A cucumber mask is very refreshing and a great ‘pick me up’ for skin.
A cucumber mask is very refreshing and a great ‘pick me up’ for skin. Digital Vision.

Beauty at home: Banish those blackheads

I HATE blackheads. You would think now that I’m in my 30s it wouldn’t be a problem but no. Blackheads are simply hair follicles that have become clogged and reflect the light to show a “black head”. Even if you wash properly, blackheads appear due to stuff happening under the skin’s surface.

So here are some of our best blackhead treatments you can do in the privacy of your own home, that don’t cost a fortune:

Make Your Own Pore Strips

In a microwave-proof bowl place one teaspoon of gelatin and one teaspoon of milk and mix together (if too dry add a few more drops of milk). Microwave on high for 10 seconds. When the mixture is cool enough apply it to the trouble area (the nose is a great place to start). Wait 10 minutes for it to set and pull away gently from the skin.

Natural Face Scrubs

Scrubs will gently exfoliate your skin without being too harsh.

Lemon Scrub: This lemon scrub is gentle and also tones your skin. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice to a tablespoon of white sugar, and apply the mixture to the area and very gently (using circular motions) exfoliate the area. Rinse and moisturise as normal.

Treatment Masks

There are lots of simple home remedies for a “blackhead mask” available with everyday ingredients.

For normal to dry skin types:

Natural Yoghurt Mask: Make a paste of one tablespoon of plain yoghurt with two tablespoons of rolled oats. Apply to cleansed and damp skin and wait 10 minutes or until totally dried and remove with a damp cloth.

Cucumber Mask: Grate some cucumber and apply to your face (you might need to be lying down for this one). This mask is very refreshing and a great “pick me up” for skin.

For Oily Skin:

- Beat an egg white until foaming and mix enough rolled oats to make a paste and apply.

- Brew some green tea and let it cool in the fridge, and use it as an “after mask” toner. Nice and gentle!

- Cooking some rice? Save the rice water – it makes a terrific face mask and is great for both blackheads, whiteheads and pimples!

- A mask made from a paste of bicarb and water is great for pimples on the chest and upper arms. Be very gentle if you use this on your face.

Tips to avoid blackheads and pimples:

- Never ever ever sleep in your makeup, no matter how drunk, how tired, how lazy you feel. Cleanse your face well before bed!

- Try not to squeeze pimples or blackheads. But if you do anyway (and we all do) make sure you clean your hands well beforehand and wipe with toner or cleanse well afterwards to avoid spreading bacteria.

- Only wear makeup when you have too. Let your skin breath naturally.

- Change your pillowcase often; twice as often as your sheets if your skin is bad, especially in summer.