Blackheads and Pimples | What are the Differences and Solutions

blackheads and pimples

blackheads and pimples

Breakouts of any kind can seem very discouraging, especially if you’re doing what you can to control them.  Blackheads and whiteheads are distinctly different, and we’ll go over those differences and how to alleviate and prevent both. 

How are Blackheads and Pimples Different?

One key difference between blackheads and pimples, is that blackheads are not inflamed.  Typically blackheads are flat, and are not red or swollen.  You can get blackheads in the same places you might get a breakout or pimple, but they tend to show up on and around the nose, cheeks, and around lips.

Blackheads are like a hard plug of oil and dirt that has darkened with oxidation (like when you leave a cut up apple on the kitchen counter).  Whiteheads are tiny infections in the pore that collect pus. 

Can a Blackhead Turn Into a Pimple?

Blackheads can cause an infection or whitehead at some point if it remains untreated and if bacteria has been left inside to fester.  So yes, blackheads can turn into pimples if your skin tends to be volatile and bacteria is allowed to remain on the skin to cause these eruptions.

What Causes Blackheads and How to Treat Them

Here are some specific reasons why blackheads might form:

Dirt, oil, and debris build up.  The primary culprit is actually pore clog accumulation which can be dead skin cells, sebum and even makeup.

Excessive sweating from exercise, heat, or stress can cause pores to go into overdrive – compounded with skin that’s under-cleansed their skin after exercise.  The dirt and debris can imbed itself into the pores.  Keep in mind that exercise is very good for your skin, and if you don’t have an exercise routine, implementing one is a great thing for your skin, body, and mind.  But the cleansing aspect is imperative.  If you’re short on time, bring a pack of face wipes and use them until you have a break later to do a proper wash.

Cosmetics and haircare products can also cause pores to clog.  Prevent hair products from coming into contact with your skin by putting your hair back while you get ready.  Be sure to cleanse your entire hairline in the evening to remove any residual results of products reaching your face.

Oily skin types can be more prone to blackheads. If you currently have an oily skin, here are some tips to help you reduce dirt and bacteria: Don’t touch your face, wipe your phone off regularly with a phone safe cleansing product to eliminate dirt, bacteria, and grime, as well as wash your hands to help prevent and accumulation of dirt and oils.

Manually exfoliating skin with scrubs and/or facial brushes that are designed for cleansing are excellent options for a manual exfoliation step.  Here you can literally remove the dirt, oil, and dead skin reducing your chance of accumulating blackheads, and help your skin prevent the clogging of pores going forward.  Stick to skin loving and natural ingredients, versus harsh chemicals and ingredients.  Those will not only strip your skin of too much necessary and protective oils, but it will then cause your skin to create even more oil to compensate and stress your skin out – which of course causes pore to be inflamed and brings on the opportunity for breakouts.

Blackheads and whiteheads can be treated in some similar ways.  The main key is to keep pores clear, remove dirt and oil, and exfoliate away any dead skin cells that can contribute to the plugging action and trapping of oil, dirt, and bacteria.

Ingredients to Reduce and Prevent Blackheads

Tea Tree Oil:  Tea tree oil has been a long time favorite of skin care experts who realize it’s important benefits, especially for acneic skin or skin with blackheads.  While it is an oil, and you should not add it directly to the skin without diluting it slightly, it is one of your top options.  Finding products with tea tree oil is an excellent idea.  It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help you correct your blackhead issue quite effectively.

Acids (AHA, Lactic, etc.):  Topical acids are one of the top ways to keep your skin clear, as well as a top contender for anti-aging, since acids will gradually lift away dead skin cells and generate new skin growth.  Using products with glycolic acid is an incredibly effective way for reducing and clearing blackheads because it acids are a smaller molecule, which means it can penetrate deeper into the pores to dissolve oil and dirt.

Vitamin A / Retinoids:  Retinoids can help prevent the kind of pore clogging that ultimately lead to blackheads, as well as speeding up your skin's cell turnover.  This is why it’s also a favorite among anti-aging skin care experts.

Salicylic Acid:  Salicylic acid helps reduce blackheads because can penetrate the pore and clear out dirt, oil, and all that is trapped in the pore or hair follicle.  Salicylic acid also help improve skin cell turnover, which is great for your anti-aging efforts as well.

Green Tea:  Green tea is an anti-inflammatory and well as an anti-bacteria ingredient, which is a great choice for clearing up skin of blackheads.  Green tea also helps break the cycle of too much oil production, either due to skin type or hormones.  Both of these functions of green tea on the skin make it an excellent choice for blackhead removal and prevention.

