Thought it was tough getting rid of a pesky spot? Blackheads are even more of a pain to banish, often lurking like unwelcome friends for decades.
There are, however, ways to prevent getting blackheads - the tiny little black dots that appear on your skin due to clogged hair follicles.
We've enlisted Dr. Goldfaden and Dr Perricone MD, who have shared their insider knowledge on why we get blackheads and, more importantly, how to beat them. You're very welcome.
What are blackheads and why do we get them?
Blackheads are a common issue we see all year round. During warmer months, the humidity is higher and thus skin tends to be oiler, sweatier and more affected by humidity. This build-up of oil can lead to clogged hair follicles, resulting in blackheads. However, during the winter when temperatures are cooler and humidity levels are low, skin can lose the natural lipids and become dry and irritated. The skin then goes into overdrive of oil production, which can cause breakouts.
The nose tends to be most susceptible to blackheads (don't we know it), as it contains many hair follicles and produces more oil than other parts of the face. The nose also has crevices, while other parts of the face are flatter.
The £5 face mask Kourtney Kardashian swears by for beating blackheads
The skincare regime to follow
Salicylic acid is brilliant for fighting blackheads. Enzymatic exfoliators (look for AHA’s like glycolic, lactic, citric in the ingredients list) work well a few times a week as they help to digest the dead skin cells on the upper layers of the skin. It's also a good idea to put your feet up and use a purifying face mask once a week. Look for ingredients such as zinc oxide (soothes), sulfur (anti-septic and kills bacteria), camphor (anti-redness) and charcoal (which draws out bacteria).
How a dermatologist can help
If you really want to beat the blackheads, have your dermatologist or medical professional use a comedone extractor (if you've ever spent hours transfixed by Dr Pimple Popper's videos, you'll know what we're talking about here). These extractors use small metal loops on the end of stick to add pressure around the blackhead and push that debris out.
The blackhead-busting foods to include in your diet
It's no secret that what you eat also plays a large role in the appearance of your skin, and following the anti-inflammatory diet can help control excess oil and stop blackheads, breakouts, whiteheads and clogged pores before they even begin to form. This means controlling your blood sugar and insulin levels by avoiding sugary, starchy foods.
Cold water fish-like wild salmon, sardines, herring and anchovies, which are all high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids, act as natural anti-inflammatories and offer great benefits to the health and appearance of your skin. But that's not all; they also aid in the reduction of stress chemicals such as cortisol, which can worsen acne and its accompanying signs and symptoms.
Eating foods rich in Vitamin B2 also helps to reduce stress, and includes foods such as spinach, almonds, eggs and mushrooms.
So long, blackheads!