Best facial steamer review: Panasonic EH-SA31VP Facial Steamer

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In the best facial steamer review of 2016 I have reviewed roughly 20 facial steamers.
Out of those 20 products my vote definitely goes to the Panasonic EH-SA31VP facial steamer.
It is not the cheapest model out there, however due to its size and effectiveness it is my favorite.

Best facial steamer review: Panasonic Facial Steamerc

The Panasonic facial steamer generates superfine nano scale hot steam in seconds. The steam can be up to 4000 times finer than what you see in any other devices. These are easily absorbed through skin, and moisturize the skin more quickly.
It opens and unclogs your pores and as a result removes dirt, oil and grime from your skin. It’s also used as an alternative to exfoliating scrubs and chemical peels.
Besides skin care, the steamer can also be used for interior humidifying in a powerful and efficient way.
A user’s manual is included with the product and it has a 1-year warranty.

The Panasonic facial steamer is built to North American Electrical Standards, 120V 60Hz.
It’s the best non-professional facial steamer to use at home.
It offers a short (3 minutes) and long (6 minutes) therapy session. This way, if you don’t have much time you can still go for a quick facial steaming.

PROS

  • It is a quiet and easy to use device
  • The nano-ionic steam is very effective on acne and blackheads
  • Hot steam is quickly available after turning it on

CONS

  • It has a certain scent during the first few uses
  • It is a bit pricier than other home steamers.

In general what we found in our best facial steamer review was that the use and ease of the Panasonic facial steamer went way beyond what we were expecting. Due to the compact nature of the device, it’s very easy to carry along. If you are going for a sleepover somewhere or staying at a friend’s house. Or having a makeover party. This Panasonic facial steamer will definitely brighten up the atmosphere. As well as moisturize it!

As with any new device, the second you turn it on there might be some chemical smells. However I can’t honestly say I would never have had this happen with any device I’ve ever bought. I recently bought a blender that still smells a little chemical after use. However this smell level goes down very quickly after the first couple of times of use. Now I can’t say it would be there anymore.

Probably the main bonus of this facial steamer is the fact that it steams up so quickly. I haven’t noticed with any other facial steamer that they would’ve started to produce steam already so fast after switching it on.

How to use one?

You can use these clever little devices on a regular basis. However they are not a substitute for a proper cleansing routine. It is important that you cleanse and wash your face to remove any superficial dirt.
In order to start using the facial steamer you must first locate the water chamber. It’s usually placed somewhere near the base of the device.

Remove the cover of the chamber and fill it with the recommended amount of water. In our best facial steamer review we saw that you need to be sure to use purified water or distilled water, to avoid mineralization in the machine. If you use normal tap water all the impurities in the water will clog up your steamer over time. Ever had to decalcify a coffee machine? Same thing will happen to the steamer if you use regular water. Depending on the type of skin that you have, and the type of machine as well, you may add a few drops of herbal or mineral oil.

Replace the cap and plug in the steamer and wait for the steam to begin emitting. This may take a few minutes since the water needs to become heated before steam is produced. When steam begins to come out of the machine, position your face five to ten inches away from the steamer. Stay in this position for one to five minutes before taking a break and repeat.

Maintenance

Like a professional spa steamer, your home steamer must also be cleaned on a regular basis. We have found in our best facial steamer review that the cone portion of the steamer, which is usually detachable, must be cleaned after every use by washing. If this portion is not removable, it may be wiped down. Use some rubbing alcohol to disinfect the cone section. The water chamber must also be cleaned regularly. If it is not cleaned this will become a breeding ground for bacteria. The next time you steam these bacteria will come with the steam and latch on to your face. Something we want to avoid at all cost!
With the machine unplugged, wipe down the water chamber and any metal coils that are used for heating the water. This will prevent mineral deposits from building up within the machine.

Benefits

In this best facial steamer review let’s go over some of the benefits the Panasonic EH SA31 facial steamer can provide:

  • Deep Cleaning. The heat actually causes perspiration and when sweat is produced from within the skin the dirt and toxins inside the pores of the skin are pushed out. This allows cleansing from within the skin.
  • Excellent treatment for acne. One of the reasons that people have acne breakouts is because of inflammation in the pores caused by dirt and oil build-up. Steaming allows these impurities to be pushed out of the skin lessening the chances for inflammation inside the pores.
  • ​Boosts Your Natural Glow. The heat also increases blood circulation in the face area. This in turn increases the amount of oxygen within the area and causes better distribution of nutrients to the skin on the face.
  • Makes the Skin Clear. Aside from helping to treat acne, steaming can also be used for blackheads and whiteheads. As the steam opens up the pores, the embedded dirt become loosened and is easier to remove.
  • ​Exfoliation. The process also aids with the removal of dead skin on the outer most layers. This helps give way to renewal of skin cells and younger looking skin.
  • Better Health. Aside from helping to enhance the appearance of the skin, the use of a facial steamer can also bring health benefits. It is used for sinuses and treatment of nasal congestion. It may also be used for allergies such as allergic rhinitis.

 

BALANCE IS KEY!

Over-usage however can lead to dry Skin. Heat tends to dry out the skin and too much heat can lead to chronic skin dryness. It can also trigger skin redness. Since steaming comes from heat, it can be normal for people with sensitive skin to experience some redness on their face after a steam treatment. Although this is normal and subsides on its own, not many people are happy with this downside.

Those with sensitive skin or skin problems such as acne can experience further skin irritation with too much heat. The heat from the steam may further worsen inflammation. This treatment must be used with care for those with skin problems and those without knowledge on how to use facial sauna steamer.

