Landmine-Face : Dealing With Blackheads
If you haven’t ever seen one of those videos where they pull and peel out black head, you must be living under a Dwayne Johnson. It must be comfortable down there because ignorance is bliss. For instance, knowing every unborn baby grows a mustache in the womb, which then spreads to cover the entire body. The baby then eats this fine hair and excretes it after birth in its first bowel movement.
But the thing is, sometimes, the bliss can turn into a blister. Like that thing on your face. I’m talking about them blackheads.
WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT?
For the peculiarly extravagant, these are refer “Comedo”. Comedones, plural of the aforementioned term, are pores, mostly hair follicles on the skin that have been clogged. Dead skin cells and oil combine together to form the plug. This blockage prevents the glands from letting out what they need to, like more dead skin cells and oil. This accumulation creates a blockage and if it stays within the skin, it forms a whitehead. If it surfaces, it gets oxidized and turns black. It may or may not be accompanied by acne. When bacteria invades this, inflammation is cause and pimples begin to make life miserable. Now, I don’t want to jump into the details of it all because:
– I’m a layman and not a medical specialist, let alone a dermatological one
– I don’t want you to think that I got this information from Wikipedia
But who am I kidding. I did get all this from there because Wikipedia’s the bomb.
Enough about my amature research skills. What you really need to know is that blackheads are a no-no. They clog your skin and the skin needs to breathe. A suffocating skin is an unhealthy skin and it’s not rocket science to know that the addition of the “un” prefix to “healthy” is obviously a bad thing.
BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’VE GOT THIS ISSUE?
Why, it’s elementary, my dear Watson. That’s because everyone suffers from it. If you’re a person and you’ve got hair follicles, you’re pretty much screwed. Hair follicles have one hair accompanied by a sebaceous gland. This gland produces sebum, which is essentially oil that moisturizes the skin and keeps it soft. Dead skin cells unfortunately get attracted to these oils and the above mentioned process comes to be. So when you hit the shower next, before you put on your lotions and all, stop and look at your face properly. Look at your nose really good. The nose had more sebaceous glands so that’s 57 where blackheads hang out the most. Also, why after a shower is that you wash away most of the oils away and make the skin dry. This stretches out the skin and exposes these pesky lil’ bastards.
Don’t just focus on the nose. Blackheads can come out of anywhere. If there’s hair, there’s a blackhead. Look at the forehead, the cheek, neck, chest, back if you can stretch that far, the lower cheeks, the ahem-ahem, hands, armpits… you get the idea.
WHAT TO DO THEN?
Life teaches us many things. One of them is acceptance of fate. But blackheads, oh no my friend. We are not going to accept this. They need to go. If you’ve affectionately named them, bid them goodbye individually. And you must really have a lot of time on your hands, huh? Anyways, here are a few ways to go about it.
Medications: Meds for removing blackheads come in cream, gel, and pad which you put directly on your skin. These contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and resorcinol which kill bacteria, dry excess oil, and force the skin to shed dead skin cells. If you’re the go-hard-or-go-home kind of person, you may opt for something with a little (lot) more kick. Medications that contain vitamin A, such as tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene keep plugs from forming in the hair follicles and promote more rapid turnover of skin cells. Another type of topical medication that contains benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics, helpful if you have pimples or acne cysts in along with blackheads. Now, before you take these drugs, make sure you talk to a doctor and not a magazine. Don’t sue me if you get an infection or something. That’s all on you, buddy.
Manual Removal: You must have seen those oddly satisfying videos, right? The ones in which a tweezer like doohickey is used to pry out them nasty gunky beads from the skin? Yeah, like those, a medical professional uses a round loop extractor to pull out the plug that causes the blackhead. A small opening is made in the plug and pressure is used to take it out. Quite fascinating and weirdly satisfying if I must say.
Microdermabrasion: As frightening as the word sounds, so is the process. An instrument with a rough surface is used to literally sand out the top layer of the skin and the clog with it. However, the scariness is just in the words. It’s done by medical professional so you’re in good hands if you happen to go in for this one.