Clay: Clay products help to draw oils and toxins out of the skin, which helps to unclog pores.  Using a natural ingredient based mask with clay in it is a must have if you’re dealing with blackheads.  

Sulfur:  Sulfur is an excellent ingredient to look for when dealing with blackheads, because it can help with blackheads, as it targets the two main causes: the build up of dead skin cells and the production (and sometimes over production ) of sebum.

Treating and Preventing Pimples

Cleanse Twice a Day.  It's very important to keep skin clean to remove excess oil, dirt and debris on the skin.  You can use a gentle cleanser if you have sensitive skin or go for one that has more punch like our organic botanical acne cleanser.

Exfoliate your skin.  We highly recommend a topical exfoliation product, like our natural peel serum, and a buff pad or wash cloth that will help ­remove the dead cells adhered to your skin.

But Don’t Scrub Too Hard. Some people scrub the skin with rough cloth pads or washcloths. This can irritate the skin and cause inflammation, making acne breakouts worse.  Applying a gentle cleanser with clean hands or a soft brush intended for use on the face can help to prevent pimples.

Refrain from popping or picking at pimples. It may be tempting to squeeze a pimple, but this usually results in even more inflammation and possible scarring.  It can also spread the bacteria to other vulnerable parts of your skin.  To reduce the appearance of blemishes, use a topical treatment instead. They may take some time to work, but they can also prevent new pimples from forming.

Tone and balance. Taking the extra step to tone skin and remove lingering acne bacteria, oil, and dirt is well worth it and it just takes a few moments to do.  Our organic face toner is a very pure and effective way to get the job done.

Don't be afraid to hydrate acne prone skin, especially if you're using other products that can be drying.  As you've probably heard and read, some ingredients like oils can actually be very beneficial since many of them have nourishing benefits and anti-bacterial properties.  Our retinol & vitamin superfood cream is a fantastic way to add a layer of hydration to get you through you day.

Keep hair clean. If excess oil in the hair travels to the skin, it can worsen acne. Regularly washing the hair may stop acne from developing, especially close to the hairline.  Also, refrain from getting products such as hair gel or spray on the face. These can also clog pores and lead to breakouts.

Consider topical retinoids. Topical retinoids (products with vitamin a) are excellent choices for acne prone skin.  These treatments can also get rid of excess dead skin cells and reduce inflammation.

Cut back on foods linked to acne.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology, foods with a high glycemic index may increase the risk of developing acne or make acne worse.  These potentially problematic foods are sugary and high in carbohydrates.  Dairy products, especially skim milk, may also increase a person’s risk of developing acne. A person may want to cut back on a particular food group, to see if their skin improves.

Ingredients to Reduce and Prevent Pimples

Salicylic Acid.  This ingredient helps prevent pores from becoming plugged. This is a key goal when preventing breakouts.  Clogged pores are a breeding ground for acne bacterial growth.  Salicylic acid can help us maintain clearer pores for acne prevention.

Apple cider vinegar. ACV is made by fermenting apple cider, or the unfiltered juice from pressed apples.  Like other vinegars, it is known for its ability to fight many types of bacteria and viruses.  Apple cider vinegar contains several organic acids that have been shown to kill Propionibacterium acnes, an acne causing bacteria.  In particular, succinic acid has been shown to suppress inflammation caused by P. acnes, which may prevent scarring.

Cinnamon.  Cinnamon has been used to treat a host of ailments and in recent studies, has been shown to have potential anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, anti-oxidant, wound healing properties, and anti-inflammatory benefits – which is super beneficial for acne sufferers.

Niacinamide.  Niacinamide, the water-soluble amide derivative of vitamin B3 is used both orally and topically in the treatment of acne and other inflammatory skin conditions.  It's very beneficial in calming skin down while using treatments and countering the volatile effects of a breakout.

Sulphur mud. This is a clay type of mud rich in minerals including aluminum, iron, and magnesium hydrated silicate that has settled in sediments closed to a sulphurous thermal spring.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids.  Alpha hydroxy acids are used in acne products are glycolic acid and lactic acid. Alpha hydroxy acids are are derived from sugar-containing fruits. They treat acne by helping to remove dead skin cells and reduce inflammation. Alpha hydroxy acids also stimulate the growth of new, smoother skin. This helps improve the appearance of acne scars and gives the impression of smaller pores.