Hopefully with this best facial steamer review you now have a better idea what might work for you!

Blackhead peel off mask: in-depth review!

You probably by now have seen either online or on tv these black blackhead peel off mask. They come in 2 options, either a spread on masks or then in biore pore strip format. Usually the spread on masks are most common. The trick is to get them on nice and evenly and try to refrain from spreading it on too thickly (warning as the audio in the following video is quite loud):

 

In the above video we can clearly see how in the beginning they are gently spreading on the blackhead peel off mask with a brush. This is what I suggest you would do as well. I tried spreading it on with just my hands and it turned out to be a right mess!
Also he is using a blackhead remover tool to finish up the job!

Blackhead peel off mask review:

We’ll be reviewing the Blackhead Remover Cleaner Purifying Deep Cleansing Acne Black Mud Face Mask Peel-off.

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This face mask is very easy to add on, however it can get quite runny. Be sure to do put it on in an area where it is ok to make some stains. Also if you do happen to drop some of the product on the floor or it happens to get on your clothes, be aware that it might leave some stains as it seems to dry pretty fast.

The mode of application is very simple, simply spread it on to your face and try to make a layer that is about half a millimeter thick. Make sure it is not too thin, but no need to lather it on either.

The general rule seems to be that the more you put on, the easier it might be to pull it off afterwards, however the longer you will have to let it sit on your face.

The first time I tried it I really lathered it on while my friend who I was trying it with was more sensible and only spread a thin layer across her face. I had to wait about 20 minutes until it was sort of ready to be pulled off while my friend was able to dry hers out in less than 10 minutes!

Also it gets tickly, fast! As the mask dries out, get ready to withhold from some serious tickling urges. Do not scratch he mask as it is drying or else you will end up with black fingernails as you scoop some goo under them. And good luck getting it out as the goo tends to really stain :)!

Blackhead peel off mask overview:

Pro’s
Con’s
Easy to put on
Can start itching after a while
Provides a deep pore cleanse
Make sure not to drop any as it can stain easily!
Really effective in sucking out subaceous filaments and blackheads, just look at the peel once you have peeled it off!
Don’t lather it on as it may take a while to dry

All in all though it is a very cost-effective way of getting a deep pore cleanse in a matter of minutes. Click here to get your own!

Here is a review of biore strips by the people over at buzzfeed!

 

Homemade pore strips: make your own!

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I recently found a method of making your own homemade pore strips on petitelefant.com that I thought I’d share with you guys:

It’s a step-by-step guide on how to make your own pore strips using home ingredients. I’ve tried it here at home and I must say it is pretty effective, although it is quite a messy affair. Be sure to have several towels laying next to you as you do this as well as somelukewarm water to wash off any bits that don’t come off cleanly.
As this is not a pore strip per se but more of a mask.

Here’s what you will need:

homemade pore strips

 

Homemade Pore Strips Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2- 2 Tablespoons Milk {any kind}

2 ingredients and your pores will look like magic.  What’s not to love?

homemade pore strips

  1. Measure 1 Tablespoon of Knox Unflavored Gelatin – 8 oz unflavored gelatin into a disposable container (if you put say, green jell-o on your face, there might be trouble)
  2. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of milk into the gelatin
  3. Until it looks like this
  4. Mix it up, and be quick about it, until you get a chunky consistency.  Add more milk if you’re uncomfortable with the amount of chunk.

Microwave the gelatin for about 10-15 seconds.  It will get creamier in the microwave.  Stir that around and start applying it IMMEDIATELY to your face.  This stuff hardens up fast so you’ve got to act fast.

homemade pore strips

This is pre-pore strip.  Wash your face before you apply.

homemade pore strips

I chose to put the stuff all over my face because I have thirty-year-old acne.  You can put it wherever your little heart desires.  You need to act fast though, because this stuff turns to gelatin pronto.  I know I’ve said that three times already, but I really mean it.

homemade pore strips

Let it dry for about 15 minutes.  I waited longer, but you’ll know it’s time when you can’t talk for fear of breaking something.

homemade pore strips

Grab whatever you can and start peeling.  This is the gross/fun part.

homemade pore strips

It’s a good thing you can’t see the photo all that well.  Do this until you’re all peeled and your face will feel like a baby’s bottom.

Clean, practically hairless, with clean, dirt-free pores, thanks to my very own homemade pore strips!

If you don’t own a microwave (some people still don’t!), what you can do is either add warm milk or then warm the mixture on the stove and you should get the same result.

Also there is no fear for people with sensitive skin. As there are no strong chemicals in this mixture it is highly unlikely your skin would react in a funky way. But just to make sure test it out on a small patch of skin first before you go on and cover your whole face :).

Homemade pore strips using Elmer’s glue

This one is a bit more controversial than the other homemade methods we have discussed above.

Apply a thin layer of Elmer’s glue over your clogged pores and let dry. The glue will adhere to the bits clogging your pores as it dries so when you peel it off, you pull up all the gunk with the glue. Just be sure you are not allergic to the product – test it on your hands first – and always avoid getting it in your eyes and mouth. Also use your regular Scotch tape (cellotape) as a pore strip. Merely apply it on your skin, leave on for a few minutes and peel off.

Let us know in the comments below how you get on with your very own homemade pore strips!

Best pore vacuum: mechanical cleaning of your pores!

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On the lookout for the best pore vacuum? No need to look any further! See below for our 2 best extractor tools currently found on the market!

