Let's talk about blackheads.
Winter has a way with the pores… and by this time of year we see a flood of clients whose top concern is deep cleansing and nourishing their skin after months of cold, travel, and heating. Whether you’re coping with the side effects of the satisfying heating + freezing raining weather, when you find yourself at the bathroom mirror squeezing – pause please and keep reading.
You can tackle blackheads successfully, and we regularly help clients clear up blackheads that “nothing works” for other than professional extractions, but in as much time as it takes for a Bioré strip to set, let’s talk about a better plan.
Firstly, what’s in our pores, and how does it get there?
The gunk that naturally builds up in everyone’s pores is a blend of dead skin, makeup, pollution and debris (i.e., city grime) that settles into the skin and sticks to your skin’s natural oils each day. The bit of that buildup that sits closest to the surface of your skin gets exposed to oxygen and oxidises, so it turns dark brown or black, thus the beloved title of 'blackhead'.
The debris that ultimately forms a blackhead builds up there day by day. So by the time you see it and have that strange but powerful impulse to mess with it, the little guy has already been in the works for weeks, months, or even years, depending on how you’ve been caring for your skin each day at home.
A very natural result and it's part of the reason your skin should be cleansed EVERY night, especially if you live in an urban environment. Deep pore cleansing is also a key component of monthly professional facials, but the best pore-refining results can actually only happen when you also have a balanced and effective daily skincare routine at home.
What are the benefits of having a professional do my extractions?
Monthly professional facials offer consistent deep cleansing for the skin in a number of ways, including (but not limited to) professional extractions.
For extractions, we take the skin through a multi-step deep cleansing to hydrate and soften the skin and loosen the pore’s grip on debris. Then we gently manipulate the skin to remove blackheads and buildup. Professional facial treatments can work wonders on the most stubborn blackheads, but what you do at home each day between visit actually has the greatest impact on how much of that debris your Facialist will be able to successfully clear away for you the day you come in seeking deep pore cleansing.
At Skinography, we perform gentle extractions and do not force pores which are not in condition to be successfully extracted without damaging the skin along the way. Combining steaming and enzyme masks with extractions generally offers the most immediate results for clearing up blackheads overall pore congestion. With or without these helpers, if extractions are a primary concern for you, a 90min facial session will allow the most time for extractions within your professional sessions.
If your skin condition can be improved through home care for better professional extractions, we’ll explain what’s happening with the skin, we’ll always treat the area in the most effective way possible for the day, and make sure you leave with the short term game-plan for daily home care that will help prep you for your next session and still allow you to see continued results.
What can I do at home to cutdown the build up?
1. Cleanse thoroughly, every night.
The gunk in our pores builds up day-to-day, so to successfully get rid of it, keep it from building up this way again, it takes the same kind of daily consistency with an effective cleansing routine. Common clues your cleansing routine isn’t working for you? If you constantly struggle with blackheads, especially stubborn ones that haven’t moved. If your skin has become rough or stiff in texture, or is chronically oily and clogged at the same time, it’s time to change your daily cleanse routine.
#1 Blackhead Game-Changer: The Nightly Double-Cleanse. Use an oil-based cleanser to clear away surface grime, dirt, and makeup before using your gentle daily cleanser each night. This way your cleanser is working with an pre-cleansed canvas, so to speak. It’ll be able to actually cleanse your pores. You can start to feel and see a difference within a few weeks. Starting this habit is a great way to proactively prep for your first deep cleansing facial service.
For many city dwellers, the right home cleansing routine is key to getting to a much happier place with pore size and blackheads, and from there, incorporating regular professional cleansing treatments can be the final puzzle piece to finally seeing skin that stays clear.
2. Soak: The Power of 5.
After you've cleansed your skin, use a flannel or muslin cloth to impart hydration directly to the skin. Submerge your cloth into warm water (Not too hot) wring out any excess water and press the cloth onto your skin and 'compress' for 5 seconds repeat x 5. This is what we call soaking and is an amazing way to superficially hydrate the skin throughout the seasons.
3. Moisturising! Way more than you think.
Moisturise day and night, including where you get oily or get blackheads. Not moisturizing actually makes it worse, as severely dehydrated skin stands in the way of the best possible professional deep cleansing results through extractions. Literally, if your skin is dehydrated, extractions don’t happen as easily. We can’t stress this enough.
If you’re trying to tackle blackheads, breakouts, or acne and want to do one thing for the clearest possible result from your first professional treatment, moisturise your skin like a maniac for the week leading up to the deep cleanse.