If you’re a regular reader/follower of my blog, then you already know that I’ve spent a lot of time, energy, and money on finding the best ways to cure my acne. I’ve written about it before, but back then I was really only scratching the surface of all the changes I needed to make in both my diet and my skincare regime to get me face to clear up the way it has. Since then, I’ve learned a lot more about skincare and even wrote about the products I use to get rid of blackheads, so I figured a corresponding post on how to get rid of whiteheads was in order.
Whiteheads, like pretty much any form of acne, are clogged pores. The thing that makes them whiteheads is that the dirt/sebum/whatever in your pore is actually sealed in. That’s right, your pore opening is being blocked by too many cells on the surface of your skin. Which is why the first step to getting rid of whiteheads is to (other than, you know, wash your face) exfoliate. You can use physical exfoliation (a scrub, washcloth, Clarisonic), but these methods are actually losing their preference in the beauty community. Chemical exfoliants do the same work without all the irritation of extra rubbing and scrubbing.
I currently use a glycolic moisture mask from Credentials on a weekly basis. It’s great and everything, but once it’s done I’m looking forward to upgrading to the stronger version by Drunk Elephant. AHAs like glycolic or lactic acid help keep dead skin cells from building up on the surface of your face, which means the gunk inside your pores can actually, you know, come out of your pores. A weekly mask is what works for me, but if you have super sensitive skin, you can also find a cleanser or serum to use twice a week or so that provides the same benefits at a lower concentration.
A HOT CLOTH
This one is pretty easy (and free!), but it comes highly recommended from my facialist. She says that if you wet a washcloth with hot water and press it onto the whitehead (no rubbing!) to heat it up, eventually it will come to the surface and “release”. You can repeat this step as many times as it takes to keep the cloth hot, and to get the whitehead to come to the surface. Once it pops, she recommends putting a dab of honey on the spot for a few minutes, since honey is a natural anti-bacterial agent. Manuka honey is actually the best kind of honey to use for skincare, since it is made using Manuka flowers, which result in a more potent anti-bacterial element. How cool is that?
A clay mask is a great way to draw impurities out of your skin, and it can be especially useful as a spot treatment on whiteheads, both pre and post popping. Opt for masks that are actual pure clay and not some crazy concoction that just so happens to have clay in it. Aztec Healing Clay is the cult classic, but you can also find french green clay at places like Whole Foods. The powder may be slightly messy, but at least you know exactly what is going on your face, and that it has no potentially irritating ingredients.
Another way to draw impurities out of your pores is with these things called pimple patches. They’re basically little stickers that are meant to help soak up excess sebum from your pores. Not only do they actually work, but they’re a great, less drying, alternative to using clay, and they can be left on overnight. I found a relatively affordable 10-pack on Amazon from a Korean skin care company that I have tried and liked before. These are smaller, and a little bit on the whimpy side. I would recommend using a hot cloth to break the surface of the skin first, then place one of these on the spot overnight to finish the job. If you’re looking for something more powerful, then cutting a piece of a hydrocolloid blister bandage is definitely the way to go. Either way, you’ll get a little white spot that sticks to the bandage when you pull it off and it is sooo satisfying.
GET A FACIAL
I really can’t stress enough how much seeing a professional has helped my skin. They just know how to diagnose and treat your skin, because it’s their job. And you’ll see a bigger difference in an hour than you probably could be in a week with just over the counter skin care. Even if you only do it once every few months, once every six months, or once every year, a facial from a professional will really help hit the reset button on your skin, and kick start clearing those whiteheads off your face for good. I know, I know, it’s expensive, but as an every-now-and-then type of indulgence, it’s totally worth it. Check out Yelp for the best facials in your area.