Blackheads form as dead skin cells mix with sebum excreted from sebaceous glands in hair follicles. As this mix gets clogged in the pore, the pore either stays open upon which the mixture oxidizes and turns black, forming a blackhead OR grows over and, quite possible, gets infected and turns into a pimple.

The main cause for both however is clear. Blocked pores. Now when taking a real world example; when your drains are blocked there are several ways to get rid of the blockage.

You can either try and poke it through (equivalent to squeezing your skin to get the blackhead out), or break out the plunger and try to suck it up.

Which brings us to out topic of today: The best pore vacuum. These devices enable you through gentle suction to suck the gunk out of your pores.
As with all beauty products many different varieties exist under the sun, however we will take a look at 3 products in particular that have been tried and tested.

Best pore vacuum #1:

ETTG Electric Facial Pores Cleanser

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The eTTG was recommended by most Amazon users in a recent survey. This pore vacuum, retailing for about $30, uses a reversible suction cup to clear debris from the pores to eliminate blackheads and was voted as the best pore vacuum.

PROS:

– Easy to clean, simple to operate, portable for home or travel use; 100% Brand New &High Quality.
– Use gentle, deep cleansing suction to remove skin impurities.
– Minimizes the appearance of large pores and helps to remove excess oil, dirt, blackheads & whiteheads.
– Powered by one AA battery ( not included); Dimension: W6 x D4.5 x H14cm.
– 100% Brand New and High quality from ETTG ,sold by ETTG ONLY! ETTG offers 12 months Warranty and 30 days free exchange.

CONS:

– Dependent on batteries.
– Not waterproof.

Best pore vacuum #2:

Generic Comedo Suction Microdermabrasion Diamond Machine

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At the higher end of the market however a lot more practical in use than the eTTG, this generic blackhead vacuum features various sizes of extraction tips depending on the size of the blackhead or pimple you are trying to get out.
Press in the plunger of the syringe until it clicks into place. Put the tip over the desired blackhead or pimple and hold the outside of the pore vacuum chamber and press it against your skin. This pressure releases a spring-loaded vacuum to pull the debris out of the pore instantly

PROS:

– Solve problem: coarse pore, rough skin, dark skin, exfoliate dead skin, blackhead and pore of skin, dirt nose and Firm and Improve skin elasticity.
– Professional waterproof design, easy to clean mouth head.Rechargeable with LED light.
– Strong suction, Suction strength is adjustable,effectively to suck out the nose blackhead and acne.
– Prevent suction damage to the skin,rich in a variety of vitamins and protein, to bring the skin nutrients needed.
– To restore the skin without leaving a trace. the skin smooth and delicate.

CONS:

– Not the cheapest pore vacuum out there!

Best pore vacuum #3:

Panasonic Electric Pores Cleaner Spot suction pores EH2513P-P with mist

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Even though this might not seem as the best blackhead vacuum on the market today judging by the ratings on amazon, it might be because people are just using it wrong!
Very important with any pore vacuum is that you use it on wet skin, and maintain as a vacuum over your wet skin. Don’t just hold it in one place. Move it around to get the full effect!
Luckily the bulk of blackhead extractor vacuums are waterproof and this one is no exception.

Secondly it is important to hold it so that it maintains suction. As you move it around your face, it’ll gently pull your skin and the edge of the “suction cup” will gently scrape the gunk that gets sucked out. You will be able to see it.
Lastly use the pore vacuum as often as you need, but know that you will not be able to really see much of a difference until you’ve used it for a week or so. Your pores will be very clean, especially your nose area, and your skin will take on a healthy ‘clean’ glow.

If you are in to Japanese precision technology, this Panasonic blackhead extraction vacuum might just be the device for you!

PROS:

-It’s waterproof
-Doesn’t require any batteries and works on a simple charge for ages
-Gives your pores a thorough clean
-Effectively sucks the gunk out of your pores. You can even see it getting sucked out!
-Price/quality wise the best pore vacuum on the market! (Even though you might think otherwise from the amazon reviews)

CONS:

-Make sure you have the usage of the pore vacuum down before you write it off. Follow the steps given above and you should be fine!
-Your skin might feel like it is getting pulled and might not be suitable for people who have a sensitive skin

Prep And Prevention

Before using any pore vacuum, it is recommended that you take a hot shower or steam your face for a couple of minutes. The heat and moisture will soften the skin, making it easier to extract the blackheads.
To prevent future outbreaks, use skin pore cleansers and wash your face regularly with warm water and antibacterial facial soap.

How to use your best pore vacuum:

Usage:

Simply turn the device on when the skin is still a bit moist as this will help with the suction effect of the vacuum. Then once you are ready, simply place the pore vacuum on your skin. be careful though not to press it down on your skin. The suction of the pore vacuum will do enough already to keep it tight on the skin.

In fact to get the most out of your pore vacuum, you might actually have to hold it away from your skin a little, while still maintaining contact with the skin. It sounds a bit hard to describe but you need to provide some counter-force to the suction power of the vacuum in order to ensure that the blackhead vacuum moves fluently over your skin.

You can compare it to someone gently pinching your skin and holding on to it as the hand slides up and down your face. In this way, especially with softened skin through steaming, the blackheads and sebaceous filaments will be flying out of your pores in no-time!

After-care:

After you are done please take good care of cleaning the pore vacuum thoroughly. The sebum and other gunk that just came from your pores is a big infection risk and if you do not clean the device properly, risk of a new acne outbreak or new blackheads is increased!

Just as you take excellent care of your skin, please make sure to take excellent care of your skincare tools as well. This not only counts for this blackhead vacuum, it counts for other makeup tools as well, such as brushes or even comedo extractors.

