Comedone is the technical name for what is more commonly known as a blackhead or a whitehead, those unsightly little spots on the surface of the skin, typically the face. A blackhead is an open comedone and a whitehead is a closed comedone. The skin's sebaceous glands often become blocked with sebum, dead skin cells, dust and dirt. When this oily mixture hits the air it oxidises, which leads to the appearance of a blackhead. A whitehead is trapped underneath the surface of the skin, which is why it does not turn black. Both types of comedone are common, particularly in teenagers, but the good news is that they are fairly easy to get rid of.
Adopt a good skincare routine. Use a mild cleanser on your face every night to remove all traces of grime and makeup. Splash your face with warm water and cleanse it every morning. Avoid harsh products and vigorous scrubbing of your skin, which can do more harm than good. Apply a light moisturiser after each cleanse.
Steam your face to open the pores and make comedone removal easier. Fill a bowl with hot water, place a towel over your head and position your face above the water for up to 10 minutes. Take care not to burn your skin. Add a drop of essential oil if you wish. Lavender is known to soothe and calm sensitive skin, while eucalyptus has antibacterial properties.
Wash and dry your hands. Cover your index fingers with a soft facial tissue and place a finger either side of the blackhead. Squeeze gently to ease it out. Stop if it doesn't come out easily. If you inflame the skin you could end up with a scar. Do not attempt to squeeze a whitehead out yourself, as it is still under the surface of the skin.
Apply a comedone-eliminating product to your skin. Choose a gentle exfoliating product with cleansing properties, such as sea salt or microbeads. Try a peeling mask or skin strips to unblock the pores. Products containing salicylic and glycolic acid may help prevent comedones forming. Salicylic acid is attracted to fats and oils and works to break down the blockages in the pores. Glycolic acid is good for getting rid of dead skin cells and grime on the surface of the skin. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for use, and always stop using a product if you experience an adverse reaction.
Create a natural homemade exfoliator by mixing baking soda with enough water to form a paste. Replace water with apple cider vinegar for an anti-bacterial and astringent effect.
If you are struggling to get rid of your comedones at home, book a consultation with a reputable beautician who will be able to discuss a range of professional removal options with you as well as giving you general skincare advice based on your skin type.
Avoid essential oils if you are pregnant.