Blackheads. No-one likes them but everyone has them, especially in these warm, sweaty summer months. If you have an oily complexion like me, you probably even struggle with them all year round! Unlike acne, blackheads are pores that have been clogged by your cosmetics, pollution, dirt and daily grime, and sometimes even your skincare. We’re talking about you, coconut oil! When these clogged pores are exposed to air, they oxidize, making them appear black. That’s where you get the name blackheads.
How Do I Get Rid of Blackheads?
Often blackheads reside in the more oily or sweaty areas of your complexion. Think about it. Excess oil production can trap dirt, bacteria, and even makeup in your pores. That’s why you often see them in your t-zone, so your chin, nose, and sometimes your cheeks.
Now don’t jump to the conclusion that blackheads equal dirty skin. If you over-wash your skin, then your pores will react by over-producing oil to compensate for your stripped skin which is now lacking moisture. But no fear! I’ve got a step-by-step solution that’ll take your skin from congested to radiant and blackhead free in no time!
Step 1 || Grab Your Beauty Steam
A facial steam is one of our favorite ways to begin a pampering session. Warm, moist air will help pull impurities to the surface of the skin, making them easier to remove. Make sure you steam for at least 5 minutes, unless you have cystic acne, then cut this time in half to reduce the chances of irritation.
Our Beauty Steam is perfect for this thanks to its custom blend of organic, radiance-boosting flora to detox and renew your skin. Beauty Steam opens the skin’s pores for deep cleansing, decongestion, and hydration. It is formulated to bring vitality to your skin, ridding your pores of dirt and dead skin, while imparting healing, softening, and cell renewing goodness.
Step 2 || Bye, Bye Blackheads
There are many ways that you can minimize the appearance of blackheads. You can use a blackhead extractor, pore strips, or your fingers.
Pores stripes are super easy to use and you can pick these up at your local drug store. If you’re feeling extra DIY-y, you can always gently whip up some egg whites. Dip some toilet paper into the whites, completely saturating it, and lay it on top of your blackheads. Wait 15-ish minutes for it to dry before removing it along with, fingers crossed, your congestion and blackheads.
If you’ve opted for extractions, make sure you’re doing them right. In order to extract correctly without damaging your skin, you have to prep first. Once you’ve steamed, apply your Beauty Drops of choice. I suggest using your Beauty Drops because their main ingredient is argan oil which is non-comedogenic and doesn’t clog pores. It also has high amounts of skin-healing Vitamin E oil, so you can help repair your skin if you’ve gone overboard (don’t!).
Now take your extractor tool and gently press to remove the blackhead. If you’re using your fingers, do not use your nails! Make sure your fingers aren’t placed too close together. “Widen them out a bit so that the blackhead will be extracted easier from the deeper level within the skin,” explains celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau. ‘While squeezing, relocate fingers to make it easier and to avoid creating marks. For example, position fingers at 3:00 and 9:00 and then 5:00 and then 10:00, 2:00 and 7:00.”
Again, don’t go overboard! “My general rule is three strikes and you’re out,” explains Rouleau. “Meaning, if it doesn’t come out after three tries, don’t do it any longer or you’ll risk damaging your skin or potentially breaking a capillary.”
Step 3 || Mask Yourself
Once you’ve extracted, I often follow up with a bentonite clay face mask. This helps further draw out any remaining impurities in my skin, preventing more blackheads from forming. Bentonite clay is particularly good at this but don’t abuse it’s goodness. This clay is intense and can dry out your skin if over-used.
If you’ve got dry or sensitive skin that doesn’t react well to clay masks, opt for honey. Honey can help unclog pores while killing acne-causing bacteria, soothing irritation, and moisturizing the skin. Take a spoonful of raw honey, massage it into your complexion, and give it a good 30 minutes to work its magic before rinsing with warm water.
Step 4 || Cleanse Impurities Away
After your face masking session is finished, grab your Charcoal Beauty Bar and wash your face. Charcoal draws out impurities and toxins, while not stripping the skin of its natural oils. It is gentle and absorbent, making it a perfect treatment for clogged pores. Plus, it includes 5 unique and effective essential oils to calm, heal, and clarify the skin’s pores: Lavender, Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Tea Tree and Peppermint.
Step 5 || Balance and Protect
Yay, we’ve made it to the last step! This step is all about balancing and protecting your skin against the formation of new blackheads. Grab your Neck+ and slather it all over your face and neck. I pretty much bathe in this stuff. The witch hazel and aloe vera in Neck+ will help keep blackheads, breakouts, and congestion at bay.
Finally, seal in moisture and repair your skin barrier with Maqui Berry Beauty Whip. This soothing and antioxidant-rich mask will intensely moisturize the skin, evening texture and tone while increasing its luminosity. It’s the perfect step to prep your skin for both makeup or a sleep session.
Speaking of makeup, try giving your skin a rest a few days a week and skip makeup. Can’t skip your daily beautifying regimen? Opt for cleaner formulas that don’t clog pores. Annie’s favorite bases of the moment are the Kosas Tinted Facial Oil and the Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation.
Throughout the day you can continue to fight blackheads and congestion with your Lemongrass Beauty Mist. This refreshing and cooling face water is intended to calm, purify, and hydrate the skin whenever and wherever.
If you ever find yourself battling breakouts and clogged pores on your shoulders and back, take a second look at your conditioner. You’re probably using something thick and rich that your hair loves, but your skin isn’t such a big fan of. Try switching to a lighter formula, or, if you’re committed to your current conditioner, put your hair in a bun when you condition. Then, rinse your hair away from your body. I often flip my hair upside down to rinse it in the shower. Once the conditioner is rinsed out, suds up with our Charcoal Bar to help exfoliate your skin and draw out impurities from within your pores. After you’ve jumped out of the shower, follow up with some Neck+ on your shoulders, back, and any other affected areas.
Hopefully, this post has given you the confidence you need to start battling your blackheads! Clogged pores will no longer be a stubborn annoyance. With these 5 steps, prepare to have clear, radiant skin!