5 Key Steps to Prevent Whiteheads
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To Start with…What Exactly are Whiteheads?
Before I get into the best ways of preventing whiteheads from forming, let me first briefly explain exactly what these little facial nuisances are. In a nutshell, these are just one type of acne related pimple that can occur on our faces.
Like all pimples, whiteheads spring up due to a buildup of dead skin cells, sebum/oil, bacteria, and accumulative agents that eventually clog up facial pores. This bad gunk then blocks up these pores and causes whiteheads to appear in the form of white, tiny lumps. They are also known as a comedo, or comedone if you’re unlucky enough to have more than one!! 🙁
For a more thorough review of everything to do with acne vulgaris, please refer to our Acne Treatment Guide.
Whiteheads vs. Blackheads
A common misconception that occurs in this area is that people think white- and blackheads are the same thing. Or they get the two mixed up. Yes, it’s true that both these skin ailments are a type of pimple and that both are also caused by pores being clogged. However, there is a significant difference in the two.
The difference comes from whether or not the pimple is underneath the skin, or if it’s bursting through to the surface. The former would be a whitehead while the latter is known as a blackhead. This is essentially the only difference between the two, but it is a significant one.
In terms of the color difference, blackheads have a darker appearance because, after bursting through to the skin’s surface, they are then exposed to the air. This causes the comedo to become oxidized. The blackhead will be white or lighter in color underneath, much the same as a whitehead would be.
For some common myths and more information on whiteheads, make sure you have a look at our related piece which can be found by clicking the image located below:
The 5 Preventative Steps
It’s all good and well knowing how to treat a certain type of facial ailment when it occurs. However, it’s significantly more important to know how to prevent something like a whitehead occurring in the first place. When it comes to pretty much anything in life, it’s always far better to be proactive rather than reactive. Dealing with these facial nuisances is a perfect example of this.
The aim of this article is show you how you can take preventative steps on a daily basis which will dramatically reduce the chances of you experiencing a breakout. Below, I have outlined the best 5 such steps that the Health Base team and I have come across during our research on this particular subject.
Hopefully, fingers crossed, one of the following will enlighten and help you! 🙂
Keep Your Oil/Sebum Production at a Healthy Level
It’s quite a natural occurrence to have excessively oily skin. Such a skin type usually can be found on a person’s forehead or perhaps their nose – this is the infamous T area that I’m sure you’ve heard of.
While there is nothing inherently sinister or unhealthy with having oily skin, too much sebum can cause whiteheads to form beneath our skin’s surface. This is because an overabundance of oil will cause our pores to become blocked at a quicker rate. Too much oil on our skin’s surface can also cause dirt, dead skin cells, or bacteria to be transferred to different areas of our faces.
So, how do we properly regulate this sebum production? Regularly exfoliating is the most efficient way of achieving this as this treatment works to remove any excess sebum/oil before it can cause any problems. Take a look at our top notch cleansing routine for an example.
A method that is a personal favorite of mine is to use a good face mask every now and again. Face masks work to draw out any excess oil, dirt, or dead skin cells that have filled up our pores. This is a super removal technique and an excellent way of preventing whiteheads from forming.
Check out our review of Zenmed’s Derman Cleanse Mask for an example of a top class face mask. It’s listed as Product 3 on the Table of Contents.
Take Note: You are What You Eat
In terms of any health, beauty, or fitness related goals, your diet is something that is so unbelievably important.
The significance and impact of what you put into your body cannot be overstated – it really is the making or breaking of your physical goals.
Now, I’m not one for clichés – they are overused and there’s too many of them!! 😉
However, when it comes to understanding a diet and the body’s needs, then “you are what you eat” is not only a spot on cliché but it’s also quiet a good philosophy to live by!
In the vast majority of cases, a person’s body is a pretty correct reflection of their dietary habits. The only anomalies to this occur if there is some sort of health issue going in. But, more often than not, a person’s physical look will be an accurate gauge in determining if they are properly hydrated; if they are getting enough vitamins and minerals; if they’re eating health proportions; if their diet is varied and balanced; or if they are lacking in one of these areas!
When it comes to preventing whiteheads, a good solid diet is a top grade defense that should not be taken for granted. Below is a quick list of dietary “dos” and “do nots” that will greatly help boost your body’s natural ability to increase prevention.
