Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Skincare Tips: Removing Blackheads/Whiteheads

Here's my skincare tip on how I remove my blackheads/whiteheads. This is also done to deep cleanse the skin.

I use these 2 products: St Ives Mineral Clay Firming Mask and Daiso's Charcoal Mask.

From left: Daiso's Charcoal Mask, St Ives Mineral Clay Firming Mask

St. Ives Mineral Clay Firming Mask is a kaolin clay mask with deep cleansing properties. It also helps to firm and tighten the skin while cleaning. I've looked it up and found it in another packaging. I'm assuming that's the new packaging so here's the pictures of it.

Daiso Charcoal Mask is just a peel-off charcoal mask. Charcoal is also good at absorbing oil and dirt from the skin. Here's a clearer picture. It comes with a Chinese character "charcoal" and a distinct sticker with a girl spotting a black mask. The sticker is crucial for identifying whether it's a mask or a cleanser since it's not that easy to distinguish between the two (unless you know how to read Japanese).

1. Make sure your face is properly cleansed. Always use a cleanser to wash your face before masking because you don't want any more dirt to fall into your pores instead. Pat your face dry.

2. Squeeze a small amount of St. Ives Mineral Clay Firming Mask onto your dry hands. Your hands must be dry because you don't really want to dilute the clay mask. Spread it over your face in a thin layer but yet thick enough that it's opaque minty green on the face. Squeeze more and add if it's not enough. Wait for 5-10 minutes for it to dry when you're done. This mask dries rather fast and you can feel the mask firming up on the face.

3. When the clay mask has dried up, wash it off with warm water. Warm water helps in removing the clay faster. Tap water is fine for me but you just have to be more thorough in washing everything off. After washing, pat your skin dry. You can see some of the whiteheads/blackheads surfacing to the top since the kaolin clay brings the impurities to the surface of your skin.

4. Next, squeeze a generous amount of Daiso Charcoal Mask. You have to be more generous with this because if there's not enough, the mask couldn't be peeled off in one piece. Spread it over the area you want then try to thin it out while making sure it's still opaque black. You don't want this to be over thick too because this mask takes ages to dry. Wait for 30 minutes to an hour for it to be dried completely. To speed up the drying process, I would recommend you to sit in front of a fan. It speeds up the drying process a lot.

5. When the charcoal mask has dried up, start peeling off the sides of the mask. I would usually start from the bottom and go upwards. Slowly peel everything off. You will see all sorts of whiteheads/blackheads or even tiny facial hair stuck on the underside of the peeled mask.

6. After peeling the charcoal mask, use a gentle cleanser again to wash your face. You can skip this step if you feel the 2 masks have over dried your face. I usually do this because bits and pieces of the Daiso Charcoal still get stuck on my face. It is quite hard to get it all off with just water.

7. After masking and all that extraction, your pores are now open. Pat your face with a toner. Perhaps a toner with witch hazel or orange oil as they help to minimise your pores. If you don't want to invest in a toner, just splash icy cold water will do.

8. Follow up with your normal skincare routine by using moisturiser, essence etc.

I've been using this method ever since I learnt this from other forumers. I really find that the 2 masks work well together. You don't have to buy the exact brand. For clay mask, you can try Queene Helene Mint Julep Masque or you can just try purchasing kaolin clay in powder form to DIY your own mask. For the charcoal peel off mask, you can substitute with any charcoal or mud mask.

You don't have to apply it on the entire face. You can just use it on problematic spots prone to blackheads/whiteheads. At times, when I'm lazy, I'll just apply it to my acne prone area. The clay mask alone helps in bringing the pus (in pimples) to the surface and also dries up the pimple. I use it as a form of acne treatment since it's deep cleansing that area. Of course if there's any open wound, it's best to avoid masking.

You can do this mask once every week.

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