Blackhead 101

Summer. So amazing for our souls, but so bad for our skin. Summer weather means dirt and grime building up in our pores, thus producing tons of pesky blackheads. A solid routine can help put an end to these little guys, for good.

1. Scrub. every. damn. day. Every morning, whether it be in or out of the shower, make sure to use an exfoliating face wash to open up your pores. Sebum, a sticky oil that causes blackheads, can get stuck in your pores and create a deeper issue later on. Squash it before it starts.

Our Pick: Burt’s Bees Peach & Willow Bark scrub; formulated with willow bark extract, this facial scrub deep cleans pores and gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells as finely ground peach stone polishes for a smooth complexion. This 100% natural scrub removes dirt and excess oil, leaving you with a refreshingly clean feel and naturally healthy-looking skin.

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2. Tone. The goal when using a toner, is to tighten your pores. Focus on spots where excess grease and oil build up, like your t-zone, forehead, and nose. If you have oily skin, this step is especially important for you. A toner can help keep shiny skin at bay, leading to a matte complexion. Stay away from dry areas, because toner will dry them out further and cause flaky patches.

Our Pick: Bliss Steep Clean Mattifying Toner Pads; I have been a long time user of Bliss products, and my skin thrives when using anything from the world class spa’s Steep Clean collection. These are perfect for oily and combination skin to reduce mid-day shine without leaving your cheeks peeling or parched. With salicylic acid, smartsponge technology (self activating oil-control spheres), and dead cell digesting enzymes, these are a no brainer.

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3. Two words: soft skin. After scrubbing and toning, you want to rehydrate your parched face with a non-oily moisturizer. Choose one with SPF to make sure your face is always protected.

Our Pick: Simple Vital Vitamin Day Cream, SPF 15; This cream smooths and moisturizes in a flash. Listen to Allure: “this gentle moisturizer coddles even very sensitive and occasionally inflamed skin with natural, nonirritating ingredients. ”

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4. Weekly mini facial. Pick a morning or night once a week, preferably after you get out of the shower to prevent dirt on skin, and really take the time to treat your skin. This may seem like a lot of effort, but this could be the difference between major blackhead drama, or clear skin. I use three different masks every Thursday morning and then follow it up with a heavy moisturizer. I’ve found that since I started this routine, my skin has a better tone, less blackheads, and I rarely have breakouts.

Our Picks, In Order Of Use:

a. Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask: This dermatologist-tested formula has the acne-fighting power of Benzoyl Peroxide to kill bacteria and treat existing breakouts. Cooling intensity builds as it penetrates deep into pores.

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b. Bliss Steep Clean Pore Purifying Mask: This pore plunging, clog clearing mask will transform skin into a scene of extremely clean when used weekly for 15 minutes. Intensive exfoliation, oil elimination, and deep pore purging are a perfect for all (but especially pimple prone) skin types.

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c. Algenist Algae Brightening Mask: This will always be my go to product. No other product has given me results like this algae mask. Pricey, but worth every penny. The mask gently exfoliates with real leaves of sea kelp and delivers powerful antioxidant protection in a beautiful, freshly scented blue-green algae silt base. Its expert formulation is designed to visibly brighten, smooth, and hydrate while pampering your skin. If this is ever discontinued, I will cry.

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