Blackheads are enlarged pores filled with skin debris and oil that have been oxidized and turned black after coming in contact with air. The use of hydrogen peroxide to remove blackheads is quite widespread. Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic and a bleaching agent and is often used for dermatological and industrial purposes (1), (2). However, as it can be corrosive if not correctly used, you need to understand precisely how to use it safely. Read on to know how to remove blackheads using hydrogen peroxide effectively and safely.
Blackheads – An Overview:
Blackheads are a form of acne that is caused when the oil clogged in your pores gets oxidized (3). Your skin becomes brownish or blackish in color. The so-called blackhead removal products that you find in the market do not work as they promise to. What you need is a home remedy that effectively helps you remove blackheads and gives you great-looking skin. One such remedy is hydrogen peroxide.
How To Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Remove Blackheads:
Using a hydrogen peroxide treatment to remove blackheads is simple. All you need to do is:
- Wash your face with a mild cleanser to remove any excess oil, bacteria and other impurities from your skin. Wash off with water and pat dry.
- Next, exfoliate the areas of your skin that are affected by blackheads. You can use a homemade face scrub that is a paste made with sugar and water. It will be mildly abrasive to help in removing the oxidized blackhead surfaces. Rinse thoroughly.
- Now it is time for the hydrogen peroxide treatment. Moisten a cotton ball with 3% hydrogen peroxide and gently dab your blackheads with it. Make sure that you avoid your eyebrows and hairline as it will bleach your hair.
- Moisturize your skin with jojoba, avocado or olive oil while it is still damp. Massage 1 teaspoon of the oil on your face. It will act as an emollient that smoothens and protects your skin by retaining moisture (4), (5).
Topical application of enzymatically generated hydrogen peroxide can help alleviate acne (6). You can also use it to remove acne and blackhead scars (7). All you need to do is exfoliate, and then using a cotton ball, rub the affected areas with a solution of equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. Leave it on overnight and wash off in the morning. With time, you will get skin that looks bright and clear.
Tips To Remember:
- Never over-exfoliate your skin as it will irritate your skin and remove more stratum corneum than it should. This is a layer of bonded, dead skin cells that prevents your skin from losing moisture and keeps infection away.
- If you do not want to use hydrogen peroxide on your skin, you can opt for lemon juice instead. This is another great home remedy for acne and pimples as well as for removing scars (8).
- If you prefer, you can use salt instead of sugar to exfoliate your skin. However, remember that salt will make your skin dry. Sugar is a humectants, which means that it helps in drawing moisture from the air to your skin (9). It is also a good source of alpha hydroxy acid, which keeps the sebum plugs in your pores soft .
- Always be careful to avoid contact with your eyes when you use hydrogen peroxide. If it gets into your eyes, rinse off with water immediately. If you experience any problems, visit a medical professional at once.
- Use an exfoliating scrub 1 to 2 times a week. This will work on the pores and prevent blackheads from appearing on your skin.
- Always use a mild face cleanser and moisturizer to help soothe and heal your skin. All-natural products are best, especially when you have acne and other skin problems (10).
Due to its bleaching properties, using hydrogen peroxide to remove blackheads has been a common practice in skin care circles. Simply diluting it with water and applying it to the face after cleansing and exfoliating can give remarkable results, from removing blackheads to reducing scars. However, you need to be cautious while using hydrogen peroxide on the face. Make sure it does not come in contact with your eyes. Also, do not apply it to your eyebrows and other facial hair as this chemical can bleach it. So, practice caution.
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