Blackheads (open comedones) are miniature bumps appearing on the skin when the hair follicles are blocked by oils (sebum produced in the sebaceous gland) and dead skin cells. Being a mild form of acne, they occur primarily on the face, but can even be seen in other parts like arms, chest, neck, back and shoulders. Here are some convenient remedies you can apply at home for getting rid of blackheads.
Natural remedies for blackhead removal
Cinnamon: Its anti-bacterial properties along with the ability to improve blood circulation make it an effective face mask helping to get rid of blackheads fast. Apply a mixture of one teaspoon of powdered cinnamon, a pinch of turmeric and one teaspoon of lemon juice on your blackheads, wait for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing it off.
You may try another alternative remedy by making a thick paste of honey and cinnamon. Put it on your face just before going to bed and leave it overnight. Continue this process for ten days in a row to get fruitful results.
Lemon juice: Being rich in Vitamin C, citric acid and alpha hydroxy acid, lemon juice helps in stimulating the production of collagen, useful for improving your skin health.
After cleaning your face with a cleanser, dab your blackheads with a cotton ball dipped in lemon juice. Rinse it well after ten minutes. You can also prepare a solution at home using lemon juice and rose water that can be applied daily.
Turmeric: Known for its excellent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, a paste of one teaspoon of turmeric powder and a teaspoon of coriander leaves juice can be applied on the face. Wash your face well after leaving it for twenty minutes.
You can also make a paste of a teaspoon of turmeric powder and about two teaspoons of mint juice. Apply it on the area of blackheads and leave it for twenty-five minutes. Wash with lukewarm water.
Taking a teaspoon each of turmeric powder, red sandalwood as well as milk and applying the mixture to the affected place for ten minutes is another useful remedy for getting rid of blackheads fast. Wash off the paste initially with plain water and then use lukewarm water.
Green Tea: Its strong antioxidant properties help your skin to drive away the accumulated dirt and bacteria build up which is the chief cause of blackheads and acne. Scrub the paste made of a teaspoon of dried leaves and water on the bump for three to five minutes. This natural remedy will help in clearing the blocked pores.
Tea tree oil: The antiseptic properties of tea tree oil is one of the best ways of blackhead removal, particularly those frequently occurring around the nose and ear regions. Use a cotton swab to apply this oil and wash it well after a few hours.
Apple cider vinegar: Acting as a toner because of the natural acids present, it can be applied along with a few crushed mint leaves to get a cooling effect.
Fenugreek: A thick paste of crushed fenugreek leaves, when applied on your face for ten to fifteen minutes, acts as a beneficial natural treatment.
Egg whites: A homemade mask made of egg whites and honey will help in removing the extra oils, ensuring a clean skin. Apply the pack on your face gently using a brush or your fingers (use gloves to avoid your fingers from being smelly) and give it some time to dry.
After it dries, apply a second layer of the pack and wait for some time. You can repeat this action for the third time for better results. Allow it to dry for ten to fifteen minutes. Take a washcloth or a towel dipped in warm water, squeeze it and cover your face with it. Remove the egg whites after a couple of seconds, rubbing your face gently using the cloth.
Tomato: The antiseptic properties of tomatoes help it in clearing the blocked pores, thus facilitating in treating blackheads fast. Applying mashed tomato on your face and leaving it overnight may help the blackheads to dry up.
How to get rid of blackheads at home
Baking soda: Make a paste of baking soda by mixing about two spoons of it in water. Apply the mixture to the affected place and massage gently to help loosen the dead skin. After letting it dry for a couple of minutes wash it off well using warm water.
Epsom salt: Apart from its anti-inflammatory properties, Epsom salt acts as an active adsorbent helping to clear the skin of toxins. Make a solution of warm water and Epsom salt, along with iodine (if desired), and apply it using a cotton ball. Keep it for at least fifteen minutes or till the time it is dried. In case of blackheads on your back or chest, add Epsom salt to your bath water and gently massage the area with a loofah for better blood circulation.
Cornmeal: The abrasive properties of cornmeal makes it beneficial in treating blackheads occurring particularly on the nose and chin. To make a scrub, you would need one to two teaspoons each of cornmeal, honey, lemon juice and tomato pulp to form a thick paste. Smoothen the mixture by adding rose water and apply it on your face. Leave it for a while and gently massage it for two to three minutes. Wash your face with lukewarm water and dry it using a clean towel.
Clay mask: For blackheads on your breast make a mask out of cosmetic clay and water and put it gently around the affected area. After it dries take a warm shower and wash it off.
Oatmeal: The anti-inflammatory properties present in oatmeal provides relief from the irritation, also aiding in dead cell removal and absorption of excess oil. Cook sufficient amount of oatmeal required to apply to your face. After it cools to room temperature, start putting it on the area of blackheads. Rinse it well with lukewarm water after about twenty minutes.
You can also make a pack by adding about a teaspoon of honey and juice extracted from four tomatoes to the oatmeal. Scrub the pack on your skin gently and wash it after ten minutes. Repeating this remedy on a regular basis will give you a clear skin.
Another combination can be made by mixing two tbsp of oatmeal, three tbsp of plain yogurt as well as olive oil and lemon juice in small amounts.
Peel off mask: Mix a tablespoon of milk and gelatin along with some essential oil and warm it for some time. Before applying the mask, wipe the skin with a semi-warm cloth to open up the pores. Spread the mixture on your face in a uniform way using a brush. Keep it for thirty minutes so that it may dry thoroughly. Start peeling the mask from either side or bottom. After removing it, clean your face thoroughly with cold water and in the end give the final toning by massaging with a moisturizer.
Homemade strips: Mix milk and honey and apply it on the blackheads using cotton strips. Remove after twenty-five to thirty minutes.
Toothpaste and salt: A mixture of mint toothpaste and salt along with water should be applied on the face and kept for about ten minutes. Massage gently in a circular way using your fingers and rinse with warm water. Take a cube of ice and rub well on your face for closing the pores. Make sure that the paste does not get into your eyes as it may result in irritation.
How to pop a blackhead
Though popping a blackhead at home is not safe, performing it in a proper and hygienic way, might help the blackhead to fall out. After scrubbing your face well for exfoliating the dead skin, apply gentle pressure on the blackheads with your middle and forefinger. Once it pops out, place ice cubes on the area and smoothen your skin by applying any anti-bacterial agent like neem, tea tree oil, and turmeric paste to prevent any scar formation.
Do not squeeze or dig your blackheads with your nails. In fact, when not popped in a safe way it may lead to ugly scars on your face also causing infections in extreme cases. If the blackhead does not come out in this way refrain from attempting any further.
How to prevent blackheads
- Washing your face with water once or twice a day helps in eliminating the dead skin, excess oil, and dirt.
- Using natural astringents like apple cider vinegar or witch hazel helps in tightening your skin pores, preventing clogging.
- Taking a steam bath for opening the blocked pores.
- Exercising regularly is necessary as sweating will clear the skin of the dirt. Washing your face with water immediately will help in cleaning your face.
- Avoiding too much makeup as its chemical components lead to clogged pores, paving the path for blackheads.
- Changing your bedding weekly.
- Drinking a lot of water as well as green tea for detoxifying your body.
People often resort to a lot of over-the-counter creams containing benzoyl peroxide, retinoid, as well as salicylic and glycolic acid. However, in case of an infected blackhead, a dermatologist needs to be consulted, who may even operate the blackhead to get it out.