The reason I decided to write this two part blog post is because I’ve heard from a lot of people that this is their biggest skincare concern. Blackheads and whiteheads are a point of contention for many, and I feel your frustration. Isn’t it enough that we have acne breakouts to deal with?
Blackheads and whiteheads are like a riddle wrapped in a mystery. When they do appear, it can be hard to know exactly what to do with them and to resist the urge to pick and pop. I beg you, don’t pick and pop! I talked about the undesirable effects this can have on our skin, as well as the other “don’ts” on my list, in Part 1 of this blog post.
But enough about what not to do……what are you supposed to do? Rest assured that there are many natural ways to get rid of those spots. In Part 1, you learned all of the best natural options for fending off those pesky blackheads and whiteheads, from steaming and exfoliation, to internal hydration and healthy diet.
In this post, Part 2 of How To Get Rid Of Blackheads & Whiteheads Naturally, we’re going to get into the nitty gritty. You’re going to learn how to integrate those natural options into your beauty routine and even how make your own DIY products. Download your free checklist for easy reference about what to do when you’re caught off guard with a blackhead or whitehead breakout!
So let’s get to it so you can say bye-bye to those blackheads and whiteheads!
How To Get Rid Of Blackheads and Whiteheads
Tip #1: Steam It Out
Steaming is best done about once a week on a regular basis. But when you’re just starting out, or have a particularly bad blackhead or whitehead breakout, once a day for the first 7-10 days can be really helpful.
Be sure to wash your face clean both before and after the steam. You want to clear anything off your face beforehand, such as sebum, dead skin cells and makeup, so that pores are open and free to release everything that’s clogging them. Cleansing afterwards will wash away all the sweat brought on by the steam, so it doesn’t just sit there and block up pores.
With all that heat and moisture, skin becomes very absorbent, which is a perfect time to use nourishing products, so they can more deeply penetrate your pores. Adding herbs to your steam is one easy way to do this:
- Sage: a strong antibacterial and astringent herb which is great for fighting off bacteria and tightening up pores
- Chamomile: an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory herb that is great for sensitive and easily irritated complexions
- Lavender: not only does it smell heavenly, it’s also anti-septic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial
- Basil1: an antimicrobial herb that will help kill bacteria linked to acne, blackheads and whiteheads
How To Do A Facial Steam:
- Fill your bathroom sink, or a large heatproof bowl, with water that is about 110 F/43 C.
- If using, add a handful of the dried herb of your choice. They can be added loosely or, to keep things neat and tidy, tied up in a large tea bag or cheesecloth. Feel free to mix and match your herbs!
- Hold your face over the steaming water, no closer than 12 inches away.
- Stay here for about 10-15 minutes.
Follow up and lock in all that hydration with a moisturizer. Although a steam will hydrate your skin in the moment, it will eventually dry up, especially with the face cleansing you’re doing before and after.
Word of caution: steams should be avoided by anyone with skin conditions, such as rosacea, that are aggravated by sweating.
Tip #2: Exfoliate
The most important thing to remember when exfoliating is to be gentle. Harsh scrubbing is most likely going to make blackheads and whiteheads worse. I know we don’t want that!
Here’s an easy DIY exfoliant you can make yourself:
- Combine 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon baking soda & 2 tablespoons jojoba oil.
- Gently massage onto face, focusing a bit more on the blackheads and whiteheads.
- Rinse off with cool water and pat skin dry.
Tip #3: Clay Face Masks
In Part 1 of this post, I mentioned that bentonite and French green clay were two of my most favourites. And I have a feeling they’ll soon be your favourites too! They can be purchased at most health food stores.
Both have powerful properties that help clear the skin of blackheads and whiteheads – and it’s sooooo easy to make your own face mask with them. For an extra boost, you can even add a few drops of essential oil (EO) to them. There are tons of great EO’s for tightening up pores, including tea tree oil2, lavender, clary sage, lemon grass and juniper berry3.
Here’s how to make your own clay mask:
- Blend equal parts clay and water together until fully combined and you’ve got a very thick and pasty mixture.
- If using, add and blend in 2-3 drops of your chosen EO.
- Spread the mixture evenly over your whole face (avoid the eyes and mouth).
- Let it sit for anywhere between 10-25 minutes. You’ll know it’s time to rinse it off when it’s completely dry.
- Rinse off with cool water.
Facial masks can be used 1-2 times each week.
