3 Ways to Address Closed Comedones (A.K.A. Whiteheads)
If you have an oily skin type, chances are you’re familiar with or have even experienced closed comedones. Better known as whiteheads, they are a type of acne, similar to pimples and cysts, but appear as tiny white bumps and are caused when pores get clogged by skin debris and oil. This type of acne requires a different plan of attack than those other blemishes, though, if you’re looking to achieve a clear-looking complexion. Instead of popping them or picking at them, which can lead to scarring, try these tips and products that will effectively help you get rid of closed comedones once and for all.
Tip #1: Add Acne-Fighting Products to Your Regimen
In most cases, whiteheads are easy to manage with topical formulas that you can purchase at your local drugstore. When picking products, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests looking for those with acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and glycolic acid as they are all used to help fight and prevent different types of acne blemishes. Dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dr. Jeanne Eyde says salicylic acid helps prevent clogged pores and stops closed comedones from forming. We like the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Acne Toner, an exfoliating toner with salicylic and glycolic acid that helps to remove pore-clogging debris and smooth skin texture.
Tip #2: Take a Trip to Your Dermatologist
If attempting to address closed comedones on your own is unsuccessful, try taking a trip to your dermatologist to get a prescription-strength topical treatment. According to the AAD, dermatologists will typically recommend a retinoid, like adapalene, for addressing both closed and open comedones. We recommend the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Adapalene Gel. Prescription-grade retinoids can increase the turnover of skin cells and reduce the tendency of cells and debris to clump together to clog pores, says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King.
Tip #3: Get an Extraction
According to the AAD, if you’re not seeing any improvement after six to eight weeks of using topical products, try getting a comedo extraction for those stubborn whiteheads. Just make sure to go to a skin-care professional or a dermatologist to ensure you’re getting the best results.