Before discussing how blackhead removal peel-off facial masks work, it is important to understand what exactly blackheads are and what causes their formation on the skin.
In simple terminology, a blackhead is nothing but a clogged hair follicle on the skin. The clogging occurs when the sebaceous glands under the skin start producing excess sebum (oil), thus dilating the opening of the hair follicle on the skin (pore). The excess sebum then combines with keratin (dead cells debris present on the skin) to form a small worm-shaped plug in the hair follicle, thus clogging it.
This sebum–keratin plug is referred to as a comedo in medical terminology. If this comedo is large enough to force rupture the skin on the top, it gets exposed to air and turns black due to oxidation – hence the name blackhead. Small comedones that remain covered with skin on the top do not turn black and are hence referred to as whiteheads.
Facial masks for blackhead removal
Applying these special facial masks on the cleansed face and leaving them on for 15–20 min is one simple and affordable way of clearing blackheads. These facial masks can either be wash-off types or peel-off types. They can be applied at home by oneself, or by a professional esthetician at a beauty saloon.
Facial masks do not actually treat blackheads, in the sense that a prescription medical product may do by addressing the root cause. Rather they are a beauty treatment that helps dislodge blackheads from the skin pores.
A number of formulations of blackhead removal facial masks are available in the market that are quite effective. In addition to these commercial products, one can also use some homemade blackhead removal facial masks for mild cases of blackheads. The homemade blackhead removal masks are generally of wash-off variety.
How do they work?
Blackhead removal facial masks help fight blackheads by wielding a multi-pronged action on the skin (which has been pre-cleansed with a normal face wash or cleanser to remove grime, oil and makeup from the surface). The ingredients present in these masks do so by:
- Deep cleansing.
- Removing the buildup of keratin from the surface as well as from the pores.
- Loosening and dislodging of the blackheads from the pores, thus unclogging them.
- Exfoliating action; this removes the dead skin cells and the loosened blackheads.
- Shrinking the pores, thus tightening the skin and making a visible improvement in the skin texture.
- Toning, hydrating and nourishing the skin, lending a calm and soothing feel to it.
- Helping heal any blemishes.
During the deep cleansing action, the hidden impurities from deep inside the skin are pulled out to the surface and removed by the mask’s exfoliation action. The absorbent properties of some kind of a clay (such as kaolin, also called China clay, bentonite, or fuller’s earth) present in blackhead removal facial masks helps remove excess sebum and dead skin cells accumulated on the skin. Clay also has skin-tightening properties, which lends a taut and glowing appearance to the skin.
The exfoliation action of the mask helps unclog the pores by dislodging the blackheads. Ingredients like aloe vera or seaweed help keep the skin hydrated. Nourishing ingredients like vitamins, antioxidants, or some herbal extracts help nourish the skin and heal blemishes, making the skin feel totally rejuvenated once the mask is finally washed-off or peeled-off.
This was all about how blackhead removal facial masks work.
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