Common issues with blackhead vacuums

If you have decided to purchase one then I commend you. Using a pore vacuum is one of the most surefire way to handle blackheads and sebaceous filaments. Without damaging your skin. However some issues do arise even when you use the best pore vacuum.

If you have sensitive skin, I highly advise you to thoroughly check the suction strengths of the device. Make sure you don’t overdo it. Too much suction can result in soreness of the skin. More so it can cause the appearance of red areas. As a result blackhead vacuums are not for everyone.

Lastly healthy skin starts with healthy tools. We can’t stress this enough. Therefore make sure you clean even the best pore vacuum to such a degree that it looks, smells and feels brand new. That truly is the only way to keep blackheads away for good!

Hopefully we have guided you well in your shopping decision for the best pore vacuum. Let us know in the comments below how your purchase has helped you!

Best cleansers for oily skin: which one?

In the guide below we will show you 3 products that for you might be the best cleansers for oily skin.
As we all know oily skin is more likely to suffer from pimples, acne and blackheads. Unfortunately oily sin can be more high maintenance than other skintypes. Oily skin is characterized by enlarged pores and overactive sebaceous glands. It’s the sebacous glands inside hair follicles (or otherwise known as pores) that produce so-called “sebum”. The oil that naturally keeps the skin flexible.

However not all is lost if you are dealt the hand of oily skin by mother nature. You can still handle it as long as you take proper care of your skin.
One of the most important things in oily skin care routine is cleansing.

How to choose the best cleansers for oily skin?

The market is flooded nowadays with a plethora of different kinds of cleansers that all claim to be THE best cleansers for oily skin. However not all of them do as it says on the label. I’m going to show you 3 products I know have worked wonders on many of my clients.

1) Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion for Normal to Oily Skin

best cleansers for oily skinOne of the best cleansers for oily skin out there is this Cetaphil product. It is tried and tested by many and has been found to be very effective in treating oily skin.

PROS:
– It is gentle on the skin
– Effectively washes off all dirt from your face
– It is non-comedogenic meaning it does not stimulate the production of pimples or blackheads.
– Great for people with a sensitive, oily or acne-prone skin.
– Doesn’t dry out the skin
– Doesn’t break the skin

CONS:
– Is not as effective as a makeup remover. Some spots remain.
– Has parabens.
– Has a subtle medicated fragrance.

2) Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Face Wash

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This Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Wash  might be a bit more expensive than the Cetaphil cleanser, however this is not a product that should remain missing in your morning cabinet.

PROS:
– It contains salicylic acid as an ingredient which is a boon for oily skin.
– Helps in controlling oil and fights against acne.
– Cleanses the skin effectively. Every spec of dirt leaves!
– Doesn’t dry out the skin.

CONS:
– None!

3) Himalaya Purifying Neem Face Wash

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Lastly but definitely not the least, this Himalaya Neem Face Wash is the cheapest of the bunch, AND due to its natural products it is the best cleansers for oily skin using nothing but natural products.

PROS:
– Removes all dirt and impurities.
– Makes the skin squeaky clean.
– It is herbal.
– The smell is subtle and relaxing.
– Removes every speck of non waterproof makeup.
– Contains neem and turmeric as ingredients which are great for oily, acne prone skin.
– Doesn’t dry out the skin.
– Doesn’t leave any residue behind.
– It’s cheap!

CONS:
– Doesn’t lather much.

I hope now you know more to select your best cleansers for oily skin.

Best BHA exfoliant and blackhead extracting exfoliant

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For people already knowledgeable about BHA and its benefits, you can skip straight to Amazon’s Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant. It is the best BHA exfoliant for all types of skin currently available on the market.

Out of almost 500 customer reviews this product has 4/5 stars. At $29 with free shipping you’ll have to look far and wide to beat this sale.

Product Description

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SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid is a unique, completely non-abrasive, leave-on liquid exfoliant for daily use on all skin types.
However it has been proven to be the most effective with people who deal with oily skin on a daily basis. The salicylic acid present in this BHA exfoliant is the best working ingredient out there. It is extremely effective for people with oily skin types. As a result blemishes and acne will soon be a thing of the past!

Very often salicylic acid will be used in BHA type exfoliants. It is the same acting ingredient as you can find in common aspirin.
So there is no need to worry if the exfoliant would be too acidic for your skin to handle. If you have sensitive skin I would suggest to just try and treat a patch on your skin first to see how you’d react with introducing this new product into your skincare routine

Product details:

SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid is Paul’s choice’s #1-selling exfoliant around the world—for good reason!

This best BHA exfoliant has an optimal pH range of 3.2–3.8 and is formulated with additional soothing agents for enhanced benefits.
It gently exfoliates built-up layers of dead skin, just like your skin did naturally when you were younger. As a result this can be highly recommended for people with already older skin.
It also effectively unclogs pores, optimizes skin renewal and increases skin-clarity . As a result your skin will feel remarkably smoother. It’ll have smaller pores, a more refined texture, and less visible lines and wrinkles.
You will see results the first time you use it! All Paula’s Choice products are 100% fragrance free, clinically proven to be non-irritating, and never tested on animals.
As a result even if you have a more sensitive skin, the chances that you would react badly to the best BHA exfoliant in the world is highly unlikely!

How does it work?

