For those watching at home, you may be aware that I am currently fighting a bad case of stress acne on my cheek. It has mostly died down now, and all that remains is acne scarring, with no active pimples. I find this EXTREMELY EXCITING and I am so chuffed.
This post, however, is more about those pesky black heads that pop up around the nose, chin and forehead. The dreaded T-Zone for me is the main contributor to black head production. They rarely show up anywhere else (except I’ve had one in my ear before, OUCH!). Blackheads are basically the “open” version of a pimple. The pore is opened and clogged with sebum, and the blackness comes from the sebum being exposed to the air. Yech!
Despite my continuing horrors of acne and scarring, I have found the perfect routine for combating these blackheads and keeping them to a minimum! Below is my simple five step blackhead buster routine that I swear by.
1. The pre-cleanse
I like to remove my make up with a face wipe (my favourite are the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes RRP $7.99 | 25 wipes - which I just used up - check out my empties post here) and follow with Dermalogica Precleanse - RRP $28.00 |5.1oz - which I received in a beauty box a while ago. This pre-cleanser really dissolves your makeup and gets everything off that the wipe didn’t. I used to use Bioderma Cleansing Water - $18.95 | 250ml , but having recently run out, I’ve opted for the Dermalogica, which is working as a good subsitute!
2. Legit Cleansing
My favourite cleanser of the moment is good old Clean&Clear Essentials Self-foaming Facial Wash RRP $9.99 | 150ml. I really love using a foaming cleanser, and this one is quite cheap, reliable and does the job effectively. I find that foaming cleansers are the BEST for oily skin. They sufficiently clean my skin without drying it out too much. I sometimes like to do the double-cleanse if I have been wearing a lot of makeup, but normally once is fine.
If you want to make a good investment for your skin, the Clarisonic Mia Sonic RRP $149 - is the way to go. I personally bought the Clarisonic Mia, a smaller version of the original Clarisonic. I think the size is perfect for the face. I use the sensitive brush head, and I use it regularly to try and clear up the congestion issues that my skin is having. I use it every two days at night. It really helps with clearing black heads and white heads, and I don’t find it as harsh as others claim it to be. I stopped using Clarisonic for a while, honestly because I lost the charger (anyone else a complete scatter brain?). I really noticed an increase in the size of my pores and then congestion of my skin, so it really does make a difference in the texture and look of my skin. I have seen recently that Olay have brought out their own “electronic face brush” as well. You can check out Sparkle2Day’s blog for more info!
3. Steam & Tone
If I am feeling REALLY in need of a good deep cleanse, a steam bath is the best way to do it. I like to fill the bathroom sink with hot (not boiling) water. You want it to be hot enough to provide steam, without scalding yourself! Then I like to put a LUSH toner tab RRP $2.50 | 10g - into the water (you can also use essential oils!). My favourite is the tea tree tab, which is an awful scent (I despise tea tree) but I put up with it for a once-in-a-while steam bath. #FirstWorldProblems. It’s advised by most to not steam your face more than once a week, and for more than four minutes. This can dry your skin out too much, and then encourage more oil production. We don’t want that!
4. Pore Strip/Pore Mask & Spot Treatment
I love using pore strips and pore masks. Call me strange, but I love pulling the little suckers straight out from the core and inspecting them on the strip. It’s gross but fascinating. It must be the scientist in me - my favourite subject was Biology at school! You can pick up pore strips from most pharmacies for pretty cheap. I normally purchase Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips - RRP $10.99 |14 Strips, which are super fun to use and really easy to use.
Lately, however, I have been using this amazing pore mask that is Japanese. It;s called the Pore Clear Pack RRP $6.40 USD |20g , and it has a combination of eggshell essence and charcoal, which creates a tar like consistency. You smooth this tar over your nose or problem areas (try to avoid spots with hair, it tends to rip it out - unless that is you would like a waxing job as well). I like to spread it a little thick and leave it for 20-30 minutes. Then you simply peel it off (which is so satisfying).
This is the time to also use a spot treatment if you have any huge blackheads that won’t budge. I use Origins Super Spot Remover Acne Treatment Gel RRP $19.00 | 10ml - which is the BEST I’ve ever used (and I am queen of spot treating, let me tell you!)
Even though your skin may feel oily most of the time, you do need to nourish it daily with a moisturiser. I like to use Michael Todd Moisture Lite Light Hydrating Moisturizer RRP $29.00 |70ml . It came in an acne/oily skin pack by MT and smells like lemon cheesecake - so delicious!
I also like to use Garnier Dark Spot Corrector Daily Illuminating Moisturiser - RRP $16.99 | 50ml. This moisturizer is great for fading dark acne spots left behind (which I have a lot of) as well as sun spots and age spots. It’s super light and doesn’t clog up my pores
I hope this posts helps out anyone who battles against blackheads!