The skin produces too much oil it mixes with dead skin in the pore, forming a clog that causes it to enlarge.
If the oil becomes trapped by the dead skin, it oxidizes, forming a blackhead.
What You Can Do About It
If you serious about removing your blackheads and shrinking your pores, then act now and get some skin care products that will clean this mess up!
What Causes Enlarged Pores and Blackheads?
It all begins when your oil glands make too much oil. This excess oil mixes with other substances (such as dead skin) in the pore, causing a clog. Not surprisingly, this clog makes it difficult for the oil to flow freely, which causes the pore itself to enlarge.
Even though the pore enlarges to provide extra room for the oil to flow out, the oil still can become trapped (especially around the nose) by dead skin. Once this occurs and the oil and dead skin at the end of the clogged pore is exposed to the air, it oxidizes, forming a blackhead. Yuck!
What You Can Do About It
- Don’t use bar soap or other skincare products that clog pores. The ingredients that keep bar soap it in its solid form can clog pores. You should also avoid products that are overly emollient (meaning thick or greasy creams)—especially if you have oily skin.
- Only use gentle, water-soluble cleansers and avoid products with drying, harsh ingredients. We love the TCA cleanser and the Deep Purifying Face Wash Organic (clay based).
- Avoid scrubs and harsh cleansing brushes with stiff bristles. You can’t scrub away blackheads and the harshness just makes skin dry and flaky, creating more dead skin that can block pores.
- Never go to bed without washing off your makeup. Neglecting to thoroughly, but gently, remove all your makeup can make clogged pores worse.
- Exfoliate with a completely non-abrasive to shed built-up surface dead skin that would normally gather in the pore, stretching it out, and risk turning into a blackhead.
- One more point about BHA, because BHA is able to exfoliate inside the pore, it can help return the pore to its normal shape and allow for an evener flow of oil. It really is amazing how well this works. Our Bio Gorgeous Peel can show improvement the first time you try it, amazing products that will shrink your pores too. Get an Exfoliating as well and use it every day!
- Use products loaded with niacinamide. Once a pore has stretched beyond its normal size, niacinamide can help provide a “tightened-up” look by boosting skin’s healthy natural quality. The research about niacinamide and its benefit for skin is truly impressive. Try our Niacinamide +B3 Rescue Serum Organic for a concentrated yet gentle formula that also contains antioxidants and skin-replenishing ingredients!
For particularly stubborn blackheads, consider the following additional measures to see if they can get you even better results:
- Absorb excess oil. Clay masks can temporarily help minimize the appearance of enlarged pores due to their oil-absorbing properties (as long as they do not contain harsh ingredients).
- If stubborn blackheads won’t go away, consider extraction from a well-trained licensed aesthetician. A licensed aesthetician who knows what they are doing can extract blackheads without damaging your skin. But don’t try this on your own because aggressive squeezing, poking, and prodding of a blackhead can aggravate the skin and cause a bigger problem than what you started with and might live you with scarring.
References for This Information
Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, March 2008, pages 170-176
Dermatologic Surgery, Volume 31, Part 2, 2005, Discussion 865