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Naturally your skin already has systems in place to shed dead skin. Everybody has seen dandruff at some point in their lives and especially after a bad sunburn I can bet you’ve been peeling away at the dead skin layers!
However this natural system of shedding dead skin can be interrupted by sun damage.
Also your skintype, midlife changes or environmental factors can have an impact on how fast or how well your skin changes.
As a result at some points in time we need to exfoliate, help your body out.
However we need to do so in a gentle way as to not damage the skin any further. Hard scrubbing is rarely a good idea.
That’s why BHA exfoliants are such a good remedy. The acidity of this best BHA exfoliant gently eats away at the dead skin, leaving healthy and glowing skin behind!

The Difference Between AHA and BHA Exfoliants

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AHA and BHA can have a lot of things in common when it comes to fixing your skin overnight. Both can make your skin look years younger, more flexible and firmer looking in a matter of hours.

However BHA should be used in the following situations:

-BHA is ideal if you are dealing with oily skin, clogged pores, blackheads, blemishes, or enlarged pores.

-BHA is also preferred for those struggling with sensitive skin and redness.

Not everyone with temperamental skin can tolerate an exfoliant. BHA exfoliant however is the best option to get all the benefits a leave-on exfoliant can provide, while at the same time calm red areas and enhance smoother skin.

How to Find the Best BHA Exfoliant

Now that you know the many ways an AHA or BHA exfoliant can help improve the appearance of your skin, all that’s left to do is find the one that works best for you.
Choose a product and try it for 30-some days to see how your skin reacts. If you see results, keep using the product. However if you notice your skin is starting to change or you’re not getting the results you want; change your routine and try another product. What works for other people might not necessarily work for you!

As mentioned above this BHA exfoliant has been thoroughly tried and tested. Many different people around the world have tried it and the overall consensus seems to be that this for them is the best BHA exfoliant out there.
I think it’s because Paula’s Choice tends to go for natural products, leaving hard chemicals out of the formula. A lot of people suffer from sensitive skin so having heavy chemicals in your beauty products would eliminate a big market share for your products.
As a result I really like Paula’s Choice products just because they go the natural route.

Let me know in the comments below what best BHA exfoliant worked for you!

Other BHA exfoliants on the market

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This BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is clinically proven to reduce the formation of blackheads, reduce excess sebum and hydrate the skin. As it contains Betaine Salicylate, which is a natural BHA ingredient, it strengthens the skin. Instead of using purified water, it is made with White Willow bark water for that deep pore cleanse. Willow is the main source of salicylic acid in nature. As such the use of white willow bark water merely amplifies its potency. Some consider this to be the best bha exfoliant out there. Especially if you have sensitive skin you might want to try this product. Several people have stated that the betaine salicylate found in this product is a lot less agressive than the salicylic acid in most BHA exfoliants.

Free of parabens, artificial colorants, artificial fragrances, triethanolamine and phthalein.

Humane BHA Clarifying Toner, 4 Ounce

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Coming in slightly cheaper than our best BHA exoliant, this toner by Humane might be a more budget friendly product.

Perfect Your Skin

Humane’s BHA clarifying toner with salicylic acid gently exfoliates the skin’s surface to remove pore-clogging debris, excess dirt, and dead skin cells. The non-abrasive liquid also increases hydration, minimizes enlarged pores, and reduces fine lines to leave skin visibly firmer and radiant.

Their proprietary non-greasy formula glides on smooth and absorbs quickly without leaving an oily residue. It also contains natural soothing agents to reduce redness and uneven skin tone.

Safer Ingredients

Unlike other major skin care brands who claim to make the best bha exfoliant, they refuse to use questionable ingredients like:

• Butylene Glycol: Can cause skin irritation, dermatitis and hives. Repeated exposure can lead to skin allergies.
• Tetrasodium EDTA: Made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. Can cause eczema and eye irritation.
• Polysorbate 20: Created with carcinogenic ethylene oxide. Linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity in animals.
• Parabens: Preservatives linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, & reproductive toxicity.

A Higher Standard

Here’s a little known fact: the FDA does not review, nor does it have the authority to regulate what goes into cosmetics before they are marketed for consumer use. Our mission is to raise the bar for personal care products, starting with honesty and transparency.

 

Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment and Moisturizer

best bha exfoliant, best bha exfoliants, best aha exfoliant, best aha exfoliants, bha exfoliant, bha exfoliants, aha exfoliant, aha exfoliants, Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment and Moisturizer, 2 Ounce

This is a very good beta hydroxy acid (BHA, or salicylic acid) exfoliant for acne-prone skin! It’s medicated with 1% salicylic acid and its pH of 3.6 ensures it will function as an exfoliant. Surprisingly, the formula doesn’t contain irritants such as fragrant oils or alcohol—a rarity in anti-acne products—and it’s fragrance-free!

In addition to the salicylic acid being effective, the formula has a silky, slightly hydrating lotion texture that treats skin to a beneficial blend of fatty acids (which may help reduce inflammation from acne) as well as cell-communicating ingredients and antioxidant vitamin E (listed as tocopheryl acetate). If you’re sold on philosophy, this is definitely one of their best bha exfoliant out there.

Pros:

  • Contains 1% salicylic acid (BHA) formulated at a pH to ensure it works as an exfoliant.
  • Treats skin to anti-inflammatory fatty acids and cell-communicating ingredients for extra benefits.
  • Fragrance-free, silky lotion texture.
  • Provides light hydration.

Cons:

  • Expensive, and there are other well-formulated BHA products.
  • Rumours of animal testing

 

Let us know below what you think is the best bha exfoliant and what your experiences have been!

 

 

Blackheads in your ear: how to get rid of ear blackheads?

The best way to get rid of ear blackheads

What are they?

