Operation: Banish Blackheads

Blackheads are an accumulation of oil and oxidized dead skin cells, which is why they appear black in color. They form in hair follicles where sebum and dead skin collect. Whiteheads are similar clogs, but the oil and dead skin cells do not touch the air, so they appear white. Along with pimples, blackheads and whiteheads are the typical symptoms of acne.

As Dr. Zein Obagi says, “The first line of defense against blackheads is to use a good exfoliating cleanser. This will loosen debris, bringing it to the surface where it can be washed away.” Exfoliating will also help to purge pores and keep them clean to prevent more blackheads from forming. ZO® Skin Health Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser is formulated for daily use and in addition to removing impurities, sebum, and dead skin cells, it neutralizes free radicals with encapsulated vitamin E.

He continues, “Sebum control is also a necessary step in banishing blackheads.” Drenched with 2% salicylic acid, ZO® Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment reduces sebum production and soothes inflammation and irritation with botanical extracts. Perhaps even more important is the blackhead fighting properties of salicylic acid, which slows down the shedding process of cells inside the hair follicle to keep pores clear.

Finally, a light peel can help control blackheads by removing debris and dead skin before it has a chance to clog the follicle. Invest in an at-home chemical peel such as ZO® Medical Invisipeel™, which uses an enzymatic process to exfoliate the outer layer of the skin without flaking or peeling. It also makes the skin more receptive to other acne fighting ingredients.