Problems with Whiteheads?
Did you grow up suffering from acne? Did you have the pre-prom pimple or the bad breakout after the breakup? Acne is never convenient, and can be very stubborn, even in its milder forms. One of these mild forms is whiteheads, which are enlarged hair follicles clogged with skin oils, cells, and bacteria. How does this happen exactly?
The sebaceous glands (located in your dermis layer) release natural oils known as sebum on the skin’s surface. This process takes place at pore structures called the pilosebaceous units (PSUs). The PSUs are most common on the face, chest, and back, which all are places you might have experienced acne.A whitehead forms when sebum, hair, and skin cells form a plug in the hair follicle and the PSU becomes clogged. Bacteria on your skin’s outer layer (epidermis) are attracted to the clogged pore and grow.
The presence of bacteria draws your immune cells to the poor clogged pore, which causes inflammation. If the enlarged follicle remains trapped beneath the surface of your skin, it will appear as a raised white bump which we call whiteheads. Besides these factors, the following can cause whiteheads:
- Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menstruation
- Birth control pills
- High levels of humidity in the environment
- Certain cosmetics or products meant for facial use
- Eating greasy foods
- Genetic predisposition
They are unsightly but treatable. We here at ideahacks.com have come to your rescue with the 10 home remedies for whiteheads. All the listed treatments can be made using household items which are available online or in local retail stores.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and considered an astringent, meaning it dries out and shrinks the pores. Apple cider vinegar also helps reduce inflammation and has antibacterial and anti-microbial properties, all of which are very helpful when dealing with whiteheads.
- Few drops of apple cider vinegar
- Cotton ball
- Take the ACV on the cotton ball and apply directly to the whiteheads
- Let it dry naturally for a few minutes, no need to rinse it off
Alternative Form of Treatment:
- For every three teaspoons of cornstarch, add a teaspoon of ACV and add water to make a thin paste
- Apply this on the affected skin and wait at least 15 minutes before wiping off with a cloth dipped in warm water
Do 2 to 3 times over two weeks until skin improves.
Exposing skin to steam can open plugged pores
- A bowl of hot water
- A towel
- Place the towel over your head and let the steam from hot water come into contact with your face
- Stay in this posture for 5 to 8 minutes
- Once done, pat skin dry
Ideally once a week. Up to twice a week for those with oily skin with oily skin.
Baking soda serves as an astringent and exfoliant. It is also a pH neutralizer and can help to control sebum production.
- 2-3 teaspoons baking soda
- Make a paste with the baking soda and apply on entire face or just on whiteheads
- Let dry for 15 to 20 minutes
- Wash off with lukewarm water
Repeat once or twice a week until skin is clear.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is both an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Many facial cleansers, washes, and toners contain tea tree extract.
- Tea tree oil
- Cotton swab
Dip the cotton swab in the tea tree oil and apply onto the whitehead. If you have sensitive skin, dip the cotton swab in water after dipping into the oil and apply.
Apply tea tree oil treatment to affected areas twice a day until skin is clear.
Sugar granules exfoliate skin and remove the dead skin cells that gather in whiteheads. The exfoliating scrubbing action improves blood circulation and skin texture.
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- A few drops of lemon juice
- Mix ingredients together and scrub face using circular motions
- Keep scrubbing for a few minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water
Apply the sugar scrub twice a week until skin improves.
Turmeric contains antimicrobial and healing properties which can clear away whiteheads.
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Water or honey
- Make a paste of the turmeric powder and apply to whiteheads
- Leave paste on for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse off with water
Use treatment once or twice daily until skin clears.
Lemon juice is acidic and works to dry out skin and soak up excess oils. Lemon juice also contains antibacterial compounds and can to reduce inflammation.
- Lemon juice
- Cotton pad
- Apply directly to the affected area using the cotton pad and leave on for 20 minutes the rinse off.
Use lemon juice treatment three times a week until skin appearance improve.
Honey has strong antibacterial properties. Its sticky, thick quality allows it to smother pores and stays in place, allowing it to further sink in.
- 1 teaspoon of raw honey
- Lightly warm up honey and apply to the affected areas of face
- Let sit for 20 minutes and wash off with water
Use once every other day until skin clear up.
Witch hazel contains astringents, which are compounds that cause skin cells and pores to shrink and limit chance of infection. As pores tighten, trapped debris can get pushed to the surface and removed. Witch hazel can also reduce inflammation and remove excess oils.
- Witch hazel solution
- Cotton ball
- Dip the cotton ball in witch hazel and apply on affected areas
- Let skin dry naturally
Apply witch hazel to affected area twice a day until area is clear.
Toothpaste can dry up whiteheads. Many toothpastes contain peroxide or other known cleansers.
- 1 tube of toothpaste (paste or gel is fine)
- Cover the affected area with a small amount of toothpaste and leave on for half an hour
- After the allotted time, wash face properly to get rid of any unwanted build-ups
Repeat the toothpaste treatment once or twice a day until skin clears.
Each of the treatments we listed can be effective for removing those pesky whiteheads. However, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We would also like to provide you with some helpful ways to prevent them altogether.
The primary rule for good skincare is sufficient intake of water. Over-consumption of packaged fruit drinks or other beverages containing artificial flavors and preservatives are often a leading factor behind outbreaks of whiteheads.
It is also important to abide by certain food restrictions. Spicy, oily, junk food can often result in excess oil secretion from the pores of our skin resulting in outbreaks. Eating homemade fruit juices, salads, and light soups have quite a positive effect in preventing and treating whiteheads. According to Ayurveda, consuming too much meat can also heat your body’s system, resulting in whiteheads and other skin problems. Therefore, it’s best to avoid consuming too much meat and eggs.
Long term constipation or poor bowel movements can also result in whiteheads or other skin issues. It’s best to use natural laxatives to prevent or treat constipation before it shows on our skin. Drinking enough water can prevent whiteheads and other forms of acne because it not only flushes out the toxins in your system, water but also helps regulate bowel movements.
Cleansing and Exfoliation
As we mentioned, a build up of impurities can cause skin issues to appear. It is important to incorporate a daily face cleansing and exfoliation routine into your daily rituals. It’s important to thoroughly cleanse your face after spending long hours outdoors as your skin is frequently exposed to the dust and grime out in the open. Exfoliation is the process of removing impurities from under your skin pores via facial packs or scrubs. Use the right facial cleanser for your skin type.
- Trying not to touch the affected area
- Avoid cosmetic, laundry, and cleaning products with irritants, such as fragrances or dyes
- Use only non-comedogenic (not pore clogging), oil-free cosmetics and skin products
- Do not squeeze, pick, or trying to pop whiteheads
- Avoid places with high air pollution or increase your skin hygiene if exposed to heavy air pollution
- Washing your skin thoroughly when in humid areas
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes, uniforms, or sports equipment
- Try not to scrub or aggressively cleanse the skin (this can cause irritation)
- Avoid sunburn
- Wash your face before bed and remove any makeup you’re wearing
- Avoid the use of hair products on the skin
- Showering or bath regularly
- Keep long hair pulled back from the skin
We hope our list helps you to have better, healthier skin. You can win the fight against whiteheads and start looking your best.