Blackheads are gross. Did you know incorrectly removing them can result in red inflamed and sometimes scarred skin? Don’t try this at home. In a perfect world, you would have them removed during your monthly facials but because of COVID-19, money is a little tight for all of us so below I listed some of my favorite products that are affordable and still effective.

What causes blackheads?
Blackheads are essentially clogged pores. Know that acne affects nearly 50 million Americans and is the most common skin disorder in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. You are not alone in your skincare struggles.
So what are these annoying black dots?
Blackheads are formed when a clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles(the human body has around 5 million in total) in your skin. Understand that every follicle contains a sebaceous gland that produces oil. This oil, a good oil known as sebum, helps keep your skin soft. With the passing of time and normal skin cycles, dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening to the skin follicle, producing a bump called a comedo. Skin over the bump that stays closed are known as whiteheads however when the bump opens and the bacteria inside is exposed to air, it turns black and becomes a blackhead.
How can I get rid of blackheads?
Don’t try to extract them yourself. Instead of picking at your skin, consider changing the products in your skincare routine to promote exfoliation and help clean out clogged pores.
What do you recommend?
These products have worked well for me:

IMAGE Skincare CLEAR CELL Salicylic Gel Cleanser

How often to use: This product contains many exfoliating ingredients and can be drying if you overdo it, so use it once a week focusing on your problem areas and alternate with a hydrating milky cleanser for the other days
Link to buy it:here

Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

How to use it: Don’t use this product with other exfoliating products, think of this as a toner to use 2-3 times a week maximum after washing your face with a gentle cleanser. If it is too intense for you, try diluting the formula by placing a few drops of water on your cotton round. If you want to stay within the Paula’s Choice family, I recommend Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser as it won’t strip essential oils from your pores and leave you feeling dry.
Link to buy it: here

Paula’s Choice CLEAR Purifying Clay Mask

How to use it: I recommend you use clay masks like this no more than twice a week and remove before it’s completely dry. This should be the second to last step in your PM routine, followed by appropriate serums and hydrating creams. Clay masks work great to cleanse enlarged clogged pores, therefore helping them be less noticeable.
Link to buy it: here

I hope that these recommendations were helpful. Try using these products and try to resist the urge to extract clogged pores yourself as you could injure your skin. Let me know in the comments which product is your favorite.

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