Whiteheads. We’ve all had ‘em. But what exactly are they? Besides being pesky little day-ruiners, a whitehead is simply a combination of sebum and dead skin that is then munched on by bacteria. Many of our clients complain about regular whitehead eruptions so we chatted with our estheticians about how to banish them for good.
1. Remove That Makeup
Always, and we mean always, take off all of your makeup every night. Otherwise, you’re almost guaranteed to wake up with a whitehead or two. Makeup that’s left on overnight creates the perfect food source for bacteria, amplifying whitehead formation.
But it shouldn’t only be removed before bed. Also be sure to remove any makeup before you work up a sweat. If you don’t, your pores are much more likely to clog, thus producing more whiteheads.
Ritualist Recommendation: APTO's Impurity Removal Cleanser
2. Leave the Popping to the Professionals
As tempting as it may be to squeeze those pesky whiteheads, leave them be. If not removed properly, the bacteria in the pimple can actually spread to other parts of the skin. Estheticians and dermatologists should be the only ones removing whiteheads, so be sure to book regular facials if you’re especially prone to them.
3. Great to Exfoliate
Whiteheads usually mean clogged pores, so regularly removing pore-clogging dead skin cells is an absolute must. Mechanical exfoliators (like scrubs) can further irritate infected whiteheads or spread the bacteria to other parts of the face. Thus, we recommend using a chemical exfoliator (think lactic and glycolic acid) a few times a week to ensure clear pores and a brighter complexion.
Ritualist Recommendation: APTO's Surface Renewal Exfoliant
4. Inflammation is Not Your Friend
The worst part of having a whitehead is usually its red, swollen appearance. Covering up whiteheads with makeup can make matters worse, but using a serum or moisturizer with anti-inflammatory ingredients will calm the area, thus diminishing its visibility. Green tea, licorice, and cucumber extract are some of our favorite skin-soothing ingredients.
5. The Battle with Bacteria
Last but not least, the perpetrator of your whiteheads may not have to do with skin at all. Our hands carry billions of bacteria, and if you touch your face frequently throughout the day, you’re transferring all of that bacteria to your skin. The same goes for your phone’s surface and your pillowcase too! Regularly disinfect your phone screen (especially if you're particularly chatty) and change your pillowcase at least once a week to prevent unwanted organisms from invading your skin.
Ritualist Recommendation: Wireless Wipes