How to clear blackheads
Blackheads are build ups of oil and dead skin cells that form a blockage in a pore. The dark colour comes from the trapped oil becoming exposed to oxygen. Once hardened, they can be very difficult to remove and without proper caution, you could end up making the problem worse than it needs to be.
How to get rid of blackheads
Once a blackhead has hardened, there will probably be little choice but to remove it manually - AKA squeezing it! However you will need to proceed with caution so as not to aggravate (or even damage) your skin.
Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser. Then rest a warm flannel on the blackhead for two minutes. This will open up your pores and make it easy to remove the blackhead. Pat the area dry with a tissue and then wrap tissue around your two index fingers. Use these tissue-covered fingers to gently squeeze around the blackhead. If it doesn't come out after a couple of attempts, leave it - it's not ready to be removed and applying too much pressure could make the situation worse.
After removing the blackhead, use an anti bacterial gel or wash to clean the area and make sure that the oil doesn't spread.
How to prevent blackheads
As with many things, when it comes to blackheads prevention is better than cure. Some of the best ways to prevent blackheads and keep your skin blackhead-free are:
Regular clay masks - A good quality clay mask can help to remove the excess oil that clogs pores and causes blackheads.
Products with salicylic acid - Salicylic acid is an exfoliant that cleanses deep into your pores to remove dead skin cells and excess oil.
Oil-free make up: The products that you are using to cover up your blackheads could actually be making them worse. Stay away from heavy foundations and face creams that can clog your pores.