So weekly (or fortnightly when I'm lacking time) extractions are a must. My favourite way of doing this safely so that doesn't damage skin is to soften the skin first to allow the pores to open up and then apply a peel off mask to remove those pesky things.
There are two ways to soften the skin and open the pores.
- steam the face over a basin of hot water for 5 minutes. The same effects can be achieved with a hot shower so this is a great after shower .
- applying a salicylic based toner with a cotton pad to help dis-lodge the skin and wait for this to dry. Try Clean & Clear Essentials Oil-Control Toner (I'm currently alternating between this and a home-made 4% salicylic 10% lactic acid toner to do this job). I'd recommended applying the toner only to areas where there is actually blackheads (so T-zone for most of us) and not the entire faces as it can irritate skin and be sure to avoid the eye area.
|Blackhead fighting products|
I don't use the Rolanjona black mask on the entire face anymore as I find the mask dries and stick to skin very strongly and it actually hurts to peel if off from cheeks and is far too harsh on sensitive skin areas.
|First time use: I applied to the whole face - ouch! I now only use on the nose and chin area.|
When I haven't had a weekly removal, I repeat the mask application process to remove additional blackheads still stuck on my skin.
|Gunky blackheads pulled out from Rolanjona black peel-off mask|
This doesn't completely remove all the blackheads, but it does clear over 80% of them and have me looking presentable for the week until the next extraction session.
To prevent future blackheads and blemishes, I use the salicyclic toner atterwards to help control oil flow and keep the skin clear.
Super by Dr. Nicholas Perricone Acne Treatement is also a great post extraction treatment with as it contains 1% salicyclic acid, malic acid, alpha lipoic acid (ALA) for texture improvements and anti-oxidant quercetin from green apples to exfoliate and fade light blemish marks and help reduce the occurrence of blackheads and whiteheads.
- Clean & Clear Essentials Oil-Control Toner 100ml RRP A$6.49 at supermakets, Priceline and selected pharmacies.
- Biore Ultra Deep Pore Cleansing strips RRP A $6.99 also at supermarkets, Priceline and selected pharmacies.
- Rolanjona Black Peel-Off Mask 25g per sheet in pack of5 can be bought for approx US$10 at ebay stores. In Asia, it's readily available in Watsons and other chemists.
- Super Acne Treatement* 30ml RRP A$76.95 at Kit Cosmetics in selected Myer stores and Kit Cosmetics online.