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With the ever increasing pollution and busy lifestyle, our skin has to bear constant exposure to toxins all through the day. The situation can lead to skin problems that may not just mar your appearance but also frustrate your mood and state of being. One such problem is of blackheads. These tiny black spots appear due to oxidation of excess oils on your skin and can be really stubborn to get rid of. Not to mention the pain of squeezing or stripping them off every time you go to the beauty parlour to get it removed.

But do you know you don’t really have to go through all that pain? Using some easily available kitchen ingredients you can easily get rid of your blackhead problem and get that perfectly clear skin in no time.

  1. Home remedies for blackheads

Blackheads could be a real pain to get rid of but they don’t really need a clinical intervention in most cases. A lot of over the counter medications are available for reducing and clearing out blackheads, though they need a visit to a dermatologist first. And then there are some people who just do not like to put chemicals on their skin. If you too are a fan of organic and natural, here are some easy home remedies that can help you get rid of these tiny dots with ease and without the need for over the counter drugs:

Honey and cinnamon mask to remove blackheads

Honey is a versatile product that it can be found in almost every home and is believed to be one of the best skin care ingredients. It is known to have a soothing effect on the skin along with potent antibacterial and antimicrobial activity. But did you know most of the traditional uses of honey are now scientifically proven to be effective?

A study has shown that honey inhibits the growth of Propionibacterium acne, a bacterium that is responsible for aggravating acne by adhering to hair follicles within the comedones. And a blocked comedone is what leads to the appearance of blackheads on your face.

For the best effect, honey can be used with cinnamon, that, unknown to many, also has the property to remove blackheads. Just like honey, cinnamon has also been found to possess both antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties.

This means not only would it remove bacteria from your skin but also it’ll reduce redness and itching associated with skin problems.

You can easily reap all of these benefits by using a honey-cinnamon face mask. Here is an easy recipe to do just that :

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • A bowl

Procedure:

  • Take a clean and dry bowl, put all the ingredients into it
  • Give it a good mix so that it becomes a smooth paste
  • Apply it all over your face evenly. You could also apply this exclusively over the blackhead prone area
  • Wait for 15 to 30 minutes
  • Wash your face with lukewarm water

How often should you use this mask?

  • You can use this mask 2 to 3 times per week until your blackheads go away

Egg white and honey mask to remove blackheads

Egg is rich in protein (amino acids) and has been used for several cosmetic purposes since ancient ages. These aminos are essential for cell and tissue repair after they get damaged. To gain its benefits on blackheads, it is applied as a mask mixed with honey on the affected areas.

Ingredients:

  • Take one egg white
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • A bowl

Procedure:

  • Crack an egg and separate the yolk and egg white part
  • Mix honey into the egg white and whip it well
  • Apply this on the affected area
  • Leave it for 20 minutes
  • Rinse the area with lukewarm water

How often should you apply this remedy?

  • You could apply this every alternate day for best results

Essential oil to remove blackheads

Essential oils are fast becoming an agent of choice for treating skin problems. These volatile oils have enormous potential to repair and rejuvenate the skin along with preventing bacterial infections and skin inflammatory conditions. Of the many plant essences, rosemary oil and tea tree oil are especially useful in clearing out blackheads. Whereas, rosemary oil is obtained from flower and leaves of plant Rosmarinus officinalis Linn., tea tree oil is obtained from the leaves of an Australian native plant called Melaleuca alternifolia. Both these plants have been found to exhibit antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties thus effective in getting rid of blackheads. Along with the medicinal properties, these oils have a very soothing and calming effect on the skin. They also smell extremely good and refreshing.

Though neither of the plants is as easily available in India, you can easily get their essential oils at a local supermarket or store. Just make sure you buy them from trusted brands and use minimal amounts.

How to use them?

  • Take a few drops of essential oil and apply it on the affected area with the help of a cotton bud.
  • Medicinal grade essential oils are said to be highly potent and may irritate your skin, so it is best to mix them in appropriate carrier oil before applying it directly on your face. Coconut oil, argan oil and almond oil are the best carrier oils. Just add a few drops of the required essential oil in one of these oils and you are good to go.  Alternatively, you can add essential oils in your moisturizer.

How often should you apply this?

  • You can apply it daily on your face for best result

Neem leaves to remove blackheads

Neem is one of the oldest plants known and utilized for its antimicrobial properties. It reduces the excess microbial load on skin and in getting rid of inflammation associated with skin conditions. This makes it useful in reducing the risk of acne and blackheads too. However, if you are already suffering from blackheads, you can take steam of neem leaves to remove extra oil from your face. Here is how you can do it:

(Read more: Neem oil, uses and benefits)

Ingredients:

  • Handful of neem leaves
  • 1 litre water
  • A clean towel

Procedure:

  • Take a pan and add water to it
  • Make it to boil and add the neem leaves into it. Keep it boiling for 3 minutes
  • Remove the pan from stove
  • Take a towel, cover your head with it so that the steam directs towards your face without escaping
  • Take the steam until its being generated

Tips:

  • Don't squeeze a blackhead to get its contents out after steaming
  • Just wash your face with an exfoliator after steaming. It will help removing the loosened blackheads

How often should you use this remedy?