Peels: A strong chemical is applied to the skin for this method. Over time, the top layer of the skin peels off and a healthier skin is revealed underneath. This removes clogs and gets rid of dead skins cells that cause the blackheads. Mild peels are readily available at pharmacies, are relatively neutral to many people, and can be done at home. Stronger peels are performed by dermatologists or other skincare professionals. Regardless, do seek medical consultancy rather than some words you read in a magazine. More on this later. I promise.
Laser and Light Therapy: Without damaging the top layers of the skin, laser and light therapies use tiny beams of intense light reach beneath the skin to reduce oil and kill bacteria. If you have the contraption in you home, I guess you can do it at home, but given that we’re all normal people, this procedure is exclusively clinical.
Told ya we’ll be back for this. So, it’s been a little over a couple of years that these pimple popping and blackhead removing videos have been catching on the internet. And as of recently, masks have been put out by various brands that claim to pull out blackheads. These seem to work well and all, but what’s not very well is that either it’s too expensive, or it’s not readily available. For us Nepalese, both is the case. So, what do we do? We make it ourselves. And boy, this is probably the easiest cosmetic DIY. Apart from that, we might as well because the methods mentioned above are probably way beyond the capabilities of our pockets and priorities. Most of us don’t want to spend a stack of elephants and sit on a chair while someone probes our faces.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Fevicol (1.5 tbsp, or enough to cover you face)
- Charcoal powder (1 tbsp)
- Something to mix in
- Mint extract (optional)
- Your face (not optional)
HOW TO GO ABOUT IT:
- Wash your face. Exfoliate it. Dry it. Shave if you have to.
- Take you glue and charcoal powder, mix it and apply it directly on the face
- Avoid hair.
- Let the mask sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Reminiscent on how easy that was.
- Take selfies.
- Remember how tribal African people were shown in those old Tom and Jerry shows? Yeah, you kinda look like that.
- Slowly peel away.
- Cry if you need to.
- Wipe away the remains of the mask.
- Marvel at all the stuff it pulled out.
- Caress your new face.
- Thank us.
FAQS ABOUT THE MASK
Does it work? Like a mofo.
Does it hurt? Like a mofo.
Is it worth it? Like a mofo.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
Whoever mouthed these words must have been hella wise. This phrase can be applied to just about anything and blackheads are no exception. Preventing them from ever coming up is the best way to go and here are a few ways to go about doing so:
Regular Cleaning: Wash your face on a daily basis. Don’t be a wuss and get yourself a facewash that stripes the oil away and which says “for sensitive skin”. Don’t use regular soap for it may be too harsh for the blackheads.
Shower After Sweating Out: If you skip the sower after working out, you must really get a lot of girls huh? That was sarcasm. Shower after working out, or after any vigorous activity. Not only is it general hygiene, but also you need to take out the bacteria.
Moisturize: After you’ve striped the oil away from your skin, your skin will need something to keep it hydrated. If you don’t, your skin will dry out and cause more breakouts. Get an oil free cream and use it regularly.
Exfoliate: Dead skin cells make the most of the plug, so banish them to the pits of hell. Use it once or twice a week. If you have active acne, it’s not recommended to do it on them, it will bleed out and hurt like a b***h.
Remove it: If a huge one grows on you, you can remove it. However, it needs to be big and causing serious issues. Yank it out with a comedone extractor. Bust this is only for acute cases. If it’s small and negligible, avoid picking at it.
Wear Loose Clothing: Tight garments can trap in moisture and heat, keeping things dank. The only things that should be dank are memes. Body parts should not be. Dank brings about blackheads. Don’t go dank. Needless to say that your clothes should be clean too.
Proper Diet: You are what you eat, so eat healthy for your own good. Avoid fats, sugar and junk as much as possible. Try to take in more vitamin A and oils from almonds and olives, they help to keep the skin hydrated. Get in atleast 8 glasses of water.