Most of us are familiar with blackheads. They are annoying, unpleasant to the eye, and pretty much everyone at some point or another has had to deal with them in some way.
Let´s begin by having a closer look at what blackheads are, before weighing the different options when it comes to their removal.
What are blackheads?
When the natural oil produced by the skin (called sebum) accumulates into the pores, the oil eventually becomes more solid and forms a visible black dot, commonly known as a blackhead.
These are extremely common, and pose no health hazard whatsoever. Many people do find them aesthetically unbearable.It is very commonplace for people to look for easy and effective ways to remedy them, once they do appear.
What causes blackheads to appear in the first place?
While many people have them at some point during their lives, blackheads do affect certain people significantly more than others. There are several factors that explain this occurrence: the most important one being hormones, specifically male hormones (known as androgens). Chief among them is testosterone, the principal hormone in charge of male sexual characteristics and development.
A higher presence of male hormones causes an increase in oil production in the skin, which in turn favors the apparition of blackheads. If any misshapen or damaged pores happen to block and cause the oil to build up inside.
Dead skin cells play a large part in this. Also, skin treatments such as makeup products can cause changes in the skin´s oil production and behavior.
Can you remove blackheads with tape?
If you do some research on the internet, it´s easy to find plenty of remedies to deal with blackheads. One of the most common methods seems to be the use of tape, typically duct tape, as an adhesive surface to which the blackheads would, in theory, adhere and thus be removed from the skin.
There are methods and tutorials related to this subject, and many people do claim to have some degree of success using this technique.
However, the overall consensus among professionals and medical experts is that it is absolutely NOT recommendable to use tape on the skin.
The most common reasons given for this have to do with its possible ineffectiveness, and most importantly, with the potential further damage you might end up causing to your skin by aggressively applying duct tape in this way.
What are other ways there to remove blackheads?
There are a variety of alternative methods, which appear to have much larger favor among those knowledgeable in skin issues. Here are a few of the most notable ones:
- Pore strip, which is somewhat similar to tape but generally deemed safer for use.
- Using lemons, honey or egg whites. These methods basically involve applying the substance on the skin, letting it rest on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes, and then cleansing with warm water.
- Similar alternative “home-grown” methods exist, involving things like baking soda, toothpaste, cinnamon, oat meal, green tea, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and many others. The effectiveness of these does seem to be somewhat tested, but any and all remedies used should be consulted with a medical professional first. The technique for these is the same, applying, letting rest for a while, and rinsing off.
- The most popular option is exfoliation, for which a wide variety of products exist on the market in any pharmacy.
Using tape to remove blackheads
Having said all this, if you are still determined to try and get rid of your blackheads using duct tape (which, as mentioned earlier, is not very recommendable, even though there are positive results and testimonies surrounding this), then you may do so at your own risk.
If you really are sure you want to do it, here is the most simple technique for removing blackheads using tape:
- Wash your face gently with water.
- Get some face soap (use one containing about 2 percent of salicylic acid), and apply an amount similar to the size of a dime on the affected part of your face.
- Take a moment to thoroughly massage and apply the face soap specifically on and around the blackheads and the surrounding pores, thus helping it absorb as well as possible.
- With abundant water, wash off all the soap on your face.
- Dry your face with a towel until completely dry. Do it gently, though, so as to not irritate the skin. Rather than rubbing hard, try patting gently with a soft dry towel.
- Take a roll of duct tape and carefully cut it into strips that will cover all the necessary parts of your face.
- Now you are ready to place each strip carefully on top of each area, and press them down. Make sure to move and rub the tape all around with your fingers to ensure that it has fully adhered to the skin.
- At this point, all that is left to do is remove the tapes from your face. The way to do this is by using one hand to pull back on the surrounding skin (to prevent you from hurting yourself) and with the other hand, quickly removing the strips, one by one, in swift pulls. Do this with every piece of tape until all are removed.
In conclusion, while it is possible to use tape for getting rid of blackheads, it is not generally recommended. But if you do decide to try it, follow the above-mentioned steps, make sure you keep safe at all times and consult a dermatologist for further information.