How to Get Rid of Acne,
Pimples, Whiteheads and Blackheads
Many people are familiar with the appearance of pimples, but are unsure of what exactly they are or what’s causing them. To put it simply, pimples are oil glands that have become infected with bacteria. As a response to the infection, the gland swells up and fills with pus. They are most likely to form on the face, back and chest. When more than one pimple forms, the condition is referred to as acne.
What Are Pimples?
Pimples may form when dead skin cells mix with sebum and block the pores. The skin is constantly producing sebum and the outermost layer of our skin sheds on a regular basis. When the dead skin is not removed and clogs up pores, it can lead to breakouts. More than 80 percent of teenagers will develop at least one pimple. Adolescents are at most risk for the development of acne simply because this is the time when the sebaceous glands are most active.
What is a Whitehead?
Whiteheads are a type of acne. They are small in size and remain under the skin. For this reason, they are often referred to as closed comedones. Whiteheads develop when hair follicles become clogged because of dead skin and sebum.
What Are Blackheads?
Blackheads are often referred to as open comedones and they develop in the same way that whiteheads develop. Unlike whiteheads, however, blackheads are much larger and remain open. When pores are open, they may become clogged with sebum and dead skin cells. If this should happen, the open air will oxidize and discolor the pore-clogging material. This is what gives blackheads their dark appearance.
How to Clear Acne Pimples, Whiteheads and Blackheads
Preventing breakouts is the best way to maintain a healthy, youthful glow. Be sure to wash your face twice each day with a gentle exfoliator. At the same time, you should also make sure that you exfoliate on a regular basis. This will keep your skin clean and free from pore-clogging bacteria.
If you plan on taking preventative measures, you should go beneath the skin’s surface to ensure that you are maintaining a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. Studies have shown that diet plays a role in the development of acne, so incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet can clear up your skin and prevent future breakouts.
While we discussed exfoliation as a preventative measure, it should also be mentioned that exfoliation is an effective way to clear up any existing breakouts you may have. This gentle process removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores, which is what is causing acne to develop in the first place.
You can choose to purchase an exfoliator scrub, or you can create your own using oatmeal, baking soda or coffee grinds. If going the DIY route, be sure only to add enough water to create a paste.
Many people who are looking to find out how to get rid of acne turn to comedone extractors first. These are the same tools used by dermatologists and skincare professionals to remove whiteheads and blackheads from the skin. While they can be highly effective, it is important to first learn how to properly use the tool.
First, the pores must be opened up using a steamer or by carefully placing your face over a pot of simmering water. It is also important to wash your hands and soak the extractor in isopropyl alcohol for one minute to kill any bacteria that may be present. Next, carefully place the extractor loop over the whitehead or blackhead and press down gently. Always make sure to wash the extractor in the alcohol solution before extracting each whitehead or blackhead.
Clay masks have been used for centuries as a way to keep skin healthy and clean. The clay dries up bacteria, removes dead skin and unclogs pores. Using the mask one to two times a week is sufficient enough as daily use can cause further irritation.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is antibacterial and also works as an excellent exfoliator. In fact, tea tree oil is just as effective as benzoyl peroxide, but is completely natural and a bit gentler.
Invest in Acne-Friendly Makeup
No matter whether you are plagued with whiteheads or blackheads, your immediate reaction may be to head straight to the nearest makeup counter and cover up your blemishes. However, your makeup may wind up doing more harm than good. Look for products that are free from oils and fragrances as these are known to clog pores. If possible, purchase makeup products with natural ingredients.
Retinol, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are the most common ingredients found in acne-fighting products. They are known for their anti-bacterial properties and their ability to strengthen the skin’s protective layer. If you do choose products with these ingredients, always be sure to moisturize the skin after applying them as they can dry skin out and cause irritation. Always follow the product’s directions accordingly to avoid making the breakout even worse.
It may seem ironic to use an oil to treat acne, but coconut oil is no ordinary oil. Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids and contains anti-microbial properties. This helps to fight off and prevent bacteria from clogging the pores and causing acne to develop. Furthermore, the oil is rich in vitamins E, K and A. Vitamin E ensures that the sebaceous glands are functioning properly and also clears blockage.
Vitamin A slows the skin’s shedding process, which minimizes the risk of dead skin mixing with sebum and clogging pores. Vitamin K also works as an anti-bacterial agent to reduce the amount of bacteria on the face. Coconut oil is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, which will soothe skin and reduce redness.
While pimples, whiteheads and blackheads are closely related, they are considered different forms of acne and should be treated accordingly. In general, you want to do your best to keep your pores free from bacteria and dead skin cells. This is what causes any type of acne to form.
Next, we’ll talk about the best ways to prevent acne so you can enjoy clear, radiant skin all year long.