To fight blackheads on your skin, you must first know your oily enemy. These pesky flecks appear when dead cells and bacteria clog up your pores and turn black as oxygen hits them. Although your instincts may tell you to scrub hard, force isn't the answer; homemade masks present you with more effective, natural options -- you can peel blackheads away with a bit of egg or cleanse the pores with a gently exfoliating kaolin mask.
Peel with Eggs
Crack the egg open and add the egg white to your mixing bowl. Squeeze in about a teaspoon of pure lemon juice and mix them together with a whisk.
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat it dry. For any mask, you'll want to start with fresh, oil-free skin. Dip your fingers into the mix and apply the mask all over your face, avoiding the areas around your eyes. Apply a thin, even layer of the egg mask, making sure you cover trouble spots such as your nose and forehead.
Let your face air-dry for about 20 minutes, or until the mask is completely dry -- you'll feel it tighten on your skin.
Peel the mask off by hand, then rinse away the remains with warm water, a clean washcloth -- which also exfoliates your skin -- and your gentle facial cleanser. In addition to the peeling and tightening effect of the dried egg whites, the alpha hydroxy acid in the lemons helps fight blackhead-causing bacteria.
Cleanse with Kaolin Clay
Combine about 2 tablespoons of white kaolin clay powder, available at cosmetics suppliers and natural health stores, with about a tablespoon each of pure distilled water and quick oats. Kaolin powder tightens pores and fights the oils that cause acne without over-drying skin. Likewise, the saponins in oatmeal cut through blackhead-causing oil.
Whisk in one egg white and a few drops each of citrus-based essential oil and juniper essential oil. The astringent quality of citrus oils, such as lemon or orange, helps cut back on oil while juniper is both astringent and antibacterial, making it a powerful acne fighter for those with oily skin. Like kaolin powder, you can track down these oils down at online beauty retailers or at brick-and-mortar cosmetic and health shops. Mix the ingredients until they take on a paste-like texture.
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat it dry. Apply the mask to your face in an even, thin layer, leaving some clear space around your eyes. Let the mask dry for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until it gently tightens, then rinse it away with warm water. Dry your skin and apply a mild moisturizing lotion.
- Brown University: Acne
- Huffington Post: Blackheads Be Gone: Get Rid Of and Prevent Them From Coming Back
- Talkin Makeup: Homemade Blackhead Clarifying Peel-Off Mask
- ZenMed: Should You Be Using a Clay Face Mask?
- Whole Living: DIY Skin-Firming Mask
- Health: 5 Foods for Healthy Skin: Green Tea
- Sharecare: Why Your Skin Craves Oatmeal
- The Daily Mail: The Secret of Natural Beauty: Essential Oils That Will Keep You Looking Younger for Longer
- Care2: Juniper's Secrets for Health and Beauty
- Substitute green tea for water in your clay mask to boost its antioxidant content.
- Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images