Acne Questions

Common blackhead myths

The blackhead spot is a common scourge to clear skin and something that pretty much everyone has experienced at some point, if not daily. But despite being so widespread there is a lot of misinformation and myths about them.

The most common blackhead myth: blackheads are made of dirt

This is such a common belief, but totally wrong. Blackheads are actually made of oil and some bacteria – which everyone has on their face, clean or dirty. This gets clogged up in the pores. When the pore is open to the air it reacts with oxygen – oxidises – and gets a dark colouring. When you actually remove a blackhead you can see it is a much paler, oily colour.

Keeping the oil levels on your face down can help combat a blackhead but that’s not the same as dirty. People’s natural level of oil and areas affected are different.

Myth 2: Shrinking your pores

You have pores all over your body, they are an essential part of skin. There’s no getting rid of them – or shrinking them. Products that talk about shrinking pores can’t do anything physical – pores just are. You can minimise the look of them though, which is different but achieves the same effect.

Myth 3: Spots are for teenagers

Acne and whiteheads are more common in teenagers because of all the hormones but they, as well as blackheads, are common in adults too. And kids are starting with spots earlier now, due to puberty beginning earlier on average.

Myth 4: You can just squeeze a blackhead away

It’s not as simple as that. Squeezing a blackhead with your fingers is a recipe for trouble. You can accidentally push the blackhead further in, introduce new bacteria and germs from your fingers and cause swelling, redness and inflammation.

Instead, you should use a proper pimple popper, or comedone extractor, to take care of that blackhead in the most hygienic, easiest way.

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