Blackheads can ruin an otherwise clean, healthy-looking face. They can affect any man, at any age, and they’re frustratingly hard to get rid of!
But once you understand what blackheads are and what causes them, you can see that it’s 100% possible to get rid of them…. and make sure they don’t come back.
Read on for an easy two-step skincare routine that will prevent and treat any blackheads and leave your nose and chin looking clear again.
What are blackheads?
Those annoying black dots – usually on the side of your nose or your chin – are actually pores which have become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Exposure to the air causes the oil and dead skin to oxidize and darken.
So in order to prevent them you need to reduce excess oil and clear away dead skin cells to stop the blackheads from forming.
ACTION PLAN: A daily skincare routine to prevent & treat blackheads
A two-step targeted skincare routine that you follow every day is the easiest way to keep blackheads at bay.
STEP ONE : CLEANSE & EXFOLIATE
Wash your face every morning and evening with an exfoliating face wash, like OTIS Daily Face Wash. This will clear away any excess oil and at the same time eliminate dead skin cells so that blackheads cannot form.
It will also help to unclog your pores.
Exfoliating your face will make your skin smoother and your pores will be noticeably smaller. It also stimulates cell renewal giving you a glowing complexion.
Our exfoliating Daily Face Wash includes a gentle natural chemical exfoliant (Lactic Acid) so it does double-duty - cleaning and exfoliating in one step.
It also has glycerin so it won’t dry out your skin like a bar of soap will. We created it with men’s skin in mind so it also includes Tea Tree Oil to help regulate excess oil production, Aloe Vera to soothe and regenerate your skin, and an antioxidant (Black Tea Extract) to defend your skin against the daily damage caused by free radicals.
This face wash works even if you have sensitive skin.
DAILY FACE WASH
What To Do:
First, wet your face with warm (not hot) water. Squeeze a small amount of face wash onto your fingertips, and massage on to your face in circular movements. Spend about 30 seconds on this with most of your time spent on those areas where you tend to have a build-up of blackheads and excess oil, typically in your T-zone of forehead, nose and chin.
Customer tip: Apply a pea-sized amount of Daily Face Wash to your dry face just before stepping into the shower. Leave it to work for a few minutes, then lather and rinse.
Always massage gently. Then rinse, and pat your face dry with a clean, soft towel (which you keep for using only on your face).
When To Do It:
Am, pm and after sports (to remove excess sweat), and definitely before your shave.
We've got more on the best way to keep your face nice and clean here: "CLEAN: the best way to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy".
STEP TWO : HYDRATE YOUR FACE
To keep your pores nice and tight, follow with a light, well-formulated moisturizer. This will keep your skin balanced and help prevent excess oil production.
Choosing a product with a light texture is important because rich heavy creams can often clog your pores.
OTIS Hydrating Daily Moisturizer is extremely light, absorbs quickly, and you can use it day or night without leaving your face looking greasy. It’s also suitable for every skin type – even if you have sensitive skin. And trust us, it won’t make your skin oily!
Hydrating with a moisturizer will also reduce fine lines and give your skin a much healthier look.
Our Hydrating Daily Moisturizer also provides tons of anti aging benefits, and improves the texture of your skin as well, so you’ve got all your bases covered with one product, one application.
HYDRATING DAILY MOISTURIZER
What To Do:
Apply one pump of moisturizer to clean fingertips, then massage into your clean face and neck, tapping gently around your eyes.
When To Do It:
Morning and evening.
If your skin is excessively oily, or you have severe blackheads or acne, you might also consider using a clay mask. But do so with caution. And only use it once every three weeks.
CLAY MASK (on T-Zone only)
Clay masks are excellent for an oily skin. They work by absorbing the oil deep from within your pores.
BUT: because it is so effective at this it can be too drying for most skins. And the mask has only a transient effect on any blackheads or acne.
What To Do:
Clean your face with Daily Face Wash. Then apply the mask on to your T-Zone area only (forehead, nose and chin). Make sure not to leave it on for too long as it can suck out all the oil and moisture from your skin which your skin really needs.
When To Do It:
Once every three weeks (maximum)
What NOT to do to get rid of blackheads
DON’T use pore strips
These strips can seriously damage the skin barrier, pulling off a superficial layer and causing dryness and irritation – and the blackheads will come right back again.
The strips only remove the top part of blackhead anyway. It looks good but it hasn’t made any difference.
Most of the gunk that you see pulled out onto the strip isn’t actually blackheads, but sebaceous filaments. These are there to protect your pores by building up natural oils to stop things getting inside. You think when you peel off the strip that you’re removing blackheads but mostly it’s just these filaments which your skin really needs.
There’s no doubt that the strips are satisfying to use, but they’re not helping your skin at all… and could be making it a lot worse! Persistent use can make your pores enlarged meaning that the blackheads become larger and more noticeable.
DON’T steam your face
The idea is that steaming your face deep cleans and softens the pores and dissolves any blackheads, or at least makes them easier to extract.
The reality is that you don’t need to deep clean your pores, they are just fine as they are. The steaming will over irritate your skin, leading to dryness. Your skin will then take this as a sign to increase oil production… which will lead to more blackheads. It becomes a vicious circle.
DON’T try DIY extraction
Like with the pore strips, extraction provides a very temporary effect, and the blackheads will come back.
It’s very easy to apply too much pressure, whether you’re using a special extraction tool or just your fingers, and then damage your skin. If you want to do this then it’s best left to professionals.
AVOID washing your face with a bar of soap
Bar soap can irritate your skin and will definitely dry it out. This causes the pores to compensate by producing more oil. This oil then combines with the dry dead skin cells…. And these are the two things that you do not want to happen as they will cause more blackheads!
As we said, it’s best to stick to a gentle exfoliating face wash instead, followed by a light, balancing moisturizer.
What causes blackheads?
Blackheads appear when your pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells.
Every man is susceptible to blackheads at some time in his life, but if you naturally have oily skin you are more likely than most to have them. And since men have a tendency to have oilier skin anyway it’s important to take care of your skin to get rid of any that you have and prevent any more from forming.
Why do I have so many blackheads around my nose and chin?
The nose has more oil glands than the rest of your face, and the pores in this area tend to be larger and more numerous. This is also true for your forehead and chin which is why blackheads mostly appear in your T-zone (forehead, nose, chin).
Why are blackheads black? Is that pollution?
It’s not dirt or pollution that gives a blackhead that colour. Blackheads occur when pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells from inside the pore. The dark colour comes from the oxidation of the oil and cells when they’re exposed to the air.
Every man gets blackheads at some time or another, but once you know how they’re formed it’s possible to treat and prevent them.
Follow this two part skincare routine every day to reduce excess oil and remove dead skin cells. You’ll get rid of the blackheads that you have as well as prevent any new ones from forming.
DAILY SKINCARE ROUTINE
- Cleanse & Exfoliate
EVERY THREE WEEKS (max)
- Use a clay mask on your T-zone only
AND SOME THINGS NOT TO DO:
- DON'T Use pore strips
- DON'T steam your face
- DON'T attempt DIY Extraction – by squeezing or trying to remove with a needle
- DON'T wash your face with a Bar of Soap
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