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Blackheads Be Gone

This week let’s talk how to get rid of blackheads, since it appears that many of you battle them:

What’s the best natural way to unclog pores? The older I get the larger my pores get, and I need a good, gentle way to unclog them.

Is there any product that can help ward off these blackheads or get rid of em all together? What can I do to eliminate these nasty critters for good???

Whats the best way to remove blackheads? They’re giving me a real hard time!

Blackheads, or comedones, turn up when the oil and debris in our pores oxidizes, turning dark.  While cleansing with a gentle cleanser that doesn’t clog the pores is key in keeping them at bay, there are a few other tricks that will help rid you of these unsightly dots.

1.  Are you using the right cleanser?  Most of us take a bit more care in choosing our moisturizer than our cleanser.  After all it just has to clean the skin, right?  There is actually a little more to it than that.  If you are using a cleanser that is too harsh or drying for your skin type it will strip away essential moisture, causing the skin to produce extra sebum.  If your cleanser is to rich or heavy for your skin type it will clog the pores.  And it is perfectly appropriate to use both types.  I have normal to dry skin and use a gentle gel cleanser after my workout, and a creamy cleanser at night.  Don’t be afraid to switch things up and experiment here to see what works for you.

2.  Pay attention to your ingredients.  Certain ingredients can cause clogged pores in one person and actually help to clear someone else’s skin.  For example, Argan oil is a highly effective moisturizing ingredient for many who have acne/oily skin, but on sensitive or dry skin it can be too heavy.  Look at the labels of products you use and identify the ones that seem to increase blackheads, or give you a dull, waxy complexion.

3.  Exfoliation should be a regular part of your routine.  Many leave this step out, or only do it occasionally.  But exfoliating should be done once or twice weekly.  Exfoliating leaves skin fresh, clear, and glowing.  But over-doing-it will leave you red and irritated, and sap the skin of essential moisture.  And there are several ways to do this.  I, personally, love my skin right after it has been exfoliated.  I like to use a simple sugar and milk combo, but recently discovered Hollybeth’s Grits & Honey scrub, which is divine.  I also like Skin Apotheke Advanced Treatment Regenerating Plant Sap Elixir.  In a pinch and need a good exfoliating?  Simply massage skin gently with a soft, wet washcloth.

4.  Certain masks are good at pulling debris from the pores.  Skin Apotheke Organic Fabulous Face Vitalizing Mask works with an exfoliator and a mud-type mask.  A real bang for your buck.  Pangea also makes a really terrific face mask in Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai & Goji Berry .

5.  Be sure skin is not lacking in moisture.  Since it is oil that causes blackheads, drying out the skin is often the first sought tactic in eliminating them.  This is actually counterproductive, as the skin will just go into over-drive on oil production to make up for what it’s lost.  If you have oily skin, opt for a lighter moisturizer.  Again, keep a lookout for key ingredients on product labels that always seem to leave your skin looking extra spotty or lifeless.  These are usually one of the first few ingredients in the product and most often a type of oil.

6. Buff it out with a Clarisonic.  Because my skin is on the sensitive side and does not usually breakout, I had never even considered using a Clarisonic.  I thought it would be way to harsh and leave me all red and burned looking.  Well, my friend Terri Bly reviewed it here on FGS a month or so ago and she made it sound sooooo great that I went out and bought one.  I actually bought the Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System because it was much cheaper and thought I probably wouldn’t use it much anyway.  Nonetheless, I felt it my duty as a beauty writer to check it out.  And I love it!  It is gentle (I use it maybe twice a week) and really seems to reduce the number of clogged pores on my nose and chin.  Really!  I now highly recommend one of these.

7. Don’t be afraid to cover them up.  While the above tips go along way toward reducing the appearance of blackheads, they are stubborn.  A light layer of facial powder goes along way toward covering them up.

So, there you have it.  If you give any of these a try, please leave a comment and let us know how they worked for you.

Image Credit: luisillusion at, Creative Commons license.

Written by Liz Thompson

I am an organic beauty expert, writer, and mom of two young environmentalists who can already spot a toxic product when they see one. Read more about me at Organic Beauty, and find me on , Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

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