Tea Tree Oil.  Tea tree oil is a great ingredient to help kill acne bacteria due to its broad antimicrobial and antifungal properties.  It also has the significant ability to reduce inflammation, which is important when we're dealing with red irritated acne breakouts.  Keeping them calm is key to minimizing the effects.

Zinc. Zinc is an essential trace element necessary for the survival of animals, plants, and micro-organisms. Zinc is considered a non-irritating option for everyone.  Zinc has the potential to decrease the release of inflammatory cytokines and decrease damage to tissue. 

Retinol.  Naturally derived retinol (also known as vitamin a) is great for acne prone skin, as it can unclog pores, prevent inflammation, control oil production, and reduce the acne bacteria that causes breakouts.

Our Natural Face Cleanser for Acne with Salicylic, Cinnamon and Bearberry has the right combination of ingredient you’ll want for clearer skin and pores:

Natural Face Cleanser for Acne with Salicylic, Cinnamon and Bearberry

 blackheads and pimples: prevention and tips

This completely natural face cleanser for acne will turn your skin around with acne fighting bearberry, cinnamon, tea tree, green tea, fruit extracts, honey and zinc to heal, soothe, and balance skin effectively.   

Make the break away from chemical based products and keep pores clear and reduce breakouts.

Naturally heals and nourishes skin as it combats acne.  Safe for all skin types. 

BENEFITS

  • Reduce Acne & Control Breakouts
  • Free of Harsh Preservatives & Parabens
  • Repair Acne Damaged Skin

HOW TO USE

Apply to damp skin in circular motions to allow product to penetrate skin. Rinse skin and pat dry.  Great for AM and/or PM.

Each product is made fresh the day you order it.

Enjoy free shipping in the US.

Chemical free, synthetic free, paraben free, sulfate free, cruelty free. Organic and earth derived ingredients. Made with love, one order at a time.

FULL INGREDIENTS LIST IN ALPHA ORDER

Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Juice, Ananas Comosus (Pineapple) Extract, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Arnica Essential Oil, Bearberry Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Extract, Carica Papaya (Green Papaya) Extract, Carnosine, Cinnamon Extract, Centella Asiatica, Citric Acid, Clary Sage Essential Oil, Elderberry Extract, Glycerin (Vegan), Green Tea Extract, Organic Honey, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment, Vegan Lecithin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Sea Kelp Bioferment, Vegan Castile, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Tomato Seed Oil, Zinc Extract

HIGHLIGHTS

Our organic acne cleanser is a great choice for anyone who would like to avoid harsh acne products that can have damaging effects.

Here are a few key ingredients guaranteed to improve your skin:

Bearberry:  Offers a variety of medicinal benefits but is mainly known for it’s anti inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant qualities. It’s wonderful for acne care, as it has astringent and disinfectant qualities, and kills the bacteria that causes acne. It contains a few sought after ingredients Allantoin (wound healing), Arbutin (natural lightening), Betulinic Acid (improves elasticity and cancer preventative), Ellagic Acid (natural lightening and antioxidant).

Cinnamon Extract:  Is a very effective, antiviral, antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-fungal. Cinnamon is able to kill acne causing bacteria, improves blood and oxygen circulation, therefore helping by unclogging and opening pores.

Green Tea Extract:  Can decrease the risk of skin cancer and alleviates water retention in skin. Great for firming and toning.  Anti-viral and anti-bacterial. 

Organic Honey:   Is a natural antiseptic and skin cleanser. Helps remove dirt and dead cells from skin.

Zinc Extract:  Zinc is a mineral that can also help with acne. You can take it as an oral supplement or as a topical treatment. A recent review of the past studies on the topic found that zinc can decrease oil production in the skin, and can protect against bacterial infection and inflammation. Zinc also provides UV protection, a key ingredient in many sunscreens on the market.

Conclusion

Blackheads and pimples are never a pleasant topic to discuss, but one that we or someone we know might benefit from learning about.  There are strong and natural ways to treat blackheads and pimples, and finding the right products and using the right techniques can definitely make a difference.

Reference / Resources

https://www.verywellhealth.com/difference-between-a-pimple-and-a-blackhead-15973, https://www.healthline.com/health/blackheads, https://www.medicinenet.com/what_happens_if_you_do_not_remove_blackheads/article.htm, https://claribelskincare.com/products/natural-face-cleanser-for-acne-with-salicylic-cinnamon-and-bearberry


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