Why Do You Get Blackheads Q&A | Pure Active | Garnier

Ever wondered exactly why you get blackheads and how to avoid them? We teamed up with Davina McCall to see what the experts had to say. Click to watch now.

Why do you get blackheads?

Blackheads are caused by excess sebum, which is the natural oil produced by our skin. It tends to be more of a problem around the time of puberty, but can still affect people in their twenties, thirties or even later. The oil mixes with dead skin cells and then gets trapped in our pores, and when exposed to air the mixture oxidises and turns black and that’s what gives blackheads their characteristic appearance.

How can you get rid of them with a skincare routine?

I would say it’s really important to develop a skincare routine early on in your teens and stick to it on a daily basis in order to prevent blackheads from appearing and then to stop them from coming back once you’ve got on top of them.

A good place to start would be with cleansing, toning and moisturising. So, I’d pick a cleanser or a face wash and use it twice daily to thoroughly cleanse the skin and remove any grease, dirt, bacteria etc. I’d follow with a toner to tighten pores and a moisturiser to nourish the skin barrier.

There are a couple of other things you could do to ‘super-boost’ your skincare routine to really get on top of your blackheads. The first of these would be to use an exfoliator or a scrub a couple of times a week because they unblock the pores. Then, the second thing you could do is use a hydrating face mask to draw impurities out of the skin, and I would probably do this a couple of nights a week as well. I really like Garnier Pure Active Intensive Charcoal 3in1 because it’s a scrub, a charcoal mask and a face wash all in one product, which addresses all of these concerns.

How can you stop them coming back?

There are a few lifestyle tips that can be really helpful when preventing blackheads from coming back.

First and foremost, try to avoid touching your face and by that, I mean don’t pick or squeeze. These are a really good way of introducing infection or bacteria into the skin and causing inflammation and possibly scarring. So, if you want to tackle spots or blackheads, the best thing you can do is to use a face mask to draw impurities out of the skin.

The second thing I would say is if your hair tends to get greasy, tie it back away from your face and make sure that you wash your hair regularly. Try to avoid using sweatbands or hats as these may trap sweat or grease under the skin.

If you do a lot of exercise, it’s really important to remove sweaty gym clothes as soon as you can after your workout and to make sure that you thoroughly cleanse your skin in the shower afterwards.

So, it can be really tempting, when you come home late at night, to go to sleep with your makeup on; whatever you do, don’t do this. It’s very easy just to get some micellar water, apply it to a cotton pad and wipe it over your face, allowing you to go to sleep relaxed and knowing that your face is nice and clean.

And the final thing I would say is, and it may seem obvious, change your bed sheets regularly, at least once a week. Otherwise, there’s a risk that you could be wiping grease into your face from your pillowcase.

So, to summarise my top 5 tips:

  • Number 1 - don’t touch your face.
  • Number 2 - wash your hair regularly and keep it tied back.
  • Number 3 - remove your sweaty gym clothes as soon as possible after your workout.
  • Number 4 - don’t go to bed with your makeup on.
  • Number 5 - change your bed sheets regularly.