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What is really causing your blackheads? (You will be surprised)

Published: Mon August 27, 2018
Categories: The Myth Minx

Most frustrating of all, you may even be blessed with a porcelain complexion yet still experience blackheads in the most annoying of places. Why?

Myth Minx is here to dish the dirt on blackheads!

If we want to get technical, blackheads are classed as a basic acne lesion (referred to as an open comedo). This means it’s a hair follicle that has become plugged with sebum and dead skin cells and has an opening at the surface of the skin.
The ‘blackened’ discolouration we often associate with dirt is actually due to the sebum becoming oxidised when it comes into contact with oxygen.

Myth Mix first wants to dispel the most common myth surrounding blackheads – your skin is not ‘unclean’ just because you’re experiencing blackheads. No amount of soap and water will eradicate recurring blackheads if you don’t address the underlying cause.

There are a multitude of reasons why you may be experiencing recurring blackheads; MM says some contributing factors can include:

  • Skin type (oily skin)
  • Lowered enzyme activity (stratum corneum chymotryptic enzyme) – results in an increased buildup of dead skin cells
  • Incorrect product usage (overlooking the exfoliate step in your regime)
  • Nutrient deficiencies

Your lifestyle can contribute to blackhead development

So you’re not entirely off the hook here, your everyday habits will play a part in blackhead emergence. Interestingly, the environment you spend the majority of your time in can contribute to your likelihood of developing blackheads.

How? Simple – lack of water (moisture) in the skin.

Insufficient water in the skin can inhibit certain enzymes that are responsible for helping to shed excess dead skin cells. Lack of water will also affect the health of your skin cells and their lipid balance.

So what causes your skin to be lacking in moisture? No surprises here, but insufficient water intake is top of the list (so drink up). Another lesser known contributing factor is humidity. Low humidity environments being the biggest culprit. So where possible, always rely on fresh air for ventilation rather than artificial heating and cooling. Additionally, if you live in a very cool and dry climate you could consider using a humidifier to add moisture back into the atmosphere (which will increase the moisture content in your skin).

Are you getting sufficient fats in your diets (the good fat)?

Believe it or not but an essentially fatty acid deficiency can increase your likelihood of developing black heads.

So if you’ve recently adopted a low fat diet and noticed a change in your skin this could be why.

To provide your skin with all the necessary essential fatty acids you should aim to eat oily fish at least 2 – 3 times per week (like salmon, mackeral, tuna, sardines, anchovies) and/or nuts and seeds that are rich in EFAs most days of the
week (such as chia seeds, linseeds, walnuts) plus avocado.

Skincare for blackheads

An easy at home solution for oily skin or those prone to blackheads is the incorporation of alpha hydroxy acids found in either Skinstitut Glycolic Cleanser 12% & Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub 14%. Glycolic Acid assists epidermal shedding and helps to dissolve the intracellular glue that will trap old dead skin cells, which lead to blockages in the follicle. The incorporation of physical exfoliation using Glycolic Scrub 14% will help promote a smoother, soften skin tone, especially those that experience a high volume of blackheads over the forehead, nose and chin.

For those wanting to maintain their relatively clear complexion and keep blackheads at bay try using Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub 2 – 3 times per week. However, if you’re quite oily and prone to congestion you will benefit from daily use of glycolic acid, so try the using Glycolic Cleanser 12% once or twice daily.

So remember, MMs 3 tips to banish blackheads:
1. Adopt a great skincare regime at home
2. Drink plenty of water
3. Eat plenty of foods rich in essential fatty acids

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