  • You can do this daily until blackheads disappears completely

Aloevera to remove blackheads

Aloe vera plant has gained enormous name due the medicinal properties it possesses. It has such hydrating and soothing effect on skin that if you apply it on your face, you would not need to apply any other  moisturizer. Aloe leaves are also helpful in removing blackheads by giving hydration to the skin, removing excess oils and impurities and by cleaning and tightening the pores. You could make use of aloe vera for blackheads in the following way:

(Read more: Open pores, causes, treatment)

Ingredients:

  • 1 aloe vera leaf
  • A knife

Procedure:

  • Peel off an aloe vera leaf with the help of a knife and take the pulp out of it
  • Rub the area affected or blackheads with aloe vera pulp for 10 to 15 minutes at least
  • Wash your face afterwards or you could leave it also on your face as such

How often should you use this leaf?

  • Aloe vera gel doesn’t have any side effects. To get the most of its benefits you can use this twice a day on you face

Aspirin to remove blackheads

Aspirin can not only help you getting relief from body pain, but it can also help you get rid of the mental pain of blackheads. Aspirin tablets contain salicylic acid, which is an active ingredient of acne medicines. Salicylic acid treats blackheads by unclogging skin pores and allowing blackheads to shrink on their own. Additionally, it also helps reduce swelling associated with an infected blackhead. To get the most benefits of aspirin it can be applied to blackhead prone area in the form of a mask.

Ingredients:

  • 1 aspirin tablet
  • Water

Procedure:

  • Take a little bit of water and put aspirin tablet into it.
  • After a minute, it will dissolve in water and form a paste
  • Apply it on the affected area
  • Leave it for 15 minutes
  • Wash with lukewarm water

How often should you use aspirin paste?

  • Use this paste for at least 3 days consecutively to get rid of all the blackheads
  • If you notice some allergic symptoms like redness, itching, burning sensation and swelling, immediately rinse the area

Tips:

  • Avoid contact with eyes, mouth and nasal opening. However, if it comes in contact, rinse thoroughly with cold water for 15 minutes to minimize the adverse effects

Oatmeal scrub to remove blackheads

Oatmeal is not just another soothing and hydrating remedy for skin, it is also an excellent exfoliating agent. Exfoliation of skin can help you prevent as well as getting rid of blackheads. In fact, the dermatological benefits of oatmeal in the prevention of blackheads have been scientifically proven suggesting its antioxidative and anti inflammatory properties. An oatmeal scrub will clear away dead cells and dirt and reduce oxidative damage to the skin, giving an inherent glow to your skin.

Here, is how you can use oatmeal as an scrub:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon curd
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Procedure:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a clean bowl to make a paste like consistency
  • Apply the paste on your face and massage in a circular manner along the lines of your face
  • After massaging for at least 5 minutes, leave it for another 10 minutes
  • Wash your face with cold water

Tip:

  • Over exfoliation may worsen the situation rather than improving it. So, it is best to keep a gentle hand while scrubbing your skin.

How often should you use this scrub?

  • You can use this scrub once or twice every week for best results

Toothpaste to remove blackheads

Many people recommend using toothpaste as spot treatment for shrinkage of blackheads and acne. National Health Service (NHS) also recognizes this belief and approves it as the fact remains that toothpaste contains several ingredients possessing antibacterial properties. However, they also discourage the use of toothpaste as a cure for blackheads and acne as few ingredients of toothpaste may also irritate and damage your skin.

So, if you are someone who frequently use toothpaste as a treatment for acne, be cautious while using it. Compare all the options, before picking the one best suited for optimum results.

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References

  1. Burlando B, Cornara L. Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2013 Dec;12(4):306-13. PMID: 24305429
  2. E. Anne Eady, Alison M. Layton, Jonathan H. Cove. A Honey Trap for the Treatment of Acne: Manipulating the Follicular Microenvironment to Control Propionibacterium acnes . Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013: 679680. PMID: 23762853
  3. Dr. Farhat S. Daud et al. A Study of Antibacterial Effect of Some Selected Essential Oils and Medicinal Herbs Against Acne Causing Bacteria. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science Invention, Volume 2 Issue 1,January 2013, PP.27-34
  4. National Health Portal [Internet] India; Busoor-e- Labaniya (Acne vulgaris)
  5. Amar Surjushe, Resham Vasani, D G Saple. ALOE VERA: A SHORT REVIEW . Indian J Dermatol. 2008; 53(4): 163–166. PMID: 19882025
  6. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Salicylic Acid Topical
  7. Pazyar N, Yaghoobi R, Kazerouni A, Feily A. Oatmeal in dermatology: a brief review. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2012 Mar-Apr;78(2):142-5. PMID: 22421643
  8. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Acne.
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