Getting rid of blackheads seem like a never-ending struggle– they often persist despite regular cleansing (especially around the T-zone!). There are many causes for persistent blackheads, such as hormones, stress, and poor skincare habits that result in clogged pores.

While it is generally recommended to visit a professional to get your blackheads and zits safely extracted, sometimes you may wish to do a small patch on your own. If you are taking matters into your own hands (literally!), here are some common mistakes you should avoid to ensure you are doing this safely and effectively.

1. Failing to prep your skin

We recommend doing the extraction after a warm shower– this ensures the skin is clean and your pores are ‘open’ for easier extraction.

Performing an extraction with dirty skin or with makeup on will hamper the extraction and may inadvertently cause you to damage your skin.

2. Forgetting to wash your hands

Dirty hands and open pores are a recipe for more pimples. To avoid re-introducing bacteria into your pores, wash your hands thoroughly with soap before starting extraction.

You should also wash your hands during the process if you are covering multiple spots, to avoid spreading the bacteria around your face.

3. Using your nails or excessive force

Professional beauticians know which zits to extract and which to leave well alone. If a blackhead is rooted deep beneath the skin’s surface or the ‘plug’ at the head is not coming loose, it may require more specialist tools like a lancing tool for blackheads.

Using your nails or pressing harder may tear up the surrounding skin or may even bruise the surrounding tissue. If it doesn’t come out with slight pressure, leave it alone or get the help of a professional.

4. Not exfoliating regularly

Exfoliation is the process of removing the dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. As we get older, cell renewal rates slow and our skin no longer sheds old skin cells as efficiently as before.

When old skin cells pile up on the skin’s surface, this can result in excess oil and clogged pores, leading to acne, blackheads, and a rougher skin texture. As blackheads are formed when dead skin cells and sebum collect in openings of pores, exfoliating regularly removes this build up of dead skin and uncovers fresh, healthier cells below.

5. Skipping the aftercare

It is important to soothe the skin after all that stress from extraction. A facial sheet mask is a handy way to hydrate and soothe skin immediately after. Refrigerate the mask for an extra cooling/soothing effect!

clay mask, acne, skin tips, skincare

For a combined masking/ exfoliation experience, why not try the Renaza Glow Series Clay Mint Mask?

Made from Bentonite volcanic clay, plant extracts, and other soothing nutrients, this mask is not your usual clay mask. The extracts gently exfoliate and renew skin to reveal a baby-soft texture underneath all the dead skin and is perfect for those with acne-prone or dull skin.

The formulation is very gentle and suitable for those with sensitive skin as well! For users with severe acne, this mask can be used daily after your normal cleansing. For other skin types, it is recommended to use up to two times a week.

6. Using unsuitable products

Something that works for others may not always work for you. If you start to experience breakouts or irritation in areas that are usually clear, this is generally a sign that the product is unsuitable for you– it could be too heavy, or an irritant to your skin.

While choosing products, always take note of your skin type and condition, as well as various factors such as your age, gender, and environment you live in.

In Singapore, the weather is very hot and humid all year round which makes our skin dehydrated, with impaired barrier function. However, heavy-duty creams and moisturisers often feel stifling and sticky. Regular exfoliation and layered hydration is key to ensure sufficient moisture without clogging pores.

Opting for water or gel-based formulations will reduce the likelihood of clogged pores, especially if your skin is oily or acne-prone.

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