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anonybot wrote in anonymous_qs
I have a huge problem with blackheads. I've tried exfoliating scrubs, face masks, bamboo scrubbing pads and those pore cleaning strips. Nothing seems to work. What else can I do? I hate that my skin, especially on my nose, looks like the peel of an orange.

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You can't really change your physiology. Rinse your face with hot water and then cold before you wash (hot water opens the pores and cold constricts them). It might help squeeze out some of the blackheads. Use your astringent regularly, but don't overuse it--drying out your skin too much is just as bad. You can try squeezing your pores (sort of the way you would a pimple) but touching your face will get a lot of oil all over them, so wash thoroughly after, and it's very time consuming, so you should only do the big ones. Generally,though, it's better to focus on keeping things clean--an empty pore will basically fill right back up pretty quickly.

Mostly don't worry. It's likely no one is paying that much attention. In the words of the wise: "Almost no one would care what other people thought of them if they realized how seldom they do."

There is a tool, I think its called an extractor. Works like magic.

Pop them, then keep the area really clean? I used to have a big problem with them, now I manage to keep them from going out of control. Dial antibacterial liquid hand soap helps me keep the area clean and keeps my face oils to a manageable level. I have really oily skin, it helps by drying it out a bit.
Have you talked to a dermatologist?

Okay. Here we go!

Blackheads are essentially caused by the oils becoming trapped in the pores and then turning rancid. Once they've turned waxen and become rancid, they take on a dark color and become almost impossible to squeeze out. There are many reasons why oils get trapped in the skin, and a lot of it has to do with excess sebum production that isn't being taken care of. Overactive sebaceous glands become overactive due to compensation for a lack of natural oils in the skin -- using cleansers that are too harsh or using too much astringent on the face can contribute to this disruption of pH balance on the skin.

Here's what you can do about it!

What you'll need:
- A blackhead extractor. You'll probably see two kinds at the store. The one that has a tiny hole in it is for blackheads and the one with the wire loop is for whiteheads/larger pimples.
- Something with salicylic acid or glycolic acid in it. Strawberries contain lots of natural salicylic acid and can be pulverized with honey, yogurt, avocado, or many other things into a nice face mask. If you want, though, you can just by a salicylic acid cream. Neutrogena makes a good one. For now, medicated cleansers and astringents, like the corresponding ones by Neutrogena, are overkill. You won't need them because using them may make the problem worse.
- Organic aloe vera juice.
- Peppermint tea -- using loose leaf inside a strainer is best because you can take out the tea leaves and use them in an exfoliating scrub later.
- A pan and a stove.
- Water.
- A clean bottle with either a hole in the lid or an atomizer.

Here's what you do:

1. Stop all of the exfoliation for a while.
2. Set up a pan of water (preferably distilled) over medium-high heat.
3. Place tea bags or tea strainer in the water and let the pan begin to heat up and steam.
4. When it's at a rolling boil, but not a FULL boil, turn the heat down slightly. Pulling your hair back behind you and pulling your fringe up if you have one, lean over the steam and steam your face for about ten minutes. This process will soften your pores and soften the wax inside of them. Contrary to popular belief, pores do not open and close. They do, however, harden and soften.
5. Pour equal parts peppermint tea and aloe vera in your plastic bottle. Stick it in the refrigerator or the freezer (to immediately cool it down if you want to use it after you begin extracting).
6. Pat your face dry. You can now use your pore cleaning strips on your nose and they'll be more effective, but they're not the best. If you don't have any, go to town with your blackhead extractor.
7. As soon as you're finished extracting, use a clean cotton pad and the cold toner you just made out of tea and aloe vera to harden your pores.


Another thing that might work is steaming your face, massaging your skin using an oil like tamanu oil or avocado oil, then rinsing/washing the oil away, extracting any black heads, and using a toner. Massages increase the circulation in the skin. Done enough, they can help the skin detox on its own.

If you need any tips for home made face masks or a skincare regimen that is specific to your skin type, just let me know what your skin is like, what your problem areas are, etc.. You can also message me if you'd like to have a full-on conversation about it, and I promise I'll keep your identity a secret.

thanks for the suggestions. i'm probably going to pm you later so we can talk specifics. :)

do you work in the face-cleansing business or something?

Haha! The face-cleansing business. :) No, no, I'm a cosmetology school drop out. While everyone else was excited to paint each other's nails, I was way more interested in the scientific side of things. -shrug-

I'm going to be gone for a week or so but feel free to PM me anyway.

Being tired and scanning posts, my scan of the first sentence made me think this was a racist question.

omg you just made me spit my water back out. lololol "blackheads"

i think you should go to a medispa and have a microdermabrasion. i also think you should invest in some higher-end facewash and use it regularly. i don't think you should use an extractor on yourself, as you can damage your skin. a small thing that will additionally help tons is just changing your pillow cases regularly and not letting your hair get too oily.

When you dig into your pores too much they can become inflammed and never really 'snap back' to normal so stock digging around with weird devices! Invest in a microdermabrasion kit, you use them usually once a week. Use a good quality toner everyday, twice a day. Buy one thats specific for your skin type as their essential oil content will vary.


extra virgin olive oil!
wash your face with that.
then wash again with your regular facewash.
don't use it too often though.

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