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Blackhead Balancing for Beginners:
Saving Your Skin from Congestion

Trying desperately to banish breakouts? Often, it’s those spots of congestion that are really tricky to clear. Sitting under the skin and clogging your pores, blackheads seem to crop up in packs. Just when you get rid of one, you find dozens more to tackle. They. Just. Keep. Coming. Back.

It’s ever so tempting to perform a little bathroom surgery on your blackheads. A little squeeze won’t really hurt, right? However, trying a quick fix to rid your skin of blackheads (open comedones, as they say) could mean simply pushing more bacteria into your pores. Ideally you want to think about pore treatment like this; keeping yours cleansed and free of dirt particles. However, it must be a balanced approach; it feels amazing to have that squeaky clean skin sensation, but rob your face of too much moisture and you’re only encouraging it to produce too much oil. It in turn, tries to rebalance the hydration and could overdo things. So, products that work on actually improving skin hydration while at the same exfoliating means keeping things in check. What else helps with blackheads and other issues that seem to come hand in hand? Smart ingredients and sticking to a simple yet committed skincare routine. Here’s how…

Cleansing Skin (but Not Too Much!)

At some point, facial scrubs were thought to be the only way to get rid of blackheads. However they should be seen a partner in the solution together with your targeted cleanser. Scrubbing skin won’t do the job alone and the risk of too much buffing could mean inflaming the skin’s surface. The cause of blackheads is often too much oil production. Then that oil gets trapped with dead skin at the surface of your pores. Add air to the mix and bumps look black. Now, all of a sudden congested pores appear dirty (i.e. blackheads) but what you’re actually seeing is a process called oxidisation – oil exposed to air.

One, Two, Three: Your Easiest Routine

Ready for a little extra skin prep? You’ll find going back to skincare basics is like that old saying: prevention is better than cure. A twice daily cleanse with a product rich in the right ingredients not only means keeping your skin clean and free of bacteria, but softens blackheads too. Certain ingredients are legends for oily skin types, but they must be teamed with trusty helpers to keep your hydration levels in check. Take note of cleansers with Salicylic Acid but also try to find that extra dose of moisture in the form of Hyaluronic Acid, necessary for skin hydration. Your fix? NIVEA Clear Up Deep Pore Cleanser Face Wash with both ingredients in the mix plus eight hours of oil and shine control. After washing your face with this type of cleanser (morning and evening), a daily exfoliator that actually soothes and further hydrates (hello, more Hyaluronic Acid) skin as well as helps unclogs those pores is the ticket. Check out NIVEA Clear Up Daily Scrub that is gentle enough to use once a day after cleansing. Finally, apply NIVEA Clear Up Blemish Gel. This type of targeted action is great for oil absorption, working on blemishes that have already cropped up. They key to a shine- and blemish- free skin is a consistent skin care routine.

Smooth Skin Ahead: Clearing Away Congestion

Clever and caring skincare is a big win for blackheads, but not the only approach to congestion-free skin. A few simple life hacks can clear skin – and your pores – of those bumps you struggle to keep at bay. Some blackheads, especially with the right skincare products (with the best ingredients) do go away on their own. But that’s if they are small and close to the surface of the skin. What about those deeply embedded ones? The trick to knowing how deep it is (and remember, no squeezing), is looking at how large and dark it is in colour. Typically, the larger the black dot is on the surface, the deeper it’s sitting in the skin. Professional extraction is the only way to manually get those babies out (that means a skincare therapist or dermatologist), if need be. And it’s important advice to remember, as just like a pimple, trying to pop it on your own could leading to scarring.

When it comes to diet, while greasy foods don’t cause breakouts, some healthy nibbles can help heal your skin. Think snacking on blueberries, almonds and avocados - they are all great anti-inflammatory foods. We’ll raise a smoothie to that!