…ensure that you stay hydrated throughout the two – the RDA is 2-3 liters of water per day
…try to have a varied & well balanced diet that includes plenty of fruit & veg – a key trick is to try & eat as many different colors as possible as each color spectrum has different benefits
…incorporate some key hormone balancing foods into your diet – these include blackberries, salmon, ginger, green tea, nuts, lean protein, whole grains, flax seeds, green leafy veg, and eggs
…consume excess alcohol as this will result in empty carbs & as well as dehydrating your skin
…often eat food that has high concentrations of saturated & processed fats – this will result in a boost in arachidonic acid levels in your body which directly inflames your skin causing acne to form
…consume excessively sugary foods – this will cause insulin levels to rise which will then cause your oil glands to overproduce sebum/oil
Change Your Bedsheets & Pillow Cases Regularly
This may seem like a strange one but hear my out, it makes sense I promise. 😉 On average, a person spends 8 – 10 hours a day in bed; from sleeping, to reading, to working on a laptop. This amounts to 56 – 70 hours a week.
That’s quite a lot of time! In fact, there’s no other place that you’ll spend more in during a week.
And, despite this, a huge amount of people are quite bad and forgetful at keeping their beds clean and fresh. This is quite a staggering oversight if you think about carefully.
It’s common knowledge that we humans shed vast amounts of dead skin cells and other substances from our skin on a daily basis – also don’t forget makeup, hair products, facial products et cetera et cetera.
So, therefore, can you imagine the amount of stuff that comes off your body during the 70 hours that you’re in your bed? Incalculable amounts! And where will all this go? Straight onto you bed sheets and pillows! The same pillow that you will then rest your face on for 8 or so hours every night. Beginning to see where I’m going with this yet? I’m sure you are! 🙂
By not changing your bed sheets and pillow cases regularly, you are inviting all of these shedding substances to be reintroduced onto your face. This is not a good thing as these substances will do only one thing if allowed – they’ll block up your pores and create whiteheads. This is why it’s very much advisable to change your bed regularly. Also, dirty beds will attract bed bugs!!
Avoid Products that will Block Pores
This one seems pretty straightforward; the last thing that you want to be applying to your face is something that’s going to clog pores and create whiteheads. However, unless you know what to look for, it can be tricky trying to figure out which products are potentially harmful.
To begin with, don’t overuse facial creams such as moisturizers or toners.
As Mrs. Doubtfire highlights in the above picture, piling on such creams is neither a good look nor is it beneficial for your skin’s health.
These products are designed to be used sparingly and not in excess so keep that in mind.
Also, if you pile on the cream then it also means you’ll have to spend more money in replacing them!
In terms of consistency, my advice would be to stay away from rich, heavy creams. They are quite thick in consistency which can be problematic for our pores. However, if you happen to like such creams, then there’s really no reason to suddenly drop them from your routine. Just be extra careful when apply them, making sure to do so in an economical manner.
Increase the Blood Flow
I’ve explained the importance of having a good healthy diet in battling the emergence of whiteheads. Well, as per usual, exercise goes hand in hand with your diet. Exercise is also a super way of keeping your skin healthy and blemish free.
Generally speaking, exercise is vital in maintaining and improving the health of your body – I think everyone is aware of this!! It’s not much of a secret. 🙂 Though, in saying this, people mightn’t be all that familiar with the exact details of how exercise keeps our skin healthy.
The key lies in the increased blood flow that occurs when we exercise. This increased flow causes our bodies to overheat which thus leads to us sweating. This sweating mechanism helps to remove toxins and other debris from our pores – thus limiting the chances of clogs occurring.
In addition to this, when we exercise, our bodies also bring in more oxygen as our blood is pumping. This means that more nutrients are being flooded throughout our skin. These nutrients will help to strengthen our skin and improve its all-round health.
My Final Word
So, as you can see, there are numerous ways that you can prevent breakouts from occurring. While stopping a whitehead from emerging is not always possible, the likelihood of suffering from one can be greatly decreased if you follow some of the steps that I’ve outlined above.
To be honest, the best steps that you can take to tackle this particular problem – or indeed any ailment – is to possess a clean, healthy lifestyle. If you are eating well and training regularly, then you are bound to be a healthy individual. If you don’t believe me, then just take a look at the people who are in the prime of their physical lives – they positively glow with health!
If you are already suffering from whiteheads or perhaps acne, then please check out some of the articles and reviews that I’ve attached to the bottom of this page. In particular, our Comprehensive Acne Treatment Guide is worth a read.
To Your Health,