[By Anna Lourdes]

You’ve seen it all over your news feed on various social media platforms, a rubbery latex black mask that promises to remove the most stubborn blackheads and other surface blemishes. While one cannot argue that it’s strangely gratifying to see those tiny bits of gunk stuck to the underside of the mask once it’s forcefully ripped off, we at ReadySetBeauty question if all that savage tugging is doing your skin more harm than good.

“If you examine the aftermath carefully, flakes of healthy surrounding skin tissue will be yanked off together with the blackheads as a result of the forceful mechanical traction.”  Explains Dr. Toby Hui, senior consultant physician with the SW1 Clinic, a one stop destination for medical spa, cosmetics dermatology and cutting edge aesthetics surgery in Singapore. “In individuals with sensitive skin, this may not be a good idea as there is skin irritation, redness and peeling on the area of contact especially when users purposely leave the mask on for longer than recommended.”

Blackheads just seem so manageable in that way, you just get them out, and then you’re done. This perception couldn’t be further from the truth. Getting rid of blackheads for good is a process that requires the right products, a suitable skincare regimen, and sometimes even the help of professionals. What better options are there to help rid your skin of pesky blackheads, an irksome dermal woe at any given age? Let us count the ways.

Exfoliate regularly

Regular exfoliation is one of the best things you can easily do to try to avoid blackheads. Keep your pores squeaky clean to avoid clogging by scrubbing away the surface grime and dead skin cells.CHAI CRYSTAL HEALING Oxygenating Facial Scrub is a luxuriant DIY exfoliator extraordinaire that’s low on cost and high on returns.The closest home experience you can get to a professional skin polishing Microdermabrasion therapy at any upscale spa downtown, this is an insider’s secret of doctor-inspired, and scientifically formulated skincare gem favored by those in the know. A dual-phasic mask+scrub combo getting twice the work done at half the time, it exfoliates and moisturizes concurrently to improve your skin texture in a jiffy. Harnessing the cell renewal power from champagne extracts which uses active polyphenols with protective and antioxidant properties together with trace elements extracted from grapes, it magically transforms into a fine crystal scrub for effective exfoliation. Micro-ionized pearls stimulate microcirculation at the same time, with a special oxygen-releasing formulation giving neglected winter complexions a much needed O2 boost for enhanced radiance.Use it once or twice weekly to leave no ‘pore’ unturned, to halt the formation of blackheads in its tracks while tackling existing blemishes at the same time, giving your ‘less than stellar’ complexion a mini makeover to reveal fresher looking skin with a silky feel and sheen.

Read More: What Your Face Says About Your Health

Use a salicylic acid product

One of the best ways to fight blackheads is to invest in some salicylic acid. Commonly found in over-the-counter acne treatments, this ingredient gently encourages cellular turnover of skin cells, helping to unclog your pores and prevent the occurrence of blackheads. The best way to use it is by layering it on once or twice a day, in concentrations between 0.5 and 2%. Formulated with a blend of potent salicylic acid, skin soothing botanicals and skin softening hyaluronic acid, the SW1 CLEAR TONIC Mint-Infused Clarifying Facial Toner is a deep pore clearing serum with an anti-comedonal mission to fulfill. With a potent combination that provides a unique yet synergistic skin balancing and clarifying action, it reduces skin oiliness, clears up blackheads, minimizes pore size and regulates healthy cell life cycle, while cleverly delivering long term anti-aging benefit by smoothing rough skin texture and fine lines via intense hydration of skin cells from within.Harness the therapeutic effects of this ‘sebum fighter’ by using it in place of your usual toner or pre-serum add on. If your skin tend to get really oily as the days get warmer, you can even use it as a standalone product without the need to add on a moisturizer.

