The latest in trending blackhead treatments promises to leave skin smooth and blackhead free. It features a common ingredient we've all worked with at some point in our lives: Elmer's Glue. Does it work? I can't tell you, but I can tell you why you should try these alternative, but effective home remedies to remove blackheads. I'm not going to pretend like I've never tried a risky DIY treatment to remove blackheads or blemishes before. I too get caught up in the immediate results from a vlogger and disregard anecdotal evidence and scientific evidence. In fact, I'm sure I've encouraged thousands of people to put semen on their face — that is something I'm proud of because believe it or not, putting semen on your face isn't as dangerous as wearing glue.
But before we go any further, let's discuss how the Elmer's glue mask works exactly. By mixing charcoal and glue together and applying it as a mask, the blackheads are pulled out to the surface and rinsed away with water when rinsing the mask off. The idea is that the adhesive in the glue combined with the charcoal's ability to draw toxins will remove blackheads. Funny thing, though is that an activated charcoal mask will do that on its own. Charcoal is extremely absorbent which is why it's effective at pulling bacteria, dirt, and oil build-up to the surface. However, charcoal's deeply antiseptic properties mean you have to apply it responsibly and in moderation or you can irritate or dry out your skin.
Here's why you shouldn't jump into this DIY glue mask
without knowing the risks: Let's start with the obvious risks which is the ingredients used to
make glue. Most glue is made up of polymers that give it its
sticky-strength, but some glue often contains aluminum powder which is def not
what you want on your pretty face. This brings me to my next point, the familiar warning label on glues. According to
Elmer's own site, if glue comes in
contact with your skin, you should rinse it off immediately with soap and
water. Glue is an adhesive and as Seventeen points out, you could actually
end up clogging
your pores even further. Pulling the glue off, as vloggers readily admit,
can be painful and if you're aggressively pulling glue off your face you risk
dryness and major irritation.
Don't worry, there is still hope for your blackheads. If you're looking for a way to pull your blackheads to the surface, there are way more effective and safer ways to do so. Bonus: The all-natural treatments can actually prevent future blackheads too.
1. Steam Your Face Regularly
your face weekly can prevent and treat blackheads. The heat from the steam
will allow you to basically sweat out bacteria and dirt. I highly recommend
adding cleansing herbs like mint or basil to help penetrate the pores deeply.
2. Make A Weekly Microdermabrasian Treatment
If you've found baking soda too alkaline for your skin or your skin is already dry from previous blackhead treatments, try this honey
paste with cardamom. It is great for all skin types seeking relief from blackheads. Cardamom
is a great natural ingredient for acne, using the powder can slough off
dead skin cells while softly exfoliating your pores.
3. Apply An Egg White Mask
Egg whites have substantial anecdotal evidence for removing
blackheads. Plus, they have vitamins A, D, and E which are great for your skin
and they help heal
and restore damaged skin cells. When you apply an egg white mask, leave it
on for about 10 minutes so it can dry on the skin. You'll notice you face feels
a little tight while wearing egg
whites and smooth once you've rinsed it off with lukewarm water.
4. Clay Mask Sans Glue
If you're suffering from frequent blackheads and haven't
tried clay, no wonder you've turned to glue. As I mentioned, clay has a strong
ability to draw toxins to the surface. A clay mask can prevent both breakouts
and blackheads by cleansing the skin gently without stripping it of its natural
oils — we need these natural oils to keep us from future breaks out and external
factors that dry out the skin. There are plenty to choose from and if you need
a little help picking your clay, check out this post to see which clay is
right for your skin.
5. Turmeric & Blackstrap Molasses Facial
If you really want to put something sticky on your face,
swap the glue for molasses. Blackstrap molasses contains lactic acid which is
hella beneficial for blackheads. According to sources at Organic Facts, it's
often used as a natural
remedy for acne because of its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory
properties and don't even get me started on how applying
turmeric has helped my skin Use a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses, a
teaspoon of diluted warm water, and 1/4 teaspoon of pure, organic turmeric and
mix together in a bowl. Apply on makeup free skin and let your mask sit for five minutes before rinsing with warm water. If you're up for a challenge: ditch the
water and apply molasses/turmeric on affected area and remove with a damp
washcloth before cleansing.
6. Honey Pat Down
I learned the honey pat
down can remove my own blackheads years ago from Wellness Mama, who is
arguably the DIY mentor of the Internet. Apply raw honey to the affected area
and rapidly pat down with clean fingers. If you've ever used tape to attempt to
remove a blackhead, this will feel eerily similar, but less abrasive. The idea
is the honey will cling on to the buildup in the pore and eventually come off.
7. Keep A Bourbon Toner On Hand
I always have a cleansing toning spray made to freshen my
skin up midday. Most often, I skip my toner in between cleansing and
moisturizing and save it for times where my face is feeling slightly oily or if
I just happened to eat greasy food. Frequent use of alcohol
on your face can dry your skin because of the antiseptic qualities, but if
you want to work out existing and future blackheads, make a bourbon
toning spray and use it for a week in between cleansing to keep those pores
If you're doubting instant results from these blackhead
remedies — you aren't far off, the results are dependent on how clogged your
pores are and the quality of your ingredients. Take into consideration that
natural remedies require diligence and patience: our skin is an organ and it
takes time for it to heal. Glue, just like loads of OTC treatments, is a
fast-acting remedy that leaves your largest organ exposed to skin irritation.
Be patient with your skin and it will start behaving — trust me.
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (8)