Whiteheads, known as closed comedones, are causes by excessive oils and dead skin cells which build up in a hair follicle. Unlike blackheads, whiteheads have such a small opening to the skin surface that the air cannot reach the follicle. The buildup of oils and dead cells is not oxidized and remains white.
If whiteheads combine with acne bacteria, they will become more severe acne like cystic acne.
– Excessive exfoliation: Excessive exfoliation can make skin irritated. The skin defends against the irritation by producing more oils, resulting in a buildup of oil underneath the skin.
– Oily skin: In oily skin, sebaceous glands are overactive and thus produce more oil than is needed. If the excessive oils are not removed properly, they can clog your pores, causing whiteheads.
– Oil-based makeup: This type of cosmetics adds extra oils to your skin.
– Dirt, dust, and pollution: These can clog pores, making oils and dead skin cells stuck in follicles.
How to Get Rid of Whiteheads?
Use a comedone extractor. Make sure that you are using a sterile instrument. Follow these instructions:
- Steam your face to open the pores. Place your face over a bowl of very hot water. Cover your head with a towel for a few minutes.
- Sanitize your extractor using alcohol.
- Push the extractor on whiteheads to extrude the built-up oils.
- Apply a small amount of alcohol or benzoyl peroxide on the treated area to keep bacteria and infection away.
How to Prevent Whiteheads?
– Wash your face twice a day with a cleanser that contains salicylic acid or AHAs. These ingredients help unclog the pores. Don’t wash your face too often as doing so can trigger the sebaceous glands to produce more oils.
– Apply benzoyl peroxide, topical retinoids, salicylic acids, or AHAs. All these treatments help remove dead skin cells and prevent pores from clogging. Use only one type of treatments at a time as using too many treatments can irritate your skin, trigger oil production, and worsen the problem of whiteheads.
– Apply oil-free moisturizer to hydrate your skin.
– Use water-based cosmetics. Look for non-comedogenic ones.
– Exfoliate your face once or twice a week.
– Use a clay mask once a week if you have oily skin. Clay masks help absorb excessive oils.
– Steam your face once a week to loosen dead skin cells and dirt that are embedded in your follicles. Follow the steaming instruction above.