Read More: Best Supplements for Clear Skin

Dry skin brushing for clearer skin

If you’ve always been enticed by in-flight advertorials featuring Clarisonic or other similar hand held beauty devices, this is the moment to justify your splurge. Washing your face with a mechanical skin brush will help combat blackheads not only because it’s essentially a powered-up way to exfoliate, but also because the deep cleansing allows active ingredients in your serums, lotions and creams to better penetrate your skin to work their magic. However, do bear in mind that “too much of anything is never a good thing”. Overzealous usage of face cleansing brushes can lead to broken capillaries, excessive dryness, irritation, redness, and skin sensitivity. In addition, similar to makeup brushes and other tools, if these devices aren’t properly maintained with regular cleaning, they can be the cause of skin breakouts. If any of these warning signs occur, it is important to stop or alter your usage immediately and seek appropriate medical attention when required.

The route to take for deep exfoliation to achieve unparalleled luminosity is with Aqua.dermabrasion, an improved and highly efficacious treatment to gently exfoliate the epidermal layer and promote a thicker healthier dermis while smoothing and refreshing the skin. Working differently from your traditional microdermabrasion, a spiral shaped tip with multiple abrasive edges replaces the usual flat ones, allowing better exfoliation several times over as the tip is moved on skin’s surface in a planning motion. The gentle jet of accompany fluid not only reduces friction to increase the comfort level of the procedure, continuous moisture application softens the skin and sebum; making it much easier to extract impurities and blast them away. Affordable and pain-free, Aqua.dermabrasion immediately leaves the skin clearer and brighter, with no complicated special post treatment care to take note of nor any significant downtime that will hinder your daily routine.Regular sessions do much more than keeping comedones at bay for dark skinned beauties, multi-tasking to help with fine lines, wrinkles, surface blemishes, uneven skin tone and possibly mild pigmentation all at one go.

Read More: 3 Worst Things to Do To Your Skin

Remove your makeup thoroughly

Even if it takes you forever to remove your heels after a heavy night out, don’t hit the sack till your makeup is thoroughly removed. While one night of passing out with your makeup might not be a big deal, over time, this bad habit will certainly contribute to gunk-filled pores, with a propensity for blackheads to hold their own rave party. Nothing beats double cleansing with a proper makeup remover and facial cleanser, but if you’re seriously slipping into a coma anytime soon, grab some makeup remover wipes for a hasty once over so keep some well within reach by your bedside!

CHAI UNDO Super Gentle Facial Makeup Removal Mist is specially designed for makeup mavens yearning for a simple way to return to the nude in an elegant manner. UNDO’s super gentle mist is formulated to seep into makeup debris, dissolve oil slicks and come off with a gentle wipe or rinse. No more raccoon eyes and gooey mess. With this delicate dermal-saving mist having your face, eyes and lips all covered, you just need to spray, wipe and rinse, skinny dipping has never been easier!

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Make a date with a pro

Squeezing, pore strips, peel off masks or any other forms of manual extraction even in the hands of an experienced facialist can be potentially scarring or cause inflammation that leads to infection and breakouts. If you’re seeing red over black with home remedies falling short, seek out professional advice from a trained specialist. Your aesthetics physician will be able to help work out a suitable skin regime based on your skin type and needs, or prescribed pharmaceutical grade retinoids and Professional Chemical Peels that may boost your results. You can even opt to kick your treatment regime up a notch with the Pore Perfection Program, an excellent, comprehensive regime for individuals plagued with blackheads, large pores and oily skin. This completely new approach to skin rejuvenation engages the Laser Peel, resurfacing and replenishing the skin at the same time with the use of gentle yet deep penetrating laser energy to exfoliate the rough and damaged outer layer of dead skin cells marked with mild acne scars. By shrinking down the sebaceous glands, the laser peel will thus help to reduce surface grease, minimize pore size and refine skin texture. Designed to tighten and firm up your skin as well as clearing up clogs and other surface blemishes to effectively reduce pore size for a porcelain smooth complexion, you’ll be stoked even up close and personal under a bathroom magnifying mirror.

Read More: The Science of Layering Your Products for Maximum Results


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