Ah, whiteheads. No less annoying than blackheads, but somewhat less unsightly than acne. Here's how to safely remove whiteheads and prevent them from reoccurring.
What are whiteheads?
Whiteheads are hardened bits of oil trapped in your pores. When your pores remain closed, the oil becomes stuck in your skin, causing a slightly raised "pearl" on your face. Unlike a pimple, usually there's no redness associated with a whitehead.
What causes whiteheads?
Whiteheads are caused from clogged pores. Seasonal changes will normally cause an uptick in whiteheads. Exercise is another culprit: sweat, dirt, and oil can combine as you work out, which is also when your pores are open to allow the skin to cool itself. After working out, your pores close back up again, trapping excess oil and bacteria beneath the surface of your skin.
How to prevent whiteheads
The best thing you can do to prevent whiteheads is to clean your skin thoroughly and exfoliate regularly. Here's how:
1. Hop in the shower and gently clean your face.
2. Allow the steam from the warm shower to fill the air. This will open your pores naturally.
3. Gently exfoliate with a manual exfoliator made for the face. Our Korean Exfoliating Mitt is perfect for this, as it's gentle enough to not damage the skin but will also encourage the emptying of pores.
How to remove whiteheads
First, make sure the whitehead is near the top layer of your skin. If it's embedded deeper into your skin, leave it alone. The reason why you shouldn't address whiteheads that are deeper into your face is that you'll need to go digging deeply into your skin to release the whitehead. That leads to scarring.
If you're sure the whitehead is close enough to the surface of your skin, hop in the shower and allow the steam to open your pores. Then, after a few minutes of steaming, hop out of the shower and use two q tips to gently press down around the skin near the whitehead. Don't press into the whitehead itself, as that could just press it deeper into your skin.
The whitehead should gently release the trapped oil. The goal here is to encourage the pore to open and release the oil: you don't want to draw blood. If the whitehead doesn't come out of the pore easily, either go see an esthetician or dermatologist or wait another day or so for the whitehead to rise closer to the surface.
Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make exfoliation a regular part of your skincare routine so you won't have to deal with whiteheads. We recommend keeping a Korean Exfoliating Mitt in your shower as a visual reminder to exfoliate as part of your shower time.