Ear blackheads, as the name suggests, are blackheads that form in ears. It’s however a very uncommon place for blackheads to appear. Even though it might not be the most obvious spot for a blackhead to come up, at least you can imagine worse places for it to be!

Removing ear blackheads is one of the harder places to remove them.
With nose blackheads at least you can see in the mirror where the blackhead is and more or less do it yourself by using a blackhead extractor tool.
You might need some assistance from your best friend or partner with taking out the blackhead in your ear. Chances are they are probably the first ones to notice them anyway!

How do I get blackheads in my ear?

Ear blackheads are formed just like any other blackhead. When dead skin cells mix with naturally occurring oil on your skin there is a danger they will seep into an open pore. As a result the pore will get clogged up and due to a mixture of sun and oxygen the top of the pore (or more exactly the sebum within the pore) will overtime start to oxidize and turn black.

ear blackheads

While the most common place for a blackhead to be is your face, blackheads are also able to form on other parts of your body. You have tiny little hairs in your ear, which means you also have hair follicles (pores). If one of these pores gets stretched, it will fill up with dead skin cells really fast. If you are unlucky it can also be filled with bacteria, causing ear blackheads.

1) Blackheads will not disappear over time

Your body does absolutely nothing to stop blackheads from forming naturally, nor does it care if your pores are blocked. The only time your body will react to a pore being clogged is if the pore grows over with a tiny skin layer. At this point the pore has turned into a pimple. If the pimple is not treated properly it might get infected.

2) Blackheads  are not dirt and scrubbing with soap will not help

Your pores are too deep for any normal soap to have any effect, nor can you scrub them off. The only type of soap that might have some effect needs to be used in combination with an exfoliation routine. Look for cleansers that contain “salicylic acid”. If you exfoliate before applying the cleanser you’ll be twice as effective in preventing ear blackheads from forming.

3) Blackheads will come back if not treated properly.

Using a blackhead extractor tool will do only part of the job. You might get the blackhead out fully, but the pore the blackhead came from will still be open wide. Applying a toner might help close the pore or at the very least get it tightened up more.

Getting rid of them!

blackheads-in-ear

There are a few ways to get rid of blackheads in ear and stop them from ever becoming a big problem again. This does mean you will have to start taking care of your skin.

Blackhead removal methods

Not all methods commonly used in the fight against blackheads will do the trick when your blackheads are in your ear. However others, although they might be a bit cumbersome, will do the trick.

The old favorite: Using a blackhead extractor tool

This, combined with oil cleansing, remains one of my go-to methods to get rid of ear blackheads. No matter where they form blackheads can always be extracted using a comedo-extractor tool. Most commonly however you’re not extracting blackheads but you’re getting rid of sebaceous filaments. But that is a story for another time!
Removing ear blackheads using a blackhead extractor tool is pretty straight forward.
Select the right size of loop you need for the blackhead at hand from the array of blackhead extractor tools at hand.
Then simply place the loop over the blackhead and with a swooping motion apply pressure around the dot.
The motion you are aiming for is like you’d be scooping some ice cream into a bowl.
While applying pressure to the side of the blackhead, slowly move your hand down as to push the gunk out of the pores.
Once extracted, wipe off the tool with some rubbing alcohol to make sure there is no cross-contaminatio next time around!

Oil cleansing

My favorite method is the oil cleansing method. Oils tend to easily dissolve in other oils. As a result if you apply oils on your ear, logic dictates that the naturally occurring oil on your skin will dissolve into this cleansing oil, after which your skin will be less oily, resulting in a lower chance of you getting ear blackheads.
Apply it before you wash your face and rub it in for a good minute.

Chemical cleansing

Using a cleanser you are using a mild acid to go into your skin and slowly eat away a layer of dead skin cells, leaving pristine skin behind once you wash it off.
As mentioned above you can use either salicylic acid (BHA) or glycolic acid (AHA), but you can also alternate between them every day.

Salicylic acid will go in your pores and pull everything out, while glycolic acid will help you tighten your pores and push out what’s stuck in them. Glycolic acid will also help you with a better skin texture.

To clear ear blackheads with a cleanser follow the following routine:

  • Splash lukewarm water on your face
  • Use a cleanser to wash your face gently for 30 seconds
  • Dry your face with a soft towel
  • Apply a BHA – or AHA cleanser depending on your skin type
  • Wait 20 minutes for BHA, 30 minutes for AHA before rinsing it off
  • Moisturise your face
  • Apply sunscreen (especially when using AHA)

There you go!

See a nice compilation of successful ear blackheads extractions for more info:

Toner against blackheads: what to look out for!

toner against blackheads, professional blackhead removal

Let’s talk a bit more about toners and what toners should contain if you are going to use toner against blackheads.

What are toners and why are they useful?

Historically toners have had somewhat of a bad rep. Toners used to contain a whole bunch of ingredients of severely poor quality. They had bad formulations and snake-oil salesmen were bringing them to the masses. They were accompanied promises that could never be fulfilled.

Today however toners can change the way you look and feel completely. Toners are great for reducing the size of enlarged pores and restoring the skins natural pH levels.
Tightening the pores will make it much more difficult for blackheads to form as there is a reduced chance of any sebum sneaking in and clogging up a pore.
It is not possible to completely shrink up a pore. However toners do contain a component called astringents, which is used to close pores up.