PS: remember to tie your hair back well to avoid a gooey mess – I’ve made that mistake one too many times, haha!
Tip #4: Toner
Toning is one of the most important steps in fending off blackheads and whiteheads. Once you’ve cleansed out those pores and allowed the sebum and dead skin cells to escape, toner will really help to tighten up those pores to keep that icky stuff out.
Some of the best ingredients to tone with are rose water, witch hazel4, green tea and apple cider vinegar (ACV). Here’s a DIY toner you can make at home to get started – it uses ACV which helps break down the sebum and dead skin cells built up inside pores as well as kill off the bacteria that leads to blackheads and whiteheads.
DIY Toner Recipe
- Stir together 2 tablespoons ACV with 1 cup water.
- Gently massage over entire face with a cotton ball.
- This mixture can be rinsed off right away with cool water, or left to sit on skin for up to 20 minutes before rinsing. It can also be left on for good, either overnight or under your moisturizer and natural makeup.
ACV is very strong, so feel free to experiment with the ratio of water. Less can be used for sensitive skin, more if your skin can handle it (and if you can handle the smell!)
Tip #5: Spot Treatments
Is there anything more to-the-point than using a spot treatment for blackhead and whitehead spots?
Spot treatments are yet another natural way to infuse those nasty spots with some super powered ingredients. Because a lot of them are so powerful, it’s best to not use them on open comedones such as blackheads. Allow blackheads to mend themselves up a bit, with the other natural remedies we’re talking about, before using a spot treatment. There’s less chance of irritation when using them on closed whiteheads.
DIY Spot Treatment
- Fully mix together 2 teaspoons lemon juice with ¼ teaspoon sea salt.
- Massage the mixture directly onto spots for a few minutes, using a gentle circular motion.
- Either rinse off with cool water, or allow to sit for another few minutes.
- Repeat this application a few times a week.
The acid in the lemon juice will help to dry out whiteheads, and both the sea salt and alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA’s) within the lemon juice have an exfoliating effect on the skin. So this spot treatment can also be used as a facial scrub on the entire face!
Check out my Raw Honey: Sweetness For Clear Skin blog post on Simple Pure Beauty for another spot treatment DIY recipe!
Tip #6: Increase Skin Hydration
- Not to sound like every other health freak out there, but drink lots of water each day. A good guideline is drink 1 ounce of water per 1 pound of body weight. So, for example, someone who weighs 120 pounds, would drink 15 cups of water daily.
- Get your servings of fruits and veggies each day – they’re full of water! Cucumber, celery, melons, berries, green veggies and tomatoes are especially high.
- Avoid dehydrating stuff when you can, including alcohol and caffeine.
- Make your very own DIY moisturizer to use daily – check out my blog post on Essentially Mel about how to do just that! I’ve even put together some ready-to-go recipes that you can download.
Tip #7: Cleanse Internally
Lastly and most importantly, practice healthy eating habits. How the heck are you supposed to do that? It’s a huge and complex topic that I could talk about forever, but here are some easy tips to get you on the right track for clear skin:
- Avoid dairy. The hormones and other substances added to it can wreak havoc on hormonal balance and skin health. Instead, try dairy-free alternatives like almond, coconut, hemp, rice and cashew milks. There are also tons of dairy alternatives to cheese like Daiya or Go Veggie.
- Consume sugar-free or naturally sweetened foods. Dates, coconut sugar, cacao, honey and maple syrup are great natural sources of sweetness, that are also full of other nutrients and sometimes fibre, so they won’t spike blood sugar and insulin.
- Also avoid fried and processed foods in general. They’re full of “damaged fats” that can in turn damage our skin cells, increase sebum production and clog pores.
Good luck flushing out and tightening up those pores!
If you’re interested in learning even more about creating your own natural DIY beauty products, check out my eBook Food For Your Face: DIY Beauty Product Recipes, for beauty recipes, tips and tricks.
Disclaimer: The information contained within this document is for educational and informational purposes only. It is meant to empower, inspire and motivate readers to make healthy choices and is intended for general well-being, education and information. This website is not intended to be used or interpreted as medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical services. I, the author of Date With Your Plate, am not a medical professional and none of the statements on this website are intended to diagnose, treat, cure, heal or prevent any disease. A qualified health care or medical professional should always be consulted before beginning any health related diet, exercise, supplementation or other regimen plan or program.