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The black plugs in the pores of your skin, they are likely blackheads. Blackheads occur when the follicle opening, called a pore, becomes clogged. Blackheads are caused by a number of things ranging from your skin care routine to having especially oily skin due to hormones to genetics. They can often be frustrating and even embarrassing. The temptation is to squeeze them to get rid of them, sometimes leaving scars. Better options include Dr. Elaine’s Clarifying Gel Mask, Antioxidant Enzyme Peel, Clear Skin Wash and Balancing Toner.

The most common cause of blackheads is a plug made up of a buildup of excessive oil and shed skin cells. Normally the lining of the pore, made up of skin cells and oil, sheds to the surface of the skin and is eliminated. In people with blackheads, the skin cells and oil stick together and plug up the pore, causing the pore to remain open. Exposed to oxygen, the plug oxidizes and turns dark. The cause of blackheads can be genetic, hormonal or from using improper skincare products. If you have oily skin, use cleansers and moisturizers specifically for oily skin.

Steps to Getting Rid of Blackheads

Follow the steps below to eliminate blackheads:

  • Cleansing – Start each morning using a cleanser for oily skin. End each day cleansing your skin with the same solution. Rinse thoroughly to remove all of the cleanser from your pores and pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
  • Exfoliating – Use a gentle exfoliator. Exfoliating results in a deep cleanse, softening the pores, helping the blackheads to become dislodged. Massage the exfoliant into your skin gently, instead of scrubbing too hard or vigorously.
  • Facial Mask – Use a facial mask, preferably a pore cleansing mask with salicylic acid like Perfecting Gel Mask, 1-3 times a week to help fight blackheads. Apply the mask to your face and leave on for the designated period of time before thoroughly washing it off. Then pat dry.

How to Prevent Blackheads

To prevent blackheads, focus on a good daily skincare routine for your skin type, that includes the ingredients that help prevent blackheads—salicylic acid, glycolic acid and retinols. Check out for products to eliminate blackheads. Dr. Elaine Cook offers products for adults and teens on the website along with tips on skincare routines.


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