Don't Ditch the Chocolate
After years of warnings about the ill effects of chocolate on skin, it turns out chocolate isn't really the bad guy. Studies have shown that subjects with acne who consumed large amounts of chocolate saw no increase in outbreaks [source: Ray].
If you've experienced acne, you know it's not pretty. Acne can make skin, even the cleanest skin, appear dirty. Fortunately, there are things you can do to deal with blackheads.
First, keep oil off your face. Dermatologists recommend that you should wash your face once or twice a day with gentle soap. This is especially important for women who wear makeup daily. Try to use beauty products without oil, and completely remove makeup at the end of the day.
At the same time, be aware that scrubbing hard does not equal clean skin. In fact, harsh scrubbing can actually lead to more breakouts. Gentle exfoliation -- removal of dead skin cells -- during cleansing is all you need so that they don't build up and clog your pores. You should also avoid toner, astringents and masks, which can irritate sensitive skin and possibly lead to more breakouts [source: American Academy of Dermatology: Results].
You should also be careful to keep oil from your hair away from your face. If you suffer from acne, wash your hair daily or, at the very least, pull your hair back from your face to minimize oil and dirt being transferred to your skin. This is especially important on those warm summer days or while you're at the gym. Hair care products such as gels, pomades and mousses generally contain a lot of oil, so you should avoid or limit them as well [source: WebMD: Prevention].
In addition to hygiene, there are other things you can do to prevent pesky blackheads from forming. Though you may not be aware of it, many items you use daily can cause or exacerbate breakouts. Think about all the things that touch your face or rub against your skin, such as cell phones, backpacks, helmets and even tight fitting clothes. Even leaning your hand against your face can spread oil and bacteria, so try to avoid touching your face with your fingers or hands throughout the day.
If blackheads crop up even when you practice these tips, there is still hope. Read on to learn about some treatments to help wipe blackheads away.