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Are you worried and too conscious about those small black spots on the tip of your nose that spoil the look of your otherwise beautiful face? Have you tried all those creams and other treatments available in the market but did not get the desired results? Try this simple home remedy for blackheads using tea tree oil, a natural, safe and effective means to treat blackheads.
Blackheads are a specific kind of dark acne lesion, so-called because they contain oxidized melanin, the pigment made by skin cells called melanocytes. A comedo is a clogged hair follicle (pore) in the skin. Keratin (skin debris) combines with oil to block the follicle. A comedo can be open (blackhead) or closed by skin (whitehead), and occur with or without acne. In other words, blackheads are a plug of sebum in a hair follicle, darkened by oxidation.
Causes of blackheads
Blackheads have a well-described pathogenesis – pores become blocked through the following process:
The sebaceous glands overproduce sebum (and skin cell overgrowth may also be a factor)
The excess sebum clumps together with dead skin cells and blocks the hair follicle
The open comedo exposes this plug of sebum to the air, resulting in oxidation of the oily, waxy substance, turning it a black colour.
Hormonal change during puberty is the most common trigger for excess sebum production.
The male sex hormone androgen triggers greater secretion of sebum and its production surges during adolescence.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is one of the most extensively researched essential oils. is an essential oil with a fresh camphoraceous odour and a colour that ranges from pale yellow to nearly colourless and clear. It is taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia. It is toxic when taken by mouth, but is widely used in cosmetics and skin washes. Tea tree oil has been claimed to be useful for treating a wide variety of medical conditions and a variety of dermatologic conditions, including dandruff, acne, lice, herpes, and other skin infections. It contains natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
How to use tea tree oil for blackheads
1. Face mask
A few drops of tea tree oil can be added to either store-bought or homemade face masks to kill bacteria and dry out pimples. Here are some recipes for homemade face masks using tea tree oil:
Mix few drops of tea tree oil with two tablespoons of green clay powder. Add enough water to make a paste. Apply the mask evenly, all over your face and neck. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes and rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
Mash together three drops of tea tree oil, a teaspoon of jojoba oil and very finely chopped tomato to make a purée. Apply this refreshing face mask directly to clean skin and leave on for 15 minutes, before rinsing off with warm water and patting dry.
Add 5 drops of tea tree oil to 1/4 cup of plain yogurt and apply as a mask. Rinse off with warm water after 15-20 minutes.
2. Homemade face scrub
For an effective, acne-fighting face scrub, try mixing 10 drops tea tree oil with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of sesame or olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Gently massage on your face, using circular motions, for 2-5 minutes. Wash off with warm water and pat your face dry. As both tea tree oil and honey are natural preservatives, you can make this scrub in bulk and store in a jar.
This scrub may be a little rough for people suffering from cystic acne, but is perfect for mild to medium breakouts.
3. Use during cleansing and moisturizing
A few drops of tea tree oil can be added to your daily moisturizer and cleanser to help fighting blackheads permanently. Apply 2 – 6 drops, depending on how strong you want it. Just be careful not to get it in your eyes!
4. Add it to your bath
Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to your bath tub when it’s full of water. Let it sink and blend for a bit before you start bathing. This will help clear acne on your chest, back and other parts of your body. The oil will add a fragrant scent to your bath. Breathing in the tea tree-infused steam can help to alleviate congestion, so you should also try this when you have a cold! You can alternately use tea tree oil directly for an effective and natural treatment. The oil will penetrate the skin to unblock the sebaceous glands, disinfect pores and dry out blackheads.
Pour a few drops of tea tree oil onto a cotton bud. Gently dab it onto any pimples or spots. Leave for a few hours, or overnight. The redness and swelling should decrease. If undiluted tea tree oil is a little too harsh or drying on your skin, mix a couple of drops of tea tree oil into a few teaspoons of aloe vera gel and apply directly onto the affected area.