Whiteheads are a common skin condition.They result from the blockage of the pores. The accumulation of dead cells on the skin, sebum from the oil glands and bacteria all cause this blockage.
When these elements are trapped in the pores, they cause the unsightly marks that whiteheads are. These will mostly appear on the face, and especially on the cheeks, forehead and nose.
Whiteheads are also referred to as closed comedones (unlike blackheads which are referred to as open comedones). The difference between these two conditions is that whiteheads appear light in color as they occur under the surface of the clogged skin pores. Blackheads on the other hand have a distinct discoloration because they undergo oxidation as a result of the open pores.
Some of the causes of whiteheads include genetic predisposition, excessive production of oil on the skin as well as hormonal changes. External factors such as exposure to high levels of stress, change of environment and living in polluted environs also increases the chances of developing whiteheads. Since this is a common type of acne, it can easily be treated using a number of home remedies available.
1. Steam Therapy:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Some water in a pan, a clean towel, skin moisturizer, bowl.
Steam therapy is one of the simplest yet the most effective home remedies for the treatment of whiteheads. This is because the steam not only causes the pores to dilate, it also loosens the sticky debris that is lodged deep within the pores. Once this accumulated matter is dislodged, the pores are able to breathe with relative ease, thus treating the occurrence of the whiteheads. You must exercise great caution however to avoid the risk of scalding.
- Heat the water in the pan and bring it to boil to create the steam you need for this remedy.
- Transfer the boiling water to a bowl and lean over it.
- Cover your head with the towel so that it falls loosely to the brim of the bowl. This is done to ensure that you contain the steam in the space between your face and the surface of the heated water.
- Soak your face in the steam for about 15 minutes or until the steam starts to dissipate when the water cools down.
- Pat your face dry and follow this up with the application of a skin moisturizer to ensure that the skin remains hydrated. This remedy can be followed once daily or until the appearance of the whiteheads is minimal. Even after the condition has resolved, it is beneficial to incorporate this simple remedy into your daily skin routine.
2. Homemade Sugar and Lemon Scrub:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: One tablespoon of sugar, one tablespoon of honey, clean washcloth, warm water
The idea of using homemade sugar scrub is to act as an exfoliant and aid the skin in the removal of excessive oil. The process of exfoliation also enhances the dislodging of dirt that is accumulated in the clogged pores, in effect getting rid of whiteheads. Sugar is used because when mixed with a little water or honey, it becomes coarse and its particles get the work done.
Raw honey on the other hand has the advantage of creating a harsh environment that limits the presence of bacteria, thus helping in the elimination of one of the causative agents of whiteheads. The combination of the two easily accessible home remedies makes this another simply but efficient way of treating whiteheads. Make sure you use good quality raw organic honey for best results.
- Mix equal parts of the two ingredients and blend to create a granular paste that is coarse to touch.
- Scoop some of the paste onto the palms of your hands and massage it gently but firmly onto your face in the regions where you notice the occurrence of whiteheads.
- Let the mixture stay on for approximately 15 minutes so that the benefits of the remedy can be harnessed.
- Once the time has elapsed, dip the washcloth into the warm water and use it to rinse your face. Repeat the use of this remedy thrice every week for the quick treatment of the whiteheads. When the whiteheads have cleared, you can always make this remedy part and parcel of your normal skin routine care to get youthful glowing skin.
3. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Raw/organic apple cider vinegar, water to dilute, some cotton wool, corn starch (optional).
Apple cider vinegar, abbreviated ACV, is a superb home remedy for anyone who suffers from whiteheads. Its astringent properties enable the affected skin pores to tone and get rid of the excessive oil produced by the sebaceous gland. Add to this the fact that ACV has been shown to possess antibacterial properties, and you have every reason to add this to your list of home remedies for the treatment of whiteheads. ACV can be purchased from your local grocery; just make sure to confirm that it is raw/organic and not refined. The latter often has a higher concentration of synthetic chemicals that may cause an adverse skin reaction for some users.
- Place one tablespoon of the raw ACV and mix it with a cup of warm water. This is done to dilute the ACV and avoid irritation of the skin.
- Soak the cotton wool into this mixture before patting it on the part of the skin where the whiteheads have formed.
- Let the mixed solution sit on the skin for about 15 minutes before cleaning your face with the warm water.
- The other alternative for the use of this method is mixing the ACV with cornstarch. The cornstarch acts as a sponge which absorbs the accumulated cells and dirt in the clogged pores. When this is combined with the action of the vinegar, you have a formidable home remedy against the appearance of whiteheads.
