Clean and clear

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CAN ATTRACT BLACKHEADS AT ANY AGE Credit: Flickr/Skeyndor

IT DOESN’T seem to matter how old we get, blackheads can always make an unwanted appearance on our faces and bodies.

Even long after fine lines and wrinkles have set in, our bodies can somehow still produce enough oil to create those annoying little black dots, often on our noses and cheeks. And while blackheads- caused when a hair follicle becomes clogged with oil and dirt- are harmless, they can certainly be irritating.

Unfortunately, there is no permanent way to remove blackheads, although thankfully with good skin hygiene and regular extraction their appearance can be lessened.

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An important first step is making sure skin is cleansed both thoroughly and regularly.  Many dermatologists recommend cleaning skin both morning and evening with a mild cleanser.  Avoid harsh or foaming formulas as these can strip the skin, leaving it likely to overproduce sebum, creating oily, blackhead-prone skin.

The right cleanser for your skin type should leave it feeling clean but not tight after use.  For particularly oily or spot-prone skin, a salylic or glycolic acid cleanser can help remove dead skin cells and speed up cell turnover, preventing the production of new blemishes.

Once your skin is clean, you can encourage blackheads out of the follicles by gently and carefully steaming your face with a facial steamer or over a bowl of hot water.  After around 10 minutes you can then gently exfoliate, removing any dirt and oil which has come out of the skin.

If any blackheads are still stubbornly lingering, you can encourage them out by applying strips which can be found in supermarkets and pharmacies, which can remove between 15 and 20 per cent of blackheads.

Finally, if all else fails, it may be worth booking in for a professional treatment with a beautician or dermatologist who can gently remove blackheads for you and recommend products to prevent them returning.

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