Get creative with safe and effective blackhead-dissolving ingredients!
Blackheads are a perennial nuisance. Sure, we were told that acne would affect us in our teenage years, but who knew blackheads would hound so many of us later in life?
Let’s quickly review 6th grade health class with a refresher on what blackheads are and where they come from. Then we’ll dive into our favorite DIY blackhead masks and why they work.
What Is a Blackhead?
Blackheads are clogged hair follicles, aptly named due to their dark appearance on the surface of your skin. Think of them as the precursor to whiteheads, also known as acne.
According to the American Association of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition, affecting 50 million Americans. Worse yet, acne is increasingly affecting adults.
Blackheads most frequently affect your face, back, and shoulders, but can appear anywhere on the body.
What Causes Blackheads?
While you go about your daily business, your skin is exposed to dirt and debris from the outside world. Internally, your skin creates sebum and sweat, which is processed and expelled via your pores – that is, unless they’re already clogged.
In other words, your pores are like doorways in a busy bus station. And if you’re ever been to a busy bus station, you know how hard they must be to keep clean.
Blackheads appear when the external and internal debris and oil come to a standstill. Bacteria will begin to grow in your pores, which often leads to pimples.
Fortunately, you can rid yourself of unsightly blackheads by attacking them at the source with a DIY blackhead mask. These recipes contain all natural, safe ingredients that effectively remove blackheads.
Designate a spa night with a friend and have some relaxing, self-pampering fun!
DIY Blackhead Mask Recipe for Cheeks
- Baking soda
- Lavender oil
How to Use It
Combine 2 teaspoons of honey with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Add a drop or two of lavender oil and stir.
Rub this sticky mixture on your cheeks and chill out for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
How it Works
Dry skin may be leading to outbreaks on your cheeks. That’s why this DIY blackhead mask uses soothing, moisturizing honey. Once used as a healing aid on wounds, honey is thought to reduce the appearance of dark spots caused by acne scars.
Baking soda is a totally undersold miracle cleanser. It’s alkaline property softens the sebum and debris that clogs your pores. It’s a fantastic absorber (you may have seen it used to absorb smells in refrigerators or sweat in deodorant) so it draws oil out of your pores, making it easy to wash away.
Lavender oil isn’t just a calming aroma to enhance the mood of your spa treatment. It’s added to this mask to soothe your skin and add a touch of antioxidants. Lavender oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antimicrobial, to boot!
DIY Blackhead Mask for Your T-Zone
- Activated charcoal
- Bentonite clay
- Water or argan oil
How to Use It
Place 1 capsule (or ½ teaspoon) and 2 teaspoons of bentonite clay in a bowl. Add water or argan oil until you get a paint-like paste.
Apply this mixture to your T-zone (your nose, chin, and forehead). Leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
If you’re struggling to get the dark hue of charcoal off, simply wipe the area with makeup remover or salicylic acid on a cotton pad.
How it Works
Activated charcoal draws bacteria and dirt to the surface of your skin, making it easy to wipe away. It’s antibacterial property kills bacteria, preventing it from regrowing in your pores.
Bentonite clay absorbs oil and bacteria, cleansing your skin.
Water is simply a thickening agent for this concoction. However, if you opted for a few drops of argan oil, you’ll get the benefits of non-comedogenic hydration and a host of skin quenching antioxidants.
DIY Blackhead Mask for Upper Back & Shoulders
- Apple cider vinegar
How to Use It
Place a ½ cup of cornstarch in a bowl. Slowly stir in the vinegar until you get a thick paste.
Apply the paste to your upper back, shoulders, and even your chest. Let it dry for 20 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
We recommend this DIY blackhead mask for the back and shoulders because it is not suitable for the sensitive skin on your face. Vinegar is acidic, meaning it may cause redness on sensitive skin.
How It Works
Cornstarch is a mild astringent that not only removes oil, but also temporarily causes your skin to stop producing the excess sebum that can cause blackheads.
Apple cider vinegar is a multi-use cleanser containing acetic acid. Acetic acid kills pathogens and pore-clogging bacteria. Vinegar also softens that gooey yellowish substance in your pores, making it easy to rinse blackheads away. Lastly, high quality apple cider vinegar contains amino acids and antioxidants, promoting soft, nourished skin.
Now that you’ve enjoyed your DIY blackhead mask, it’s time to make its effects last.
Each of these DIY blackhead mask recipes are most easily washed off with warm water. However, warm water opens your pores, leaving them vulnerable to external debris.
To combat that, we recommend you rinse your face with cold water once you’ve completely removed your mask. This will close and tighten your freshly cleaned pores.
Always be sure to moisturize with a non-comedogenic moisturizer, especially before bed.
Daily & Weekly Blackhead Maintenance
For daily blackhead maintenance, always – and we can’t stress this enough – always cleanse and moisturize your face twice daily. This is especially important before bed.
A natural cleansing toner will not only leave your skin feeling vibrant and clean, but it also tightens your skin. Toners shrink your pores, making it more difficult for debris to infect them. They also reduce the appearance of blackheads.
To prevent blackheads from reappearing, be sure to exfoliate your skin two to three times per week. Consider using a gentle konjac sponge to remove dead skin, leaving your pores free to express oil naturally and effectively.
You can also exfoliate with facial brushing, also called dry brushing. Brushing your face with a soft but firm natural bristle facial brush promotes circulation, increases cell turnover, and removes impurities.
Enjoy blackhead-free adulthood, the way our middle school health teachers promised.