4. Tea Tree Oil:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Tea tree oil and cotton wool. Make sure to dilute with a carrier oil.
Tea tree oil is a favorite home remedy for users who are susceptible to different forms of acne such as whiteheads. This is because the oil is a natural antiseptic that helps ward off the presence of bacteria on the skin. By getting rid of bacteria, the oil speeds up healing of the whiteheads. In addition to this, tea tree oil has been shown to work just as effectively as prescription medicine recommended for the treatment of whiteheads.
Granted, the use of this natural remedy may take longer than the medication, but it does have the advantage of manageable side effects. In the same breath, tea tree oil must be used with caution as some people have been shown to be allergic to the oil’s constituent ingredients.
- Wash your face with warm water and mild soap to get rid of dirt on the skin’s surface.
- Take a small piece of the cotton wool and saturate it using the tea tree oil. If you are not sure how the oil reacts with your skin, carry out a patch test on a less discernible part of the body. If pure tea tree oil causes skin irritation, mix equal parts of the oil and soak the wool before applying on the whiteheads.
- As with the other remedies used for the treatment of whiteheads, let the oil sit on the skin for about 10 minutes. If using this remedy at bedtime, you can always let the oil stay on the skin overnight; just make sure not to overdo it so that the remedy is not messy.
- Once the application period has elapsed, simply rinse your face and follow through with your normal skin routine.
NOTE: Tea tree oil is intended for external use only, and must therefore NOT be ingested as this leads to toxicity.
5. Cinnamon Paste:
Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: Cinnamon powder, oat flour, half cup of warm water.
Cinnamon is a reliable remedy as far as the treatment of whiteheads is concerned. Its warming properties help enhance the circulation of blood in the body, while its core ingredients enhances the synthesis of collagen, one of the most integral skin proteins. This property makes cinnamon a distinct home remedy in the treatment of whiteheads because by steering the production of collagen, cinnamon helps in the creation of new cells. Other benefits of using cinnamon include its antimicrobial properties which help get rid of bacterial infections that often accompany acne.
- Mix one tablespoon of the cinnamon powder with an equivalent part of the oat flour.
- Add a few drops of water so that you have a thick paste which you can scoop and massage on your face.
- Spread the paste on your face in gentle firm motions, similarly to the way you’d apply facial scrub.
- Let the paste-like substance stay on the face for 15 minutes after which you can rinse it off using warm water. Regular use of this remedy shows great results, so if you suffer from whiteheads,it is time you raided your pantry!
6. Clay Mask:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Bentonite clay, warm water, a bowl (or Ziploc bag), face mask brush, and a clean washcloth.
Clay mask is a handy remedy for the treatment of whiteheads. The mask, also known as Bentonite Clay, is applied on the skin before been left to dry. This gives the skin a characteristic taut feeling, akin to the stretching and tugging of the skin. This occurs at the same time as the clay’s electrical charge draws out the toxins. When rinsed, the mask causes exfoliation, effectively getting rid of the dead skin cells. In doing so, the clay also gets rids of impurities on the skin. On application of the remedy, the clogged pores are easily cleared. Regular use of the clay shows significant improvements in the elimination of whiteheads.
- Scoop some of the clay into your bowl or plastic bag. Do not use metal equipment as this distorts the electrical charge of the clay and this is the most important bit of this remedy.
- Add some of the water to the clay in the bowl and mix so that you have a consistent paste. If you have oily skin, you may want to add a little more water. In the end, the paste should be similar to in consistency to that of yogurt.
- Knead the clay paste until it is well blended.
- Take your face mask brush and lightly apply a layer of the paste. Depending on how well you have mixed the clay with the water, you should avoid using the clumpy parts of the paste.Since the paste needs to dry on your face for it to be effective, you need to apply a thin layer.
- Wait for about 20 minutes for the clay to dry. The reason your skin will feel taut is that as the clay dries, it contracts. During this contraction, impurities are drawn from the skin, effectively treating the whiteheads.
- Dip the clean washcloth in warm water and use it to rinse the clay mask off your face. This may cause your skin to redden, but do not fret as this tends to dissipate after about an hour or so. It occurs because the pores have been unclogged.
- Repeat this procedure twice weekly until you notice a decrease in the number of whiteheads.
Other effective home remedies for whiteheads include gram flour which is an excellent exfoliant, strawberries which cause mild abrasion and remove trapped dirt and debris as well as oatmeal scrub that sponges out the accumulated debris in the skin pores.
For these remedies to work however, it is important for individuals to take care of their skins using proper routines and techniques.