Blackheads can be a bit of a nuisance and notoriously difficult to get rid of. Often, they accompany oily skin or an oily T-zone. Blackheads, also known as comedones are plugged up hair follicles. Each follicle contains the hair and sebum glands which produce oil. These can get clogged up with excess oil and dead skin cells causing a bump to form. In fact, blackheads are actually a mild form of acne. If left untreated, black heads can lead to a breakout. Getting rid of them can help not only improve your complexion but also improve the health of your skin overall.
What’s The Difference Between Blackheads And White Heads?
When a skin forms over the bump the follicle can appear white. These are known as whiteheads. If there is no skin over the top, the sebum in the follicle is exposed to the air. Sebum contains a pigment called melanin which oxidizes when exposed to the air. This is what gives blackheads their dark color. Otherwise, they are essentially the same skin condition.
What Causes Blackheads?
There may be many underlying causes that result in blackheads these include:
- Excess oil production
- Hormonal changes (especially during puberty)
- Acne-causing bacteria
- Irritation of hair follicles
- Certain kinds of medication
Some people use blackhead strips but they can cause irritation and enlarge your pores. A dermatologist may recommend medicated ointments but wouldn’t you rather use a natural remedy without any harmful chemicals or side effects? Our remedy uses lemon and salt as active ingredients. Here’s why it works.
Benefits Of Lemon
- Citric acid is an example of an alpha hydroxy acid. These are commonly used in skincare products for spot reduction and brightening skin,1
- These acids can also have an exfoliating effect which may remove dead skin clogging up the pores.
- The citric acid in lemon juice is seen to have antioxidant activity which can help prevent aging. Since blackheads are a sign of aging, citric acid may help prevent them.2
Benefits Of Salt
- The abrasive action of salt also acts as an exfoliant which removes dead skin that clogs pores.
- Salt also promotes antibacterial action which may help fight the acne-causing bacteria.3
The warm water is known to help open up the pores on your face. By doing this, the lemon and salt can penetrate the skin more effectivly to clean it out.
Recipe For Lemon Salt Scrub
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of warm water
- Combine all three ingredients to form a thick paste.
- Rub this paste on to your blackheads in a circular motion for 5 minutes and rinse off.
- Do not go out in sunlight soon after using this mask, as the citric acid may make you sensitive to sunburn.
- Do this only 1-2 times a week as it is a very abrasive scrub and can make your skin raw.
How To Prevent Further Blackheads
- Wash your face every day to prevent buildup of oil
- Regularly use an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells
- Try to use makeup and face creams that aren’t too oily or greasy
- If your hair gets greasy and oily quickly, try to keep it off your face.
Using this remedy can help fight off blackheads and making sure they don’t reappear.
|↑1, ↑2||Kornhauser, Andrija, Sergio G. Coelho, and Vincent J. Hearing. “Applications of hydroxy acids: classification, mechanisms, and photoactivity.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology: CCID 3 (2010): 135.|
|↑3||Wijnker, J. J., G. Koop, and L. J. A. Lipman. “Antimicrobial properties of salt (NaCl) used for the preservation of natural casings.” Food microbiology 23, no. 7 (2006): 657-662.|