A clear complexion starts with a consistent skin care routine. Use a daily exfoliating scrub to eliminate blackheads that can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Blackhead-eliminating scrubs are best used in the evening to remove dirt and bacteria that accumulates on your skin throughout the day -- this will ensure that it does not settle in your pores. Avoid using a scrub over acne flare-ups, because the friction can further irritate your skin. Consult your dermatologist about prescription-strength products if over-the-counter scrubs don't improve your skin.
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These vitamin A derivatives work to increase the rate at which your skin cells turn over. This in turn prevents dead skin cells from lingering on the surface of your skin and clogging pores. It also strengthens the outer layer of your skin over time to fight against pore-clogging bacteria. Low-grade retinol creams can be purchased over-the-counter at the drugstore. For prescriptions strength retinols, consult your dermatologist.
Glycolic and Salicylic Acids
Active ingredients such as glycolic and salicylic acid brighten your overall complexion by treating the surface of your skin. In addition to dissolving existing blackheads, these active ingredients help to prevent new ones from forming by removing dead skin cells from the surface. Glycolic acid also increases skin cell turnover, which has anti-aging benefits. Check product labels to see if these ingredients are listed.
One of the best ways to clean your pores and remove blackheads without irritation is to choose a scrub with natural ingredients. Scrubs containing papaya and pineapple enzymes will polish your skin by gently sloughing away dead skin cells that can clog your pores. These ingredients also treat dull skin, making your complexion appear brighter and more radiant. Kiehl's and Fresh are two brands that use fruit-based natural ingredients in their facial products.
Before heading out to the drugstore to purchase a blackhead-fighting product, you might consider making your own scrub using baking soda. The gritty texture of baking soda works well to loosen dirt and bacteria that is clogging pores. Add a little water to baking soda until it reaches your desired texture -- the more water you add, the gentler your scrub will be. Apply it to your face, massage into skin in circular motions using your fingers, and then rinse well with water.