Blackheads (open comedones) occur when dead skin cells and the oil within the pores rise and push through the skin surface. These then oxidize and turn black when exposed to air. Such spots are more common on the cheeks, though they can form anywhere on the body. But the good news is that you can most often remove them by following simple home remedies or opting for the right treatment procedures.
What home remedies work best to remove blackheads on cheeks? What are the treatment procedures available? In this article, we answer these queries and also discuss the simple preventive measures you may consider. Keep reading.
In This Article
What Causes Blackheads On Your Cheeks?
Common causes of blackheads on your cheeks could be:
- Clogging of hair follicles by dead skin cells
- Production of excess sebum (oil)
- Hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy (they might affect sebum production) (1)
- Excess sebum production triggered by medications like lithium, steroids, and anticonvulsants (2)
- Exposure to sunlight and humid weather (3)
- Stress (4)
- Unhealthy diet (foods rich in animal products, and fatty and sugary foods) (5)
Wondering how to get rid of blackheads? They can be removed with the right use of ingredients. Here are some natural blackhead removal methods and home remedies.
Home Remedies To Reduce Blackheads On Your Cheeks
1. Egg White Face Mask
Egg whites are high in nutrients and may help tighten pores temporarily. An egg white mask not only replenishes your skin with nutrients but may also help remove blackheads. Though the benefits of egg whites for skin have no scientific backing, they are a popular DIY skin care ingredient.
What You Need
- 3-4 eggs
- 3-4 tissue papers
- A bowl
How To Use
- Cleanse and wipe your face dry.
- Separate the egg white from the yolk.
- Apply the egg white to your skin, place tissue paper on the top, and let it dry.
- Apply a second layer of egg white to the tissue and gently press it down (you can continue to apply 3 to 4 layers, but make sure each layer is dried before you move on to the next).
- Remove the tissues and wash your face.
- Apply a moisturizer after patting your face dry.
2. Sugar Scrub
Sugar is abrasive and works as a natural exfoliating ingredient (6). It helps clear clogged pores on the skin while also eliminating dead skin cells. Add any skin-friendly oil (like coconut, olive, almond, or jojoba oil) to sugar to make the scrub. This scrub may also boost and preserve skin moisture.
What You Need
- 1 cup of white/brown granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons of any skin-friendly oil
How To Use
- Mix the white/brown granulated sugar with the skin-friendly oil.
- Scrub for a few minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.
3. Tea Tree Oil
What You Need
- Tea tree oil
- Cotton ball
How To Use
- Wash your face with warm water and a cleanser. Pat your face dry.
- Dab the oil to the skin with a cotton ball.
- Rinse off after 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Raw Honey Scrub
Honey is known to prevent microbial growth on the skin (8). It contains humectants, which moisturize the skin and assist in removing blackheads and whiteheads (9), (10). It also nourishes and exfoliates the skin.
What You Need
- 1 spoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
How To Use
- Mix the sugar, lemon juice, and raw honey.
- Scrub your face and wash off with cold water.
Using hot steam on your face will open up your pores (11). This makes it easier for you to remove the blackheads and whiteheads. Steam also cleanses your pores by removing dirt, germs, oil, and other contaminants.
Note: The key to having smooth and clear skin is to maintain a regular facial cleansing routine. Cleanse your skin every day and exfoliate once or twice a week.
Keep in mind that simple skin cleansers may not be able to remove blackheads. Look for salicylic acid in creams, lotions, or gels (12).
What if your blackheads don’t clear away despite trying these home remedies for several weeks? Seek professional treatment from a dermatologist. Here are some of the professional treatment options for blackheads.
Professional Treatment Options For Blackheads On Your Cheeks
Microdermabrasion is a popular technique used to treat several skin conditions, including acne and acne scarring (13). This treatment involves using a handheld abrasive device. The device exfoliates the skin using a stream of fine crystals and a vacuum to remove dead skin cells from the face. This procedure might help open up blocked pores and remove blackheads.
2. Chemical Peeling
Chemical peeling is another widely used procedure in the management of acne and acne scars (14). It involves the application of exfoliating chemical solutions like salicylic acid and trichloroacetic acid to the affected skin areas. These chemicals help remove damaged skin cells and regenerate new ones.
3. Laser Therapy
A laser is used in conjunction with a mild vacuum in this treatment. The suction helps remove dirt and oils from the skin while the laser’s heat penetrates the skin. This procedure promotes the formation of new, healthy skin cells. This treatment can also be used to minimize scarring from pre-existing blackheads and acne flare-ups (15).
Prevention is better than cure. Taking a few simple skin care steps can help prevent blackheads on your cheeks. Here is a list of tips you can follow.
Tips For Preventing Blackheads On Your Cheeks
- Wash your face at least twice a day.
- Remove all your makeup with appropriate cleansers before going to bed.
- Use physical exfoliants like sugar or salt scrubs to keep oily skin clean.
- Avoid comedogenic cosmetics and skin products.
- Use clay or charcoal mask once in a while.
- Maintain a healthy diet, drink lots of water, and protect your skin from the sun.
- Avoid smoke and other contaminants.
- Avoid touching your face unnecessarily.
- Wash sheets and pillowcases regularly.
- Use over-the-counter products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to dry out excess oil (16).
- Avoid squeezing blackheads. Squeezing may aggravate them.
Blackheads are closely related to acne and are formed when follicles are blocked by dirt and dead skin cells. Following simple home remedies with the use of the right ingredients can help remove and prevent blackheads. Keep in mind that the skin does not clear up overnight. Seek professional help for choosing the right treatment option if the above-mentioned home remedies do not work for you. Remember that prevention is always better than cure. Follow the simple preventive tips to keep blackheads at bay.
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- Honey in dermatology and skin care: A review
- The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review
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- Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review
- Microdermabrasion: an evidence-based review
- Chemical peels in active acne and acne scars
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