What your toner against blackheads shouldn’t contain.

toner-against-blackheads

Toners loaded with alcohol or menthol are too aggressive for your skin. If you apply a toner that is too aggressive then the skin cannot revitalize itself properly. As a result your skin will suffer and will more than likely be in an imbalance, bringing blackheads with it. Usually this imbalance comes to be due to the fact that the toner tends to strip your skin of the natural oils that are already present.
Products like Clean and Clear simply make sure no oil is left behind after a few wipes.

Toners to look out for when buying toner against blackheads are toners that are laced with alcohol or menthol, these are the worst in stripping your skin of its natural oils.

Toners for differetn skintypes

Especially toners geared for people with an oily or combination skin type are loaded with the above mentioned ingredients. Toner against blackheads for dry skin types aren’t any better and will still contain these ingredients, albeit to a lesser degree.

For oily skin, I would recommend a very gentle toner like Cetaphil (or a generic brand), or Dr. Bronner’s Baby soap, or an organic castil or olive oil soap. These are all creamy and lotion like and will not over strip your skin, which in the case of oily skin, simply causes more oil production.

Alternatively, if you wish to take a more natural approach, lemon juice may also be used to tighten up the pores. However, lemon juice may have the effect of lightening the skin tone during summer so be careful not to ruin your complexion.

Toner is a must have item for anyone with oily or combination skin types as leaving your pores wide and open is a recipe for disaster. I recommend Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner for oily skin. This toner works wonders for reducing the size of pores and keeping skin feeling fresh and healthy.

Toner against blackheads can be used everyday, twice a day, along side gentle cleansing of the face and moisturizing.

Natural toner against blackheads: Witch Hazel:

witch hazel toner against blackheads

Probably one of the most common uses for witch hazel is in toner form. If you check your already existing toner bottles at home, chances are it has witch hazel already in it.

Witch hazel is a natural product that contains a lot of tannins. That’s an excellent astringent. Astringents are products or chemicals that have a pore-tightening effect on the skin. Not only that, it also cleanses some of the excess oil of the skin. What more could we ask for right?!

So health-wise, those who oppose the use of strong chemicals in toner against blackheads, witch hazel could be a good option for you.

Witch hazel may also be used to treat blemishes or skin irritations that are already present on the skin. Just apply some witch hazel on a cotton pad. Then dab it in and around the irritation that is present. It will help reduce acne, blackheads and even bruises or speed up the healing process!

Natural toner against blackheads: Apple Cider Vinegar:

Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, 16 Ounce - 1 Pack toner against blackheads

Using organic apple cider vinager you can make an excellent natural and home based toner that doesn’t require you to break bank.

Apple cider vinegar toners have been shown to help balance and restore the skin’s natural pH levels. It has also been shown to improve overall complexion.
It can help even out skin tones due to the acidic contents of the apple cider vinegar. Also it lightens out sun and age spots.
Due to the acidity of the toner it can help dissolve dead skin cells. This makes it a great toner against blackheads as we all know a buildup of dead skin cells and oil in the pores is what leads to blackheads, breakouts and blemishes.

All you need to do to make this toner is mix about 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with 4 tablespoons of distilled water. Mix it in a bottle and shake well before use.

The mixture can be stored at room temperature.

Also note that the mixing ratio for this excellent toner against blackheads is simply a starting ratio. If you want some stronger stuff, simply mix in more Apple Cider Vinegar. But be careful if you have sensitive skin! Be gentle on yourself :).

 

3 Homemade and natural nose blackheads scrubs

Blackheads on your nose can be some of the most difficult spots to clean. The curvature of your nose, nostrils blocking the path of your tools, various things are just not in your favor when trying to clean your nose. The following nose blackheads scrubs recipes will provide you with enough firepower against those nose blackheads and provide you with a smooth skin afterwards.

Nose blackheads scrubs recipes:

Apply a sugar scrub.

oil sugar nose blackheads scrubs

Making a mixture of oil and sugar can be helpful when trying to make gentle nose blackheads scrubs that won’t damage your skin. When choosing the right kind of oil, make sure to pick jojoba oil as it mimics the oil your skin produces the closest.

If jojoba oil is hard to find, you could also use rapeseed, olive and sweet almond oil as alternatives.

Method:

-Mix 4 tablespoons of oil with 1 cup of brown or white sugar. Stir until you get a nice paste.
-Wash your face with lukewarm water and disinfect your hands with rubbing alcohol. Then scoop some of the paste onto your fingertips and gently massage it into your skin. Make sure you get especially behind the nostrils as well!
-Do this for a couple of minutes then rinse your face again with lukewarm water.

Don’t overdo it with this scrub. Excess scrubbing can cause skin irritations or even worse, it can dry out your skin. Twice a week is more than enough.

Make sure you store this scrub in a cool, dry place in an airtight jar and it should stay good for up to 2 months.

Exfoliate your nose with baking soda.

baking soda nose blackheads scrubs

Scrubbing and exfoliating are important factors in your battle against nose blackheads as it clears the skin of any dead skin cells that might mix with the oil on your skin and start clogging pores.

Method:

-In a bowl with mineral water, mix about 2 teaspoons of baking soda. If the mixture seems to dry, add some more water, if the mixture seems to wet, add some more baking soda.
The goal here is to get to a paste that you can easily rub onto your skin.
-After a paste has formed, take some onto your fingertips and gently rub your nose and your nostrils. Make sure not to break the skin though so be nice and gentle to yourself when you do this.
-Let it sit for a couple of minutes before washing it off. Again with lukewarm water.

Try this scrub a couple of times a week and see how your skin changes. If nothing happens after 30 days of trying, switch to something new, if it does, keep doing it and watch your skin glow!

