A whitehead is a closed comedo, an acne lesion that forms when a hair follicle becomes clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. It is considered a non-inflammatory acne lesion, which means it does not cause redness or swelling. The appearance of a whitehead is characterized by a small, raised, white or flesh-coloured bump on the skin’s surface. The clogged pore remains closed, trapping the debris inside. So it appears as a white or light-coloured bump.
Once these whiteheads appear, you should use a white head remover to eliminate or exfoliate the skin.
Facial skin exfoliants
There are different forms of facial skin exfoliants to choose from, namely:
- Liquid exfoliants
- Gel exfoliants
- Lotion exfoliants
Exfoliating the skin can indeed help eliminate whiteheads by unclogging pores and removing dead skin cells. Both physical and chemical exfoliants can be effective, use them properly and avoid excessive or harsh exfoliation, as it can lead to skin irritation. Remember that results may differ depending on individual skin types and the severity of the whiteheads. If you have persistent or severe whitehead issues, you may try other whitehead remover options, such as pore refining treatment.
Pore refining treatment
Pore refining treatments can be beneficial in helping to eliminate whiteheads by minimizing pore size and reducing the likelihood of pores becoming clogged with debris. While these treatments won’t directly remove existing whiteheads, they can contribute to preventing their formation in the future.
Here are some pore-refining treatments and practices that may help with whitehead prevention:
- Salicylic Acid. Products containing salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, can effectively penetrate the pores and help dissolve the debris that leads to whiteheads. Regular use of salicylic acid can prevent new whiteheads from forming. Look for toners, serums, or spot treatments with salicylic acid and incorporate them into your skincare routine.
- Topical retinoids, derived from vitamin A, are known to improve skin cell turnover, prevent pore clogging, and reduce the appearance of whiteheads over time. Prescription-strength retinoids or over-the-counter retinol products can be beneficial, but they may cause some initial skin irritation, so it’s important to introduce them slowly.
- Chemical peels. Chemical peels with mild AHAs or BHAs can help exfoliate the skin and reduce pore size, leading to fewer whiteheads over time. Professional chemical peels should be performed by a licensed dermatologist or skin care professional.
- Clay masks. Applying clay masks once or twice a week can help draw out impurities and excess oil from the pores, making them less prone to whitehead formation.
- Oil control products. Look for products labeled as “oil-free” or “non-comedogenic,” as they are less likely to clog pores and contribute to whiteheads.
- Good Skincare Habits. Regularly cleanse your face to remove dirt, oil, and makeup that can accumulate in the pores. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, as this can transfer bacteria and dirt to your skin. Use non-comedogenic and oil-free makeup products to prevent pore blockage.
Pore refining treatments can help prevent whiteheads, but individual results may vary.