7 Ways You're Getting Rid of Blackheads All Wrong

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Along with the roughness on skin, over-exfoliation can actually worsen the problem. “Avoid scrubbing your face vigorously when exfoliating,” explains New York City celebrity aesthetician Christine Chin. “This can actually make acne and blackheads worse and can trigger more oil production. ” So keep the pressure of physical exfoliations gentle and only exfoliate once or twice a week, even if it seems like your skin needs more. (PS: Here's a quick primer on finding the right exfoliator for your skin type. “Don’t pick! ” It’s a phrase everyone’s heard before either from a skin care professional or your mom.

But if one of those dark blackheads doesn’t pop, move on. “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. ” So if it’s not coming out, that means it's not the time to remove it.

While a magnifying mirror may seem like a good idea in theory, its super-close view can throw off your perception of what actually needs to be removed. “Everyone has blackheads on their noses and often on their chin since these areas have the highest concentration of oil glands in the body,” explains Dr. Zeichner. “If you have a magnifying mirror at home to look at your blackheads, then my best recommendation is to throw the magnifier away! ” Now, of course there’s no need to be throwing away quality equipment, but just keep in mind that a magnifying mirror will only make the problem seem bigger than it is—literally. © 2019 Condé Nast. All rights reserved.

While heavy oils like avocado oil can clog pores, a lack of oil causes skin to produce more, which leads to, you guessed it, more breakouts. “Overly dry skin can start to produce excess blackhead-causing oil,” explains Chin. “Make sure you maintain a normal flow of oil from your pores by keeping your skin's moisture level balanced. ” (Check out a few of our favorite moisturizers, here.

You’ll also want to apply a thin layer of a heavy moisturizer before starting. “By using a rich moisturizer, it will create a temporary occlusive seal to keep the heat trapped in the skin, which for extractions purposes is necessary,” explains Rouleau.

Think: red, irritated, dry skin. “Exfoliating particles in scrubs can cause skin inflammation,” explains New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. “Ingredients like salicylic acid may help exfoliate dead cells and remove excess oil from the skin, but if used too frequently or applied too roughly, can cause skin irritation.

We get that it’s tempting to pick, but it bears repeating: Picking can seriously harm your skin. “Trying to pop a blackhead can cause skin trauma leading to open, raw skin, infection, or even scarring,” explains Chin.

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