, blackhead-free skin and glowing skin.
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