9 Skincare Tips for Indian Men with Acne, Oily Skin & Blackheads
The secret to acne, excess oil, and blackhead (and whitehead) removal is finding consistency. In this case, we mean consistency in routine. Here are a few things you can do, which if followed consistently, will give you clear, breakout-free skin!
1. Wash your face regularly
Ensuring your face is washed twice a day is the first step to blackhead free skin. Blackheads form when dirt and sebum (natural oils produced by our body) accumulate inside your pores. Cleanse your skin by washing away any dirt from your face and T-zone every morning and every night before sleeping. Use a charcoal based face wash for the best results.
Blackheads form when your pores are clogged by dead skin cells, excess oil and dirt. When this vile mixture is exposed to the air, it blackens because of oxidation. Exfoliating will remove dead skin on your face, preventing your pores from being clogged from forming while also leaving you looking fresh. We’d recommend you exfoliate twice a week to get rid of blackheads, and we’d recommend it even if you don’t have any blackheads at all.
3. Use a Peel Off Mask
Use a peel off mask to extract blackheads. Peel off masks have a gel-like consistency and must be spread across your face. After a short wait, peel off masks will harden and stick to your face. At this point you can peel off the mask, and the grip of the peel, coupled with the pulling action of peeling will draw out any blackheads from inside your pores. The feeling of peeling is satisfying in itself, but more importantly, you’ll be able to see the results on your peel! To see is to believe, and your peel will be covered in the tiny blackheads you pull out of your skin.
4. Oil Control
Oily skin is a problem for most men. The sebaceous glands on our faces release natural oils called sebum. Sebum collects in your pores, trapping dirt and grime inside. This is what leads to blackheads. The answer is oil control and this is where consistency comes into play. If you don’t wash your face twice a day, it may get too oily. If you wash your face too many times or apply harsh products, peels and packs, it may get too dry. Funnily enough, when your face becomes too dry, your sebaceous glands will overproduce sebum, leaving your skin oily and vulnerable to blackheads once more. Keep your anti-blackhead regimen simple, and keep at it, you’ll see the results!
Keeping your skin moisturised is important. Don’t let your skin dry out to prevent oily skin and acne, that’s actually counterintuitive. If your naturally oily skin is dried out by product, trust that your sebaceous glands will strike back with a vengeance, overproducing oil and clogging your pores. We recommend that you find a light moisturiser you can apply to your skin to keep it nourished and keep your pores tightened. That's right, keeping your skin moisturised will keep your pores tight, and tiny. Tightened pores are less vulnerable to being filled with excess oil and dead skin cells. Try out a non-comedogenic moisturiser without any artificial fragrances as these will clog pores and cause irritation, we've got one just for you!
A healthy diet goes hand in hand with healthy skin. What are the kinds of nutrients you’re looking for to include in your diet? Green leafy vegetables, vitamin – C rich foods, foods filled with antioxidants, omega-3 and water content. What are you trying to avoid? High sugar foods, simple and refined carbs, high sodium foods, liquor and fried food. Here’s are tables of foods easily available in India that you should eat to prevent blackheads and oily skin, and those you should avoid!
Indian Foods that are related blackheads & oily skin
Spinach, Broccoli, Cabbage, Mustard (Sarson), Fenugreek (Methi), Bathua, Arbi leaves etc.
Gooseberry (Amla), Cantaloupe (Kharbooja), Oranges, Tomatoes, Guava, Papaya, Leafy greens
Vitamin C & antioxidants
Water, Cucumber, Tomatoes (again), Spinach, Cantaloupe (Kharbooja), Radish (Mooli), Cauliflower
Walnuts, Peanuts, Fish, Egg Whites
Cookies/biscuits, generic brand juices and cereals, sweet tea & coffee, carbonated soft drinks, ketchup
High sugar levels
High protein meats, fried food, namkeen, pickles & aachar, packaged soups, alcohol
Rice, white bread, pastas, generic noodles brands, cereals, millet, white flour, potato chips, alcohol
High on the glycemic index
Are you used to snacks with tea or coffee in the evening? Then we’d imagine you’re having half of the foods on the bad food list above. Incorporating green vegetables and Vitamin C rich foods, and supplementing your diet with hydrating, omega-3 and antioxidant dense foods will do wonders for your blackheads and oily skin. Check out Part 1 of our 2 part series on Indian foods related to oil control, acne and blackheads here.
Your sebaceous glands produce more sebum when you’re stressed because of increase in cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol is known as the 'stress hormone' and is released when your body goes through stress, whether physical or emotional. The unfortunate response of your body is to send your sebaceous glands into over drive. That’s why you may notice that you start sweating when you’re stressed, even in air conditioned rooms. Sleep on time, exercise (remember to wash up right after), and chill out. Staying stress free is the key to controlling oil/ sebum levels, and thus plays a major factor in preventing blackheads.
Pro tip: Up your vitamin C intake, its necessary to help your body cope with stress. When your body experiences stress, it responds by releasing adrenal hormones. These hormones, produced by the adrenal glands, are essential to the functioning of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA Axis), which helps maintain of your body’s physiological and biochemical balance. Without Vitamin C, your adrenal glands will weaken and your body’s ability to respond to stress is depleted. Every time you’re stressed, the vitamin C levels in your blood drop rapidly, and once you’ve no vitamin C left, your ability to produce adrenal hormones reduces, leading to poor stress management. Check out Spruce Health's 1000mg Vitamin C effervescent tablet here.
- Keep clean – Sebum, dirt and excess oil will collect on your gym towels, phone screen, pillow covers and blankets over time. Keep them clean to avoid blackheads.
- Temperature control – regulating the temperature of the water you use to wash your face is a great way to get the most out of the products you use and manipulate your pores, thereby preventing blackheads. Use warm water to open up your pores, making them easier to clean out. Use cold water to wash rinse your products off of your face, tightening and closing pores, making it difficult for blackhead causing dirt and sebum to enter.
Remember, the most important part about these blackhead prevention and removal tips is ensuring you consistently use them. They’re not requests that are over the top, but they do require you to make changes in some habits, and habits are inherently tough to change. Our suggestion is to keep it simple and plan it out. We’ve made a weekly oil control and blackhead prevention schedule to try out below, print it out or take a screenshot, and let us know if you’re giving it a shot!
How to use the Weekly Oil Control and Blackhead Prevention Schedule:
- Put in a tick mark whenever you complete your task for the day.
- If the habits are all too difficult to take up together, try progressing through the levels.
- Take Sundays off, eat to your heart’s content and forget about exercise. Don’t forget to complete all your Level 1 tasks though!
- Pin up your schedule somewhere visible in your room and leave a pen close by. Alternatively, just take a screenshot and edit in your tick marks.
- Have fun, don’t be too hard on yourself for being unable to complete a habit former.
If you’re looking for men’s grooming products designed to control oily skin and prevent blackheads, check out Spruce Shave Club’s Activated Charcoal Facial Kit! It’s got everything you need for clearer, brighter, blackhead free skin!