A few studies suggest that almost everyone gets whiteheads at some point. While it is more common among adolescents, up to 20% of adults also get whiteheads.
If you suffer from acne, you must have got whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and other skin condition symptoms. The underlying cause behind these skin eruptions is the same. Many of the treatment options are also similar. The difference is in how the skin reacts to excess sebum production.
If you want to find out what products you need to use to get rid of whiteheads for good, keep reading!
Table of Contents:
- What are whiteheads
- Why do we get whiteheads
- Should you pop whiteheads
- Who can get whiteheads
- Common reasons behind whiteheads
- Wrong skincare products
- Drugs and medication
- Not following a skincare routine
- Products you need to control whiteheads
- Start with a face wash
- Moisturize and hydrate your skin
- Face packs and masks
What are whiteheads
Whiteheads refer to small bumps on the skin that are white and generally less pronounced than full-blown pimples. If left untreated, whiteheads can develop into pustules and papules.
Blackheads are often seen as the opposite of whiteheads, but they are more similar than different. Both are caused by excess sebum production. Blackheads are dark because the sebum comes in contact with air, and melanin oxidizes, leading to the blackheads.
When it comes to whiteheads, it is important to understand that there's no single solution that works for everyone. Everyone is different, and their skins react differently to products, food, the environment, and so on.
By giving you a comprehensive list of products and skincare practices, our aim is to empower you to better understand the root causes of whiteheads and ways to deal with them.
Before we delve into the treatment options, let's talk about the things we do in our daily lives that put us at a higher risk of getting whiteheads.
Why do we get whiteheads
To put it in simple words, we get whiteheads because our skin produces excessive sebum. Now, what's sebum, and why does our skin produce too much of it?
Sebum refers to natural oils that our skin excretes. It's not inherently damaging to the skin. On the contrary, sebum keeps our skin moisturized and prevents it from drying out. Like everything else that our bodies naturally produce, sebum has a very important role to play in our well-being.
The problem occurs when there's too much of it. All humans need dopamine release to be happy and motivated, but too much of it can put you in an addictive loop. Similarly, sebum is essential to keep skin healthy, but too much of it gives you acne and a host of other skin conditions.
Excessive sebum mixes with dead skin cells and starts blocking the millions of tiny hair follicles on our faces. As a result, there are small, white protrusions that we call whiteheads.
Should you pop whiteheads
No, never. No matter how tempting it is, you should never pop pimples or whiteheads. That's where blackheads are different from whiteheads. A professional dermatologist can safely extract blackheads from your skin. When it comes to whiteheads, any type of popping or extraction runs the risk of getting blemishes.
Whiteheads and pimples go away with time. That's how our bodies are designed. What does not go away are the blemishes and scars.
It can take a lot of time and many further treatments to get rid of blemishes. Even then, you may not be able to achieve the flawless texture you'd previously enjoyed. That's why it's very important to never pop whiteheads.
Who can get whiteheads
Anyone can get whiteheads. No matter what your age is, what skincare routine you follow, or what diet you consume - you can still get them. Does that sound scary? Well, it should not.
Whiteheads are not a skin condition that we should be afraid of. It is more of a vanity issue than a pain or discomfort issue. While pimples, especially cystic pimples, can be quite painful, the same is not the case for whiteheads.
At worst, whiteheads can be tender to touch or somewhat painful if you touch them. That's it - whiteheads do not do any more harm than that.
Common reasons behind whiteheads
In many cases, there might not be any apparent reason behind whiteheads. When it comes to teenagers, they can get whiteheads even when they have a rather healthy lifestyle.
For adults, things are a bit different. While adults can also get whiteheads due to normal biological reasons, it can also be a result of poor lifestyle choices. Here are some of the most common lifestyle choices that can lead to acne:
Wrong skincare products
Skincare products are vital to ensure healthy skin. However, the wrong skincare products can lead to severe acne and, as a result, whiteheads.
Apart from avoiding skincare products with harsh chemicals, you should avoid makeup that clogs your skin pores.
Look for the word non-comedogenic on your makeup. It refers to ingredients that do not block pores.
Drugs and medication
While we do need medicines to deal with physical and/or mental issues, some of them trigger breakouts and whiteheads. If you notice a sudden outbreak of whiteheads after you start consuming a new drug, there are the chances that your body is not reacting well to that certain drug.
It's advisable to consult with your physician and ask for a replacement drug. In case that's not possible, try to minimize the duration for which you have to take that medication. Of course, you have to check with your doctor if it works for you before you take any action.
