What are whiteheads?
Whiteheads can be more frustrating than blackheads because they are closed at the surface. They develop when dead skin cells, dirt and excess oil clog the pores and cause a bump on the skin with a white coloured head.
What causes them?
Whiteheads are the milder form of acne caused by dead skin, excess oil and dirt buildup in the pores. This can be caused by either hormonal imbalances, certain medications or genetic reasons.
Sometimes, stress is also linked to the cause of whiteheads as the stress hormone cortisol can interfere with the natural hormonal balance of the body.
How do you get rid of whiteheads?
There are a variety of options available to get rid of the pesky whiteheads and you can opt for what suits you best.
- Aloe Vera
You can either go for purely natural aloe vera available from the leaves of the plant or use a good quality aloe vera gel available in the market. Even though aloe vera works best to treat irritation and inflammation, it can provide relief in the case of whiteheads as well.
- Try a toner with witch hazel
Witch hazel is an effective astringent with the quality to open pores, soothe irritation and inflammation and clear out the excess gunk from the pores. It works best in the form of a toner where you apply it directly to the skin, followed by your other skincare products.
- Tea tree oil can be beneficial
Tea tree oil is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and is an essential oil that should not be used in its undiluted form. By getting rid of the acne-causing bacteria, tea tree oil-infused products can help clear out whiteheads. It works best when it is used in a 5% diluted form.
- Try salicylic acid-induced products
Salicylic acid is known to weaken acne-causing bacteria, act as a mild exfoliator and get rid of excess oil. This is one of the greatest ingredients to fight acne, blackheads and whiteheads. Try the Carmesi Hormonal Acne skincare range that is infused with the goodness of natural salicylic acid, known to be less irritating and gentler on acne-prone skin.
- You can opt for retinoids
Retinoids can be found in a variety of skincare products and are basically Vitamin A derivatives that work by changing the way your skin forms new cells with their powerful pore-clearing and anti-inflammatory properties.
They are very strong exfoliators that can be very drying and make the skin extra sensitive. Make sure to use adequate sunscreen or apply them at night for best results but you should probably avoid them if you have very dry skin.
- Use mild chemical exfoliators
You can try gentler chemical exfoliators like AHAs or BHAs which can gently remove the top layer of the skin, taking all the gunk out with it and bringing out fresh, soft skin from beneath. Use them once a week and they should help get rid of your whiteheads.
- Try extracting it
Do not use your hands for extracting your whiteheads as this can turn them into full-blown acne by introducing more bacteria into the pores. Use a comedone extractor or make an appointment with a dermatologist to get your whiteheads extracted.
Some skincare tips to prevent whiteheads
While it is not possible to get rid of your whiteheads permanently, you can follow some steps to ensure that you get as little of them as possible.
- Wash your face twice a day to keep it free from dirt and dead skin buildup, while also getting rid of the excess oil.
- Do not use hot water for bathing or washing your face, as this can irritate your skin, and use lukewarm water instead.
- Make sure to exfoliate with a chemical exfoliator at least twice a week and avoid abrasive physical exfoliators that will further irritate your skin.
- Use non-comedogenic makeup and skincare products so that your pores do not get clogged to trap dead skin, oil and debris buildup.
- Make sure to keep your scalp clean as oil from your scalp can clog the pores in your face.
- Do not forget to take off your makeup before going to sleep.
- Make sure to keep your makeup brushes and sponges clean so they don’t introduce bacteria to your face.
- Never use expired makeup as this can introduce a lot of harmful bacteria to your face and cause your acne, whiteheads and blackheads to flare up.
When should you see a dermatologist?
If you have tried all other methods and they have not worked for you and your persistent whiteheads bother you a lot, you should visit a dermatologist for better treatment.