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How to Remove Whiteheads

Smita Pandit
Whiteheads, which are also referred to as closed comedones, are small white spots that appear on the skin when the pores on the surface of the skin get clogged with sebum. The following story provides information on ways to get rid of them.
People with oily skin are more susceptible to whiteheads as excess sebum (secretion of sebaceous glands) and dead skin cells can clog the opening of pores. When the clogged pore closes, sebum or the oily secretions can be seen in the form of a white bump or a whitehead.
Since the sebaceous glands become more active after the onset of puberty, teenagers are more likely to develop such skin problems. These may become a cause of cosmetic concern for adolescents and even young adults.

Remedies for Whiteheads

Though there is always the option of getting white comedones removed by a cosmetologist, following certain remedies may help one get rid of whiteheads.

Cleansing Routine

The best way to remove them is to keep your skin clean at all times. You must follow a skin care routine. Apply a facial cleanser to clean the pores. You should never sleep with your makeup on. If you have an oily skin, it would be best to use oil-free or non-comedogenic skin care products.
Such products will not block the pores. You could use sweet almond oil, olive oil, jojoba, or glycerin. These are believed to be non-comedogenic in nature. Since cocoa butter is highly comedogenic in nature, avoid using it. Also, make sure that you buy good quality cosmetic products that are meant for your skin type.

Steam Method

Since closed comedones are caused due to clogged skin pores, it is essential to keep the skin pores clean. The best way to prevent them from getting clogged is to steam your face. Bend over a pot of boiling water and cover your head with a towel.
Steam your face for five to ten minutes. This will help in opening up the clogged pores. This will soften the skin, making it easier to cleanse the traces of makeup, dirt, dead skin cells and excess sebum.

Comedone Extractor

You can also use a comedone extractor. It is a small tool that has a lancet on one end and a loop on the other. After you have steamed your face, and sterilized the tool, gently pierce the top of the comedo with the lancet to drain the contents of the comedo. Place the looped end over it and apply pressure so that the dirt, trapped sebum and dead skin cells come out.

Pore Strips

These are strips that have one side coated with adhesives. The side that is coated with the adhesive has to be applied over the affected area. The adhesive binds to the dirt, sebum, and dead skin cells. After the strip dries, one needs to pull it out.
With the pulling action, the adhesive also pulls away sebum and dirt. Thus, whatever may be clogging the pore comes along with it. However, the use of pore strips, as well as comedone extractor may cause skin irritation. So, if your skin is sensitive, it would be best to consult a dermatologist.

Medicated Creams

Most of the topical creams that are prescribed for removing whiteheads have benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as the active ingredient. Due to its antibacterial properties, benzoyl peroxide helps in removing them, and also prevents the formation of new ones.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that is often used in creams and cleansers that are used for treating comedones. Other creams and gels that contain retinoid or fruit-derived alpha hydroxy acids might also prove beneficial in clearing such blemishes.
Though several over-the-counter medications are available in the form of medicated creams, gels and soaps, it would be best to use the products that are recommended by dermatologists.

Face Scrub

You can also try homemade face scrubs or face packs. You can make a paste by mixing a tablespoon of honey to one egg white. Apply it on your face, and leave it on for 30 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
You can also make a paste by adding 2 tablespoons of sandalwood powder to 2 tablespoons of rosewater. Apply it on your face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and also splash some cold water on your face.
You could also run an ice cube on your face to close the pores. You can also exfoliate your skin by using homemade scrubs made from dried orange peels.

Follow a Healthy Diet

Making certain lifestyle-related changes will also prove beneficial. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Avoid excessive consumption of spicy and oily food. Sometimes, vitamin deficiencies can also lead to skin problems, so following a balanced diet will surely help. Stay hydrated at all times.
While you can try the aforementioned remedies for getting rid of comedones, your aim must be to prevent them from appearing on the skin. So, keep your skin clean and follow the aforementioned tips to prevent whiteheads.