Not following a skincare routine
You do not need a complex 7-step skincare routine, but you do need to take care of your skin. A routine makes it easy to stick to the same practices every day with discipline. After a point, it'll become a habit, and you will not have to motivate yourself to do it.
Once you have a skincare routine that is designed around preventing acne, it'll be much easier to deal with whiteheads. Even a simple skincare routine that includes cleansing, toning, and moisturizing is enough in most cases. Add a few days of extra care to make your skincare routine even more effective.
Products you need to control whiteheads
Just like some products can make your acne and whitehead problem worse, others can provide quick and long-lasting relief.
For centuries, people have used natural ingredients to deal with various skin conditions. With the rise of chemical-based skin care products, we started chasing quick results instead of looking at the long-term consequences.
Here's an example of how chemical-based products can ruin your skin. Most of us have come across the terms paraffin, light liquid paraffin, or mineral oil in our face creams and moisturizers.
Mineral oil is nothing but a byproduct of petroleum. Now think for yourself: does it sound right to use something like that on your skin?
Studies have found that paraffin and mineral oil can clog your pores and lead to acne. The problem can be even more acute in those who already have acne.
Mineral oil is just one of the many culprits. Be it parabens, sulfates, SLS, or any other harsh chemical; most skincare products are laden with them. To effectively and conclusively deal with whiteheads (or blackheads, pimples, etc.), you must turn to nature in its raw form. Look for products that do not have any harsh or harmful chemicals to treat whiteheads.
Start with a face wash
It goes without saying that the first product in your skincare routine is a face wash. But if you are wearing makeup, you should first use a makeup remover before cleansing your face. Use gentle coconut-infused micellar water to remove makeup instead of harsh alcohol-based makeup removers. In case you aren't wearing makeup, you can proceed directly to wash your face.
Finding a face wash to treat whiteheads can be difficult if you don't know what to look for. If you are confused about what to go for, you can trust a hydrating coconut face wash.
Coconut is full of hydrating properties. However, the more important factor is that it doesn't clog your pores while hydrating your skin. Many other face washes fail to provide both benefits at once. They are either good at cleansing or hydrating. Coconut is among the few ingredients that do both effectively.
Moisturize and hydrate your skin
It's a common misconception that acne-prone skin does not need external moisturization. When you do not moisturize your skin after washing it, your skin produces excess sebum - more than what the skin needs. It leads to further aggravation of whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples.
At the same time, it's vital that you pick your moisturizers and face cream carefully. If it's too heavy or has ingredients that can clog your pores, the moisturizer can do more harm than good. For light moisturization, go for a mist tonic.
An apple cider vinegar mist tonic is the best option for acne-prone skin. It does not clog your pores, has anti-inflammatory properties, and actively fights against acne-causing bacteria.
But a tonic may not be enough alone. To get maximum benefits, combine it with coconut face cream. Coconut, as we said earlier, is a magic ingredient for acne-prone skin and will help you deal with whiteheads.
Alternatively, you can go for a hyaluronic acid water gel. Hyaluronic acid is a potent ingredient to control excess sebum production and has a range of benefits for the skin. It also has anti-aging properties, making it one of the best ingredients to deal with acne, including whiteheads.
Face packs and masks
Face masks and packs take your skincare routine to the next level. You should not be using them every day, but using them once, twice, or even thrice a week can be a gamechanger.
Face masks work so well because it allows the active ingredients of the product to seep into the skin. On top of that, you get intense exfoliation benefits with a face mask.
There are different types of face masks in the market, but not all of them are geared toward managing whiteheads. To deal with whiteheads, you need something that will pull out all impurities from your skin and leave it soft and supple. Nothing works better than an activated charcoal face mask in this regard.
Activated charcoal is well known for its cleansing properties. It helps you get rid of all dirt and impurities from the skin and opens up clogged pores.
If you are looking for something other than activated charcoal, a Fuji matcha green tea clay face mask also works amazingly for whiteheads. Matcha green tea is one of the most effective ingredients when it comes to unclogging pores and dealing with inflammation. These properties make it a perfect ingredient for acne-prone skin.
A combination of these skincare products will make dealing with whiteheads simple and effortless. All you need to do is choose high-quality, all-natural products and stick to your skincare routine with discipline.
With these few skincare products and ingredients, anyone can manage and treat whiteheads. There are far too many causes behind whiteheads, and there is not 100% guaranteed preventive treatment. But if you use the products we talked about and maintain a healthy lifestyle, dealing with whiteheads would be effortless.
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