Blackheads – The Most Asked Questions

blackheads faq

Plaguing the faces and bodies, of men and women everywhere, blackheads have a lot to answer for.

Unlike the myth would have you believe, blackheads aren’t just dirt stuck in your pores. They are so much more than just that! 

It may surprise you that blackheads are an oxidised version of sebum (oil). 


When your skin cells and pores get clogged up due to hair follicles, blackheads rear their ugly heads. Mostly appearing on your forehead, nose and chin, these unwanted guests can become a frustration for all.

We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions to equip you in the fight against blackheads.

What are blackheads?

Bizarrely, they are a mild form of acne. 

Small bumps appear on the surface of your skin when a pore becomes blocked with dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells and sebum (oil).

They appear as small, dark lesions often found on the face and neck. Blackheads contain an oxidised version of melanin – the dark pigment made by skin cells.  

Pore blockages? How does that happen?

Pore blockages cause blackheads. 

When skin cells that line the pore build-up and don’t shed away, they combine with your skin’s natural oil within the pore. A “plug” is formed as a result.

Oily skin, docile cell turnover and environmental factors – makeup, pollution, sweat/humidity – can all aid blackhead appearance.

What is the difference between blackheads and whiteheads?

Technically, the correct name for blackheads is open comedones. 

Blackheads are exposed to the outside world, as they live at the top of your pore. It is this exposure to the air that turns them black. 

Blackheads’ alter ego, whiteheads, on the other hand, are closed comedones/blemishes. They primarily cause pus to build up under the pore’s surface – you might also refer to them as a zit or spot!

Will a good scrub get rid of blackheads?

In want of a simple answer, no.

When it comes to blackheads, you need to think about their cause. 

As their journey starts deep within the surface of your skin, you need to approach them gently.

A soft cleansing routine and exfoliation is your best defence against blocked pores. A routine like this will help remove the dead skin cells and debris that has worked its way deep into your pores. 

Can I get rid of blackheads by squeezing them?

Squeezing any form of acne, or spot can have lasting negative consequences. 

In doing so, you can damage your skin beyond repair, opening up your pores for more blockages to occur. 

Bacterial infection increases every time you squeeze a spot. You may also cause a ripple effect, and give way to an acne flare-up.

Having a balanced daily cleansing routine will help boost better skin cell regeneration. It will also balance the oil on your skin.

Do my pores have to be open?

Pores aren’t windows that can be open and closed on a whim. 

Pores are actually hair follicles that help regulate the oil in your skin. 

Healthy pores lead to healthy skin, as they are naturally aiding your body’s self-moisturisation.

Sometimes your pores need all the help they can get! If you have a build-up of oily skin, your pores widen to cope with the volume.

So give your pores a boost by finding skin products to help keep your oil supply in check. You’ll improve your pores’ appearance in no time!

I have eczema, how can I get rid of blackheads?

First of all, treat your eczema. 

As soon as you have found the best treatment for your skin condition, you can then focus on getting rid of your blackheads! 

It may be that when you have got a handle on your eczema, your blackhead flare-ups could subside naturally.

Does stress cause blackheads?

Stress is known for triggering sebum (oil) production.

So kick back and relax to reduce the chances of your stress getting out of control, and blocking up those pores!

Will a healthy diet stop blackheads?

Without a doubt having a healthy, balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for your mind, body and soul. 

Like everything, balance is vital. 

So, eating plenty of vitamin-rich foods, vegetables, and fruit will reduce the risks associated with skin lesions becoming infected. 

Keep the blackheads at bay.

If having a daily skin routine, healthy diet and a stress-free life are all it takes to keep the blackheads at bay; we highly recommend you look at those small changes you can make to your lifestyle. 

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