Is all the makeup you use to hide your whiteheads putting a dent in your budget?
Whiteheads are those annoying little white spots that occasionally pop up on your skin, seemingly for no reason. Your body plays host to these little nuisances, but for most folks their bodies can’t seem to find the right way to tell those whiteheads they have long overstayed their welcome. No matter what treatments you use or how often you wash your face, those tiny, white volcanic blips just won’t budge.
And it’s a frustration that millions of people experience at some point.
What is actually happening when whiteheads appear?
Whiteheads are type of acne characterized by their white bumps that raise above the skin’s surface. When a whitehead appears on your skin, it means that excess oils from the sebaceous glands have clogged your pores or hair follicles in that particular spot. The oils, along with bacteria and other debris, become trapped and eventually manifest as a spot on your skin.
These spots appear white because the oils and debris within are sealed from the outside air. If that seal were to break, then the whiteheads would turn darker and become blackheads (another beauty bane that is seemingly impossible to get rid of).
What are the probable causes of whiteheads?
There is no singular cause for whiteheads, which can make it harder to determine why you get them. Here are a few possible culprits:
During pregnancy, your body sends your hormones haywire, which means that “normal” functions are a temporary thing of the past. These hormonal changes can cause your body to up its production of the sebaceous oils, which eventually show up on your face and body.
As if growing up weren’t difficult enough, the hormonal changes as teens transition into adulthood contribute to frequent outbreaks of many forms of acne, including whiteheads. Just like with pregnancy, the body may produce excess sebaceous oils that cause whiteheads to form.
Even small, infrequent hormonal changes, like the ones during monthly menstruation, are enough to dispatch an angry army of whiteheads. And they don’t always retreat as quickly as they charged in.
As the last major hormonal change in a woman’s life, menopause brings with it a whole new slew of adjustments in addition to a whitehead invasion.
It’s important to note that, while most of these condition only affect women, both males and females are susceptible for whiteheads. This type of acne can happen at any age, not just as a teenager, young adult, or post-middle-age.
Good news – You are not destined to live a life covered in whiteheads. Here’s how to treat them properly:
The common denominator in the possible causes listed above is the major shift in hormones, which isn’t something you can control. However, there are a few tried-and-true natural remedies that can lessen the appearance of whiteheads to set you on course for a blemish-resistant life:
Apply Tea Tree Oil To The Problematic Areas
It might seem counterintuitive since whiteheads are caused by excess oil, but adding a little tea tree oil directly to the whitehead can help penetrate the skin to unclog your pores and dry up the whitehead. This method is a safe, natural remedy that also kills the bacteria living in your pores to help prevent future breakouts.
Steam Your Skin To Expand Your Pores
A hot steam bath can provide a good solution for those pesky whiteheads on your face. Hot steam makes your pores expand, which can help free clogged oils and debris and send whiteheads packing.
To do this, grab a towel and a bowl of hot water. Place your face over the top of the bowl and conceal your head with the towel, careful to minimize or eliminate gaps that expose your face to the outside air. Relax in your steam spa for 5-8 minutes. You can also add a drop or two of essential oils to your steam bath for a more spa-like experience.
Exfoliate Your Skin with Baking Soda
While you should never forcibly scrub your whiteheads, you can use a gentle exfoliation to encourage their departure. Start with a teaspoon of baking soda and add enough water to make a paste. Gently work the paste into your skin directly onto the whiteheads. Leave it on for several minutes before you rinse your skin.
Prevention is the best medicine.
In addition to the solutions listed above, none might be more effective than taking action to prevent whiteheads from ever forming. A few simple lifestyle changes might be all you need to keep the whitehead forces at bay:
- Choose cosmetics that are noncomedogenic – they don’t clog pores.
- Use oil-free moisturizers or lotions to decrease the amount of oils on your skin.
- Take your makeup off before going to bed.
- Wash your hair, face and skin regularly, but don’t overdo it. According to Mayo Clinic, excess scrubbing and washing does nothing to reduce whiteheads, but it can irritate the skin and exacerbate existing acne.
- Avoid being around food cooking in oil, as the grease could splatter and settle on your face.
Even if you follow the suggestions listed above, you may still encounter a whitehead coup from time to time. Science has not yet delivered any foolproof weapons to combat the whitehead troops, but at least now you can arm yourself with possible solutions to stand your ground and fight back.