Blackheads – Causes and Prevention

Our skin releases sebum on a regular basis to prevent it from drying. Blackheads take place when the extra sebum gets deposited inside skin pores along with dirt and dead skin cells. These deposits take the form of tiny plugs and turn black in color when they come in contact with air. These tiny plugs in skin pores are called blackheads.

Blackheads flourish in oil-prone regions of skin such as the face, back, arms and thighs. They greatly downplay facial beauty, if they appear on your face. Forehead, nose, and chin are the prominent locations on the face where blackheads form. Unlike acne, blackheads are painless and non-inflammatory in nature.


Blackheads are caused by hardening of grime which gets collected inside skin pores. This grime is composed of sebum, dead skin, air pollutants, and dirt. We have mentioned some factors that lead to building up of grime on the skin surface.

1. Overactive Sebaceous Glands

One of the main reasons that trigger blackhead eruptions is overactive sebaceous glands. These glands are located inside skin pores. Their main function is to produce sebum for skin lubrication. When sebaceous glands become overactive, they begin to produce excess sebum, which gets accumulated on the skin surface and clogs pores leading to blackheads.

2. Enlarged Pores

The size of skin pores plays a crucial role in the development of blackheads. Those who have enlarged pores are more prone to be afflicted with blackheads as all the sebum, dirt and dead skin easily settles inside large pores.

3. Hormonal Fluctuations

Changes in hormone levels trigger blackheads. Whenever there is the spike in progesterone, there is the surge in sebum release. This increase in sebum production causes an eruption of blackheads on the skin.

4. Improper Skin Care

Blackheads can also surface if proper skin care routine is not practiced. All that grime that accumulates on the skin needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent it from getting entrapped inside skin pores. If the skin is not cleaned on a regular basis, it may lead to the development of blackheads.

5. Cosmetics

If you use makeup, your chances of getting blackheads manifold if you do not cleanse it properly. Sleeping with makeup on your face increases your chances of contracting blackheads which have a likelihood of turning into acne.

6. Pollution

Blackheads are also attributed to environmental factors. If our skin remains exposed to smoke, chemicals, and other pollutants constantly, it may show up in the form of blackheads on the skin.


Blackheads are mortifying for people who get this condition on their face. It is a common skin problem that troubles millions of people. This condition can be controlled to a large extent by practicing a regular skin care routine meant for your type of skin.

1. Cleansing

Cleansing your skin to rid it of the daily build-up of grime is pivotal to prevent blackheads from flaring up. Follow a cleansing routine twice or thrice depending on the extent of sebum released on your skin. If you wear makeup, it’s important to cleanse it before you sleep to prevent it from clogging skin pores.

2. Toning

Once you cleanse your skin of all harmful substances collected on its surface, it’s important to tone your skin to remove any residue left on the skin from the cleanser and to tighten skin pores. This step is beneficial for shrinking enlarged pores that lead to the formation of blackheads.

3. Moisturizing

Moisturising your skin is crucial for prevention of blackhead, no matter what your skin type. If you have oily skin, you can use a water based moisturizer to maintain ph levels of your skin.

4. Exfoliation

The regeneration process of skin causes a build-up of dead skin on its surface. This layer of dead skin has to be removed to let the new skin breathe. Exfoliating your skin with a mild scrub helps in removing dead skin and other residue collected on the skin surface. It also averts the formation of blackheads.

5. Facial Peels

Facial peels play a significant role to remove blackhead. They gently peel away impurities and dead skin tissue to reveal clear skin. Choose facial masks and peels with alpha hydroxy acids or salicylic acid for skin prone to blackheads.

6. Steaming

Before using a mask, steaming your face once in while will help in clearing deep seated grime from your skin pores and prevent the occurrence of blackheads. It also softens blackheads which can then be removed easily with a blackhead removal tool.

Blackheads – Causes and Prevention

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