What are Whiteheads?
I am sure that nearly everybody has experienced whiteheads and blackheads at some point during their lives. Even though they are very common, they can be unsightly and especially annoying when they appear at inopportune moments. A whitehead is actually a form of acne which presents itself when oil, bacteria and dead skin get trapped within the pores.
They appear as very small white or yellow colored lumps beneath the surface of your skin. They can develop pretty much anywhere on the body but are most common on the face, forehead and neck. If you are prone to whiteheads, there is no need to worry as a few lifestyle changes can help prevent them and there are also a range of very effective home treatments at your disposal.
What causes Whiteheads?
When it comes to whiteheads, clogged pores are the main culprit. The pores of your skin become clogged for a variety of reasons including puberty, pregnancy, menstruation and menopause. Hormonal changes at certain stages of life means that your pores produce more sebum and this increased oil production can lead to whiteheads and acne. Other contributory factors include genetics and the birth control pill.
How to get rid of Whiteheads
Like acne, whiteheads can be treated with a variety of pharmaceutical products but if you would prefer to go down a more natural route, there are plenty of safe and very effective home treatment options.
1. Facial Steam
One of the very best treatments you can try at home for whiteheads is a facial steam. The hot, cleansing steam on your face will help to open your pores and cleanse them of excess oil, dead skin and grime.
All you need is some steaming hot water, a bowl or sink and a towel.
• Fill a bowl or sink with boiling water.
• Cover your head and shoulders with a towel and lean over your bowl but be careful not to get so close that you scald yourself.
• Allow the steam to work on your skin for at least 5 minutes and a little longer if you can tolerate it.
• You can add a few drops of essential oil to the water for even greater effect.
• Repeat 2 or 3 times a week for as long as necessary.
2. Oatmeal and Honey Scrub
Oatmeal tastes great and is extremely healthy but apart from that it has another excellent use for your skin. Honey also has antimicrobial properties which are great for your skin. Because oatmeal is moderately abrasive, it can exfoliate your skin naturally, cleanse the dirt from your pores and absorb excess oils so try following this simple recipe to make your own.
• Add the juice of one lemon and a tablespoon full of honey to half a cup of dried oatmeal.
• Mix it well into a paste adding any extra juice or honey if necessary.
• Slightly dampen your face and forehead before applying the paste evenly.
• Leave it on your face for about 30 minutes before you rinse it off.
3. Sugar and Honey Scrub
Slathering your face in sweet stuff sounds a bit counterproductive but a sugar scrub works in a similar way to the oatmeal scrub. It exfoliates the skin and cleanses the debris from the pores leaving your skin fresh and hopefully blemish-free.
• Mix a tablespoon of sugar with an equal amount of honey.
• Apply the finished mix to your face and forehead.
• Let it sit for 10 minutes or so before rinsing it off.
• Repeat several times each week.
4. Baking Soda Scrub
Baking soda is another excellent exfoliator. It is not too harsh for your skin and works to gently cleanse your pores and effectively rid your face of whiteheads. Baking soda can also combat bacteria by restoring balance to the pH levels of your skin but should not be used by people with very sensitive skin.
• Add enough water to 2 teaspoons of baking soda in order to mix it into a nice thick paste.
• Apply it to the forehead and face paying special attention to the areas affected by whiteheads.
• Let it sit for between 5 and 10 minutes before rinsing it away.
• Repeat this 2 or 3 times a week and you should start to notice the difference.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an outstanding home remedy for whiteheads and also for acne. It has excellent antibacterial and antiseptic properties which can help combat skin infections. It also cleanses the pores and works as an astringent. Make sure that you wash it off well after use as not everybody appreciates the pungent smell of vinegar.
• Add a tablespoon of your apple cider vinegar to a cup of water and mix it up well.
• Soak a cotton ball in your mixture.
• Apply to your face focusing on the whiteheads and allow it to work for 10 minutes or so.
• Rinse it off very well and get rid of any lingering smell.
6. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice can help treat whiteheads because of its hydroxyl acid content which gives it a mild exfoliating ability. Lemon juice helps open clogged pores allowing them to breathe and also helps dry out any excess oil leaving your skin fresh and clean of grime and germs.
- Squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon and add double the amount of water. (dilution is important as lemon juice can cause photosensitivity)
- Mix it well and soak a cotton ball in the mixture.
- Dab the ball onto your whiteheads before bed and wash it off thoroughly the following morning.
- It is best done in the evening because exposure to direct sunlight can cause photosensitive reactions.
7. Tea Tree Essential Oil
A number of essential oils consist of antimicrobial properties which are good for skin complaints like acne and whiteheads and tea tree oil is among the very best. It is both a highly effective antibacterial oil and a natural form of astringent.
This means Tea Tree oil both kills the bacteria inhabiting your pores and tightens your skin preventing more debris from getting in. It is very important to dilute your tea tree oil in water before applying it to your skin because of its potency when applied neat.
• Dampen a cotton ball in some water and squeeze out the excess.
• Add 2 or 3 drops of tea tree oil to the damp ball.
• Apply the oil with your cotton ball to your whiteheads and let it work for around 15 minutes then rinse it away.
• Repeat every day for best effects.
8. Cinnamon scrub
You can make a wonderful, effective scrub with cinnamon powder in order to retain the health of your skin and deal with whiteheads or blackheads. Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties and is also said to improve collagen production which helps regenerate and rejuvenate he skin.
• Mix a teaspoon of cinnamon powder into an equal amount of oat flour.
• Now add enough water to make a nice smooth, thick paste.
• Apply the finished paste to your forehead and face and leave it in place for at least 15 minutes before rinsing it away.
9. Green Tea
Green tea has outstanding natural antioxidant properties which can help reverse skin damage and rejuvenate. It can also block the skin’s androgen receptors and reduce the production of sebum or oil which contributes to whiteheads or acne. Drinking 3 or 4 cups of green tea each day is excellent for your general health but you can also apply it topically. Why not just do both?
• Steep a green tea bag or tea leaves in hot water for at least 10 minutes.
• When it is cool enough, soak a cotton ball in the tea and apply it to your face or any other affected areas of skin.
• Alternatively, you can simply use the teabag itself and apply it directly.
His seems an unusual remedy for whiteheads but apparently the fluoride in the toothpaste means it can be very effective in treating both acne and whiteheads.
• Simply apply a gel based toothpaste to your whiteheads.
• Allow it to sit on your face for 5 minutes or so before washing it away with water.
• Repeat 3 or 4 times a week and you will hopefully start to notice the difference.
As you can see, there are plenty of extremely simple remedies for your whiteheads that you can try. If you give any of them a go, please let us know the result. We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the very best of luck.