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As always, the best cure for anything is prevention. Blackheads are easily treatable once they are there, but it is even easier to prevent most of them from ever happening. Cleaning the skin regularly and properly and avoiding certain cosmetic products will help to keep the pores open and clear. Similarly, some foods and drinks are thought to be helpful with blackhead prevention while others can be quite harmful. These are three easy steps to take in order to prevent blackheads.
Step 1: Fighting from Within
Before getting too caught up in the external fight with blackheads, it is important to get internal matters in order. The daily diet has a major influence on the complexion. In other words, eating greasy food might add unneeded oil to the body’s glands, which overloads the pores and causes more blackhead block-ups. Cutting down on greasy snacks, like potato chips, will aid in preventing excess sebum production. In contrast, drinking the right amount of water can help to eliminate oily skin. Rather than clogging pores, water actually helps to clear out the undesirable things. A little less oil and a little more water can go a long way in preventing blackheads before they even reach your skin.
Step 2: Keeping Your Face Clean
On the surface, the most important defence in preventing blackheads is keeping your face clean, and the best way to do this is by creating a routine, washing first thing in the morning and just before going to bed. It is also very important to wash correctly, using unsoiled products, drying with fresh towels, and avoiding touching irritated areas with dirty fingers. There are many different cleansers to try, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find the one that works best for you. However, in general, cleansing gently with an exfoliating sponge and a product with benzyl peroxide will help to remove all of the undesirable oil and debris before they have the chance to clog pores.
Step 3: Avoiding Other Causes
Once things are working inside and out, avoiding common catalysts becomes even more important. One of the major causes of blackheads is make-up, or any other product applied to the face that isn’t meant to clean it, things like moisturizers and suntan lotion. At the end of every day, all make-up and/or lotions, anything that might block a pore rather than clear it, should be completely removed. Likewise, during the day, these products should be used as sparingly as possible. Other things to avoid are squeezing and prodding blackheads, particularly with anything unsterile, and wearing any sort of clothing - caps, hats, chinstraps, etc. - that might cause dirt and grease to congregate. Lastly, no matter how tempting, hard scrubbing enhances the problem rather than solving it.
Blackhead prevention is simple enough, but like most worthwhile ventures, it requires discipline, patience, and regularity. In the beginning, the glands and follicles will need to work themselves back into a healthy state, in a sense cleansing the dirt and oil away and finding the right body chemistry to function correctly. Missing a routine wash or sleeping with make-up on essentially restarts the process, allowing the pores to clog again and causing the biological gears to grind in search of a solution to the problem.