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Skin CareBlackheads vs Whiteheads: What’s the Difference?

Blackheads vs Whiteheads: What’s the Difference?

No woman ever wishes to have any sort of blemish on their face, no matter the size or kind.  The key to handling these blemishes easily and quickly is through understanding them, including how and why they form as well as what they are composed of.  The fact is that what works well for preventing or eliminating one type of blemish may not work well or at all for another.

Blackheads vs. Whiteheads

Blackheads and whiteheads have one basic thing in common: they both manifest when a pore has become blocked by dead skin cells and oils.  Healthy skin pores release sebum, which is a moisturizing substance produced by the sebaceous glands.  Sebaceous glands that are working well produce just the amount of sebum that your skin needs, and your skin is smooth and hydrated as a result.  However, when an abundance of sebum is produced the pores are not able to release it fast enough and it becomes trapped inside, along with dead skin cells.  This is the origin of all skin blemishes.

Contrary to what some women believe, a blackhead is not a pore clogged with dirt.  It is actually the result of trapped sebum and dead skin cells being exposed to the air through a large pore opening.  Air entering the open pore causes the sebum and dead skin cells to oxidize, which results in the grayish hue we all dread seeing on our face.  Whiteheads are also the result of trapped sebum and dead skin cells, but the pore is either closed to the air or the opening is so small that there is no oxidation.

If you are struggling with blackheads, try to avoid pore strips or abrasive scrubs.  These may only get rid of the surface issues (the oxidized gunk) without cleaning the pore itself, which can result in the formation of more blackheads.  The best way to handle blackheads is to use a gentle exfoliant that contains salicylic acid, which can penetrate the pores to exfoliate from within.  Skincare products that contain retinoids can also work to improve the function of cells and reduce the formation of blackheads.  Whiteheads are more difficult to treat, as they cannot be squeezed and are hard to penetrate.  A gentle exfoliant that contains salicylic acid may help, though it may take some time.  And of course, you can always visit the spa to have them professionally treated, while receiving some well-deserved pampering.




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