The battle against blackheads is an all-out war. So when developing a plan of attack, who better to look to than the great Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu?
“If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” - The Art of War.
Step 1: Know the enemy.
What are blackheads?
Blackheads form when oil (or to be scientific, sebum) combines with dead skin cells to form a gooey mixture that becomes lodged in your pores. And because your pores are still open and exposed to air, the mixture oxidizes and appears black.
While blackheads are considered a mild type of acne, they’re also one of the most stubborn and common. And, in many cases, they’re the start of something bigger (pimples) so it’s important to clear them out before they have a chance to do further damage.
So, how do you get rid of blackheads?
Step 2: Know yourself.
Or at least know your skin type. How you execute your mission against blackheads will be based on whether or not you have sensitive skin.
More on that in a moment.
The secret weapon to blackhead removal is Salicylic Acid, a Beta Hydroxy Acid often derived from fruit. With its small molecular structure, Salicylic Acid combines the size and strength to dive deep into your pores and cut through blackheads like a Samurai sword—freeing your pores of pimple-producing gunk.
Salicylic Acid can be found in face washes, but face wash is only on your skin for a matter of seconds—not nearly enough time for Salicylic Acid to go to work. The best way to reap the benefits of this super-ingredient is by applying a leave-on toner. We typically recommend doing this at night when your skin is in repair mode.
Like all good things, it takes time and regular use for Salicylic Acid to complete its mission. And even then, the likelihood of blackheads battling back for a rematch is inevitable, so keep Salicylic Acid as part of your regular regimen to ensure continuous victory.
Now, back to knowing your skin type.
If you have sensitive or dry skin, you’ll want to apply a Salicylic Acid toner more sparingly than if you have normal or oily skin. While essential in the fight against blackheads, Salicylic Acid can cause some temporary redness and slight irritation if used too often—another good reason to do this before bedtime. Start by applying two to three times per week and increase when your skin becomes accustomed to it.
But can’t I just use those pore strip things and quickly rip them out?
Pore strips are bad for your skin for many reasons. The adhesive used to grip to your skin contains harsh chemicals that can dry out and irritate your skin. Strips can also increase the size of your pores, cause scarring, and make your pores more vulnerable to breakouts by leaving behind debris that can clog your pores even further.
And here’s the really bad news: they don’t actually remove blackheads. Typically, pore strips only pull out the tops of blackheads, leaving the root of the problem still lodged deep inside.
A toner with a healthy dose of Salicylic Acid is what you need. At
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