During the consultation, 99% of my clients describe blackheads as a skin concern of theirs. Many will describe their skin to have "clogged pores" or are eager to "shrink the size" of their "pores."
Blackheads (technically referred to as open-comedones) are actually formed in the follicles of the skin, not the pores. The pores secrete sweat, the follicles secrete oil. A blackhead is formed when oil, dirt and dead skin cells mix together in a follicle. When the aforementioned mixture is oxidized (mixed with oxygen) it creates a blackhead.
When a follicle has been clogged with this dirty, oily, oxygenated madness, it stretches a bit. Which makes room for more and more dirt, oil and dead skin cells. And here's the really sad part: once a follicle has been enlarged there isn't any magical product that can be used to shrink or minimize it. The best way to regulate the size of follicles is to routinely extract the debris from them.
Generally speaking, the easiest and most effective way to rid the follicles of blackheads is to manually extract them. You can do this a number of ways, however the only 2 ways I condone are the "finger method" (did you get your jokes in? And did you text them to me? Good, moving on) and by using q-tips.
If you're into extracting blackheads (which, I totally get, I love it) I implore you to use a good exfoliant (see Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Skin Parts 1 and 2) and steam the skin you intend to extract for at least 5 minutes before you begin. Doing this will prepare and soften the skin making extractions easier.
Sorry to break it to you, but Clean & Clear (and various other companies, but that's another post for another day) has been lying to you your whole life because there's no miracle cleanser that will remove, disintegrate or erase blackheads from the skin. I'm only telling you this because I love you and I don't want you to go through life thinking that you're not using your cleanser to its full potential.
I perform extractions of blackheads in my customized skin treatments. If you would like to make an appointment for a professional skin treatment, or want to discuss any skin concerns you might have or would like a tutorial of manual extractions please call me at 316.262.7888 or come by Bohemia Healing Spa.
Love you! K. Bye!