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Find out what causes blackheads & discover our top tips on how to manage them

It’s a question asked by people around the world every day; how to help get rid of blackheads and manage them? These pesky pimples can plague people of all ages, and can dent your confidence as well as damage your skin if not addressed correctly.


What are blackheads?


Blackheads are an extremely common type of spot. They look like small black or yellowish bumps that develop on the skin, but they aren’t filled with dirt despite their dark colour. They are black or yellowish in colour because the inner lining of the hair follicle produces pigmentation (colour).


Why am I getting blackheads?


Spots are completely natural, and you’d be very hard-pushed to find a person who doesn’t have a blackhead breakout at some point in their lives. The good news is that there are a range of factors which can contribute to some people getting blackheads more often than others, meaning you can take steps to help reduce the amount you get. Things that can cause blackheads include:


• Hormonal changes that cause an increase in oil production (this is why blackheads are so common in people going through puberty)

• Not bathing regularly

• Your environment. If you live or work somewhere that’s humid, or has a lot of grease or pollution in the air, this is likely to cause more blocked glands

• Contrary to popular belief, excessive scrubbing can also cause you to develop blackheads. This is because your skin naturally produces oil, and cleaning over-vigorously will only cause your body to produce more oil and, as a result, more blackheads

• Some oil-based cosmetics


So how can I manage blackheads?


Managing blackheads is relatively easy thanks to the range of different products available at Boots. Depending on how bad your blackheads are and how sensitive your skin is, you might want to try a few different products that target blackheads to find out what works best for you. There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment, so we recommend that you try a few out before you find the one that is most suitable for you.


We get that nobody likes blackheads. Unfortunately, no matter what you use you may still get blackheads at some point in your life, but by making the most of the products available you may be able to gain control of your skin.


Pore strips


Primarily used for the T-zone of the face, pore strips are one of the most popular blackhead removers. Simply apply the sticky side of the strip to your face, wait a few minutes, and remove the strip. This will help to unclog any oil, dirt, dead skin cells or blackheads from your skin, and you’ll be able to see how well the strip works as what’s removed will be stuck to the strip.


Scrubs


Scrubs are great for clearing stubborn blackheads. They work by using ingredients which deeply cleanse the skin of excess sebum and dead skin cells, helping to prevent new blackheads from forming. This can also help unclog your pores and may help remove any blackheads you may have. Remember to be careful not to overdo it when using scrubs as this can dry your skin out and result in even more blackheads.


Skincare tools


Although it may seem like a good idea, popping blackheads with your hands can actually damage your skin and force the oil from blackheads deeper under your skin. One remedy for this is using a special skincare tool, such as the Tweezerman Blackhead Extractor, to gently press out blackheads.


What else can I do?


Remember that old saying, ‘prevention is better than cure’? Whilst it’s true that there’s an array of brilliant products you can use to help get rid of blackheads, it’s always much better to take steps to avoid getting them in the first place. Although the following measures aren’t guaranteed, incorporating them will certainly help to reduce your chances of getting them.


• Washing your face during the day

• Removing any make-up before bed, as this may help prevent your pores from becoming clogged and blackheads from developing overnight

• Having properly hydrated skin can help prevent blackheads, so try adding a moisturiser to your daily skincare routine

• Ensuring you bathe or shower after exercise. Strenuous activities can cause sweat to clog your pores and potentially result in a breakout

• If you tend to get blackheads on your body a lot, try wearing looser-fitting clothes that allow your skin to breathe and prevent your pores from becoming clogged


If you’re concerned about the amount of blackheads you’re getting then you may want to visit your local GP to find out what the best option is for you. We also recommend that you visit your doctor if you’ve got acne or think you’ve got acne. People with this condition are advised against squeezing any of their lesions and/or spots.