Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard of Dr. Pimple Popper. But for those of you who don’t know who she is; her name is Dr. Sandra Siew Pin Lee and she is a dermatologist and YouTuber based in Upland, California. She is known for her online videos and her TV series Dr. Pimple Popper. Her videos of her and her staff popping pimples, draining huge cysts and extracting black heads are drawing thousands of followers.
My patients talk about her often so I finally decided to watch her YouTube channel and here is what I found out. People are obsessed with black heads and removing them! She will post a black head extraction and have tens of thousands of views! We have a love hate relationship with these little guys.
We desperately want to get rid of them and will try anything to do so. But do you even really know what blackheads are and how they’re formed? What’s the best way to get rid of them short of going to see Dr. Lee or your local Dermatologist or esthetician?
- What Is a Blackhead?
Whiteheads and blackheads are very similar, with just a very slight difference. They are both called comedones, and each is formed when sebum (or oil) and dead skin cells get trapped in your hair follicles. However, black heads are from an open comedone thus allowing oxygen in the air to oxidize trapped oil and skin cells. This is what turns them brown or black.
- A Blackhead Is Not Dirt
If you have blackheads, please don’t think that it is because you don’t clean your face well enough. The cause of blackheads is all below the skin’s surface. If you’re cleaning your face daily, you aren’t responsible for your skin’s blackheads. Scrubbing your skin with harsh skin products will not get rid of blackheads. I repeat this will NOT get rid of them.
- How to Get Rid of Blackheads
The key to getting rid of your blackheads is unplugging the pores and dislodging the buildup. While it might be tempting to squeeze them out on your own, that’s not recommended. Your fingers have oils and dirt, which could cause further breakouts and damage. Instead, focus on using products with ingredients that get rid of blackheads.
Look for cleansers, exfoliators and acne products that contain salicylic acid or glycolic acid or a combination of these ingredients. Retinol is also a great ingredient to get rid of blackheads. Products that include these ingredients loosen the dead skin cells and oil that clog your hair follicles. I don’t generally recommend the grainy sand paper type scrubs (physical exfoliators) Facial scrubs only remove the dead skin cells that sit on top of your skin. They can’t remove blackheads, because the scrub doesn’t penetrate into your pore to clean it out.
Also, consider getting a facial. During a facial, your esthetician can manually remove your blackheads effectively without causing damage to your skin. Then she or he can recommend exactly which skin care products to use at home in order to prevent the blackheads from returning.
- Can you Close Pores to Avoid Another Blackhead?
Sorry, but no. Pores don’t open and close like a door. Some people simply have larger pores than others, specifically people with oily skin. You can, however, do your best to take good care of your skin so your pores don’t become clogged. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to the skin on your face.
- Keep your hands off your face. Whether you rest your head on your hands by habit or touch your face during the day, the oils and dirt on your hands don’t need to be on your face.
- Check your phone. I’ll bet you see oil from your face. Not to mention the bacteria that it picks up. This gets transferred back to your face. Clean your phone daily with an alcohol wipe.
- Exfoliate Regularly. This way you can prevent dead skin cells and oil from becoming trapped in your pores and more blackheads from forming.
If you don’t know where to start when choosing exfoliators or other skin care products, schedule a 20 min video consultation with me! We will discuss all of your skin care concerns and I will a design a custom routine that fits any budget! Let’s get started!