See the following video to get an idea of what we are after:

 

 

 

Make oatmeal nose blackheads scrubs.

oatmeal nose blackheads scrubs

The combination of oatmeal, lemon juice and yogurt works well to keep your skin free of blackheads.

Method:

-In a bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of oatmeal, three tablespoons of plain yogurt (preferably organic) and the juice of half a lemon.
-Take some paste into your hands, apply it to your nose and let it sit for a couple of minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.
-Do this at most twice a week, see what happens and watch your skin glow!

Pro tip: You can also switch out the yogurt and lemon with the juice of 4 tomatoes and a teaspoon of honey. The goal again is to get to a paste, so if the paste seems to liquid, add more dry ingredients and vice versa.

There are more tips and tricks on how to get rid of blackheads using nose blackheads scrub recipes here.

Blackhead extractor tool: tips and tricks!

Before you start squeezing any blackheads on your skin there are a few things you need to be aware of with a blackhead extractor tool.

Blackheads form due to a blockage of your pores by a mixture of oil on your skin and dead skin cells. Dermatologists and cosmeticians call this mixture “sebum”.
Once a pore is blocked by sebum one of two things can happen.

1. The pore can grow a small layer of skin to “grow over” the pore, effectively closing in the sebum. This is called a whitehead, or more commonly a pimple.

2. The pore does not grow over and the sebum trapped inside the pore oxidizes due to constant contact with the air and turns to a blackish color. These are, you guessed it, blackheads!

You can actually sort of tell the age of a blackhead just by how black the sebum is that comes out of the pore once squeezed. The older the blackhead, the darker the sebum that pops out.

So back to our original topic:

If you have decided you’ll try and extract blackheads you need to make sure your tools are up to scratch.
You can read here where you can get a good quality blackhead extractor tool kit to get you started.

So to get you started you need a good cleansing routine.

blackhead extractor tool routine

I emphasize on routine as for most people this seems to be the hardest thing to get started or hold on to. The trick why so many celebrities have amazing skin is because they have a team of dermatologists and cosmeticians whose job it is to ensure that the celebrity in question does their daily cleansing routine to the letter.

So there are a couple of steps in this routine;
Make sure that before you go to bed your face is clean. Wash it twice with lukewarm water to make sure any makeup residue or other impurities are fully washed from your face.
Use a cleanser while you do this. However don’t use anything harsh, the trick is to exfoliate gently and in a controlled fashion. Washing gets the impurities off, not scrubbing!

Use a gentle wash cloth to massage the cleanser into your face so you can get a deep pore cleanse out of it.
Afterwards use a clean towel to gently pat your face dry. Now that this is set you are ready for the second phase.

Soften your skin.

To make it more easy on yourself and to make the treatment that is coming more comfortable it is important to first soften up your skin. You can do this by for example wrapping a fresh towel around your face that is drenched in hot water for about 2-3 minutes. Or you can also take a hot shower after which you start your cleansing ritual immediately.

Disinfect your hands.

cleanser

What use is it to treat your skin if the blackheads come back the day after anyway right? In order to make sure this doesn’t happen you can use gloves. Or then you can make sure your hands are properly disinfected. Just rub some rubbing alcohol onto your hands. Additionally paying extra attention to massage the alcohol into your fingertips is your best bet of making sure your hands are clear.

Also if you are about to treat acne with the extractor tool then it is important to also make sure your spots and the skin around the acne is disinfected as well. We don’t want any bacteria to spill over into the surrounding pores causing an outbreak as soon as you wake up the next morning.

My personal advice however is to just have a pair of disposable gloves at the ready for ease of comfort.

Now comes the good part:

Using the blackhead extractor tool:

squeezing blackheads using blackhead extractor tool

In this kit there are several different blackhead extractor tool for several different blackhead and acne types.

Use the lancet tool to carefully pierce the skin that is on top of the pore. Then afterwards turn the tool around. On the other side is a scoop like tool with a hole. Place the hole over the opened whitehead and carefully press down, while gently rocking the tool from side to side.

Important things to remember:
If you are unfamiliar with using the lancet tool or you are having difficulties piercing the skin, leave it be and go to a dermatologist or cosmetician. They are trained to do this. If you force it you might end up with a nasty acne scar that will take some more advanced treatments to get rid of.

Method

In your kit there are several looped tools. These loops are for various different sizes of blackheads.
The larger the pore in which the blackhead sits, the bigger the loop you need to choose on your tool in order to get everything out.

If you look carefully you’ll also notice that some of the loops are placed at a slight angle. This is all to accommodate for your various facial features. For example a blackhead that sits right behind the nostrils is will be quite tricky to remove with a flat ended loop.
Pick a blackhead extractor tool with a slight angle to its loop to get into those hard to reach spots.

When trying to get a blackhead out, place the loop over the blackhead.  Then with a scooping motion as if you would scoop some ice cream, apply pressure and pull downwards. The blackhead should slowly but surely come out of the pore. Don’t be dis-encouraged if it doesn’t come out immediately. There is not necessarily need to apply more pressure. Just maintain the pressure you have and simply wait until it oozes out. If the waiting becomes unreasonably long (several seconds), then apply more pressure.

Finish with some more disinfecting.

Finishing up after using blackhead extractor tool

Finally make sure that your blackhead extractor tool and other tools are disinfected. Once your tools are disinfected your face is up next.
Apply some toner to a cotton ball and gently wipe your entire skin. Afterwards apply some moisturizer and you can rest assured that when you wake up the next morning, your skin will be pure and clean!

Want to know more? Read up here to get some more information on blackheads and acne!