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Blackheads are little yellowish or black bumps embedded in your pores which causes little protrusions on your skin. Blackheads are generally the first stage of acne, right before the bacteria settles in.

Blackheads can form when the skin is not cleaned thoroughly. Dead skin cells left on the skin can clog up pores, which promotes the accumulation of oil. It’s important to let your skin breathe and for your pores to be clean. Too much make up can clog the pores. Even if you have blemishes, it’s best to skip make up once in a while.

Blackheads can also be caused by the stimulation of the oil gland. Thus, puberty can be a large cause of blackheads due to unstable hormones during this period of time. Surging hormones will create excess oil in your pores. They harden into little balls, and turn black when they come into contact with oxygen (air). Though blackheads are more common on oily skin types, it is still found on normal skin.

As long as there is no infection, it’s okay to extract blackheads yourself. Extracting a blackhead is almost like trying to pry a nut from its shell (though it requires much less force). Using your fingernails on taut skin can also irritate it and leave scars. You should try to loosen it up by washing your face with warm water or indulging in a steam spa/sauna. If you don’t have access to a steam spa/sauna, use a bowl of hot water.

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