When you look at your face in the mirror, do you see tiny black dots on your nose? If so, you may have blackheads, a very typical skin condition. Blackheads may affect not only your face but also your neck, back, and even chest. If you’ve tried all sorts of treatments but in vain, you’re probably eager to try something that does work. Then you hear about waxing as a possible solution. But, before you go shopping for waxing products, you may first want to know the answer to this question: Does waxing really remove blackheads? Read up to find out!
What causes blackheads?
To get to the right solution, we first need to determine why we get blackheads.
The outer layer of our skin (epidermis) is home to open pockets called hair follicles, each with one sebaceous gland and one hair. The sebaceous glands produce the oil or sebum that protects and keeps our skin soft and supple. However, when there is overproduction due to hormones, the oil and dead skin cells can fill the gaping holes, causing clogged pores. This triggers the formation of fleshy dots called comedones. When the comedones seal the opening of the hair follicles, they’re called whiteheads. In contrast, if the holes remain open, you’ve got blackheads.
Other factors can also set off the formation of blackheads, such as cosmetics, high humidity, activities like shaving that expose the hair follicles, and certain health conditions and medications.
Blackheads are a type of acne, a common condition afflicting as many as 50 million Americans every year. Like fungal and bacterial acne and other types of acne, It can also be persistent. Thus, acne treatments abound in the market. However, not all work. Can waxing be one of the more effective ones?
Does waxing your nose remove blackheads?
Waxes may help in getting rid of some blackheads. However, it can do more harm than good. Waxing can be painful. And it doesn’t just test your pain threshold. Worse, it can result in hair follicle inflammation and skin irritation. It can also negatively interact with any retinoid creams and other anti-acne products you may be using, leading to chafing and infection. In extreme cases, it can lead to scarring.
You also shouldn’t be waxing if:
You have a wart or mole on your nose or face
You’ve got sunburn or any open areas like wounds
You had laser skin therapy within the past 12 months or a chemical peel within the last two years
You’ve undergone tanning in the past 24 hours
Your skin becomes extra sensitive when you have your period
You have varicose veins
Does hard wax remove blackheads?
Hard wax may indeed remove blackheads. This type of wax is first applied warm and then hardens, enabling customized molding to the body or facial feature to be treated. Once the wax has set, you can then remove it with your hands along with the blackhead that’s stuck to it.
The evident risk is the possibility of getting burned, causing blisters. You may also experience such side effects as skin rashes and allergic reactions.
Is cold wax for blackheads effective?
Unlike hot waxing, cold waxing uses strips pre-applied with a wax solution. The cut pieces are then pressed onto the body parts to be treated.
Although this type of waxing may help with blackheads, it is less precise than hard waxing because you can’t contour the wax to fit the targeted skin zones. Also, even if you aren’t likely to get burned from the cold wax, it may still cause sun sensitivity, skin irritations, and folliculitis.
Does ear wax remover work on blackheads?
If you’re thinking about ear wax removers (or ear wax removal kits) as a possible miracle solution to this dilemma, you may want to rethink that.
Ear wax removers work to lubricate and loosen the wax buildup in the ears. The solution can be any gentle oil that you use for the skin, such as mineral oil, baby oil, or glycerin. Others use a mixture of 50% hydrogen peroxide, 50% water, and a mild disinfectant.
While these can be beneficial in dissolving ear wax, they can have a different effect on your blackheads. Depending on the solution, your ear wax remover can either clog your pores (mineral oil) or even irritate the skin (hydrogen peroxide).
Do wax strips remove blackheads?
Removing blackheads with wax strips is another popular means to get rid of blackheads. Just take out a piece from the store-bought pack, unpeel it and press it onto your nose or facial area with blackheads. Then hold one end firmly and pull the strip in the other direction.
The caveat is that wax strips may also cause inflammation. And just like pore strips, they can also worsen rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.
Best ways to remove blackheads
Blackheads can initially look harmless, but they can lead to such problems as hyperpigmentation and keloid scarring—not a pretty sight. To keep your skin healthy and blemish-free, you’ll need an effective and safe solution. Fortunately, some products and treatments don’t just work but also get you out of harm’s way. Here are a few we recommend.
1. Use organic skincare products
If you want only the best for your skin, choose organic. These products use naturally grown or developed ingredients, so they don’t include any harsh chemicals that can damage your complexion.
For instance, CLEARSTEM Power Duo is a powerful serum with the dual benefits of fighting acne and aging. It boasts of having AHA mandelic acid, a natural derivative of bitter almonds. This potent ingredient helps unclog pores, calm active breakouts, regenerates skin cells, and stimulates collagen.
Another super product is Sephora’s Skinfix Acne + 2% BHA and Azelaic Acid Acne Spot Treatment. This hardworking anti-acne treatment’s primary ingredient is azelaic acid, with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. This molecule occurs naturally in grains such as wheat and barley. Azelaic acid acts fast to improve the appearance of post-acne hyperpigmentation. The product also contains salicylic acid to decongest pores and niacinamide to regulate sebum.
2. A healthful diet
You are what you eat, or better yet, your skin is what you eat. Although food can’t single-handedly produce acne or prevent it, eating the right food can definitely help boost your skin’s health.
Here are some must-eats for clear, smooth, and glowing skin.
Salmon/Mackerel/Sardines – These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help fight inflammation and keep acne from forming.
Oysters – Oysters are not only delicious but also have loads of zinc. This nutrient may help in killing acne-causing bacteria. Zinc also has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve swelling from acne and reduce residual acne scarring.
Turmeric – This favorite Indian spice is a top anti-acne ingestible. It has curcumin, an anti-inflammatory micronutrient that cuts the growth of acne-causing bacteria. You can boost your green smoothie with turmeric powder or sprinkle your food with it.
Green tea – This beverage is packed with catechins, another plant-based micronutrient that fights inflammation and free radicals. Research shows that green tea is beneficial in addressing acne by minimizing sebum production.