What’s the difference between whiteheads and blackheads? | MyHQ Blog

What’s the difference between whiteheads and blackheads?

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What’s the difference between whiteheads and blackheads?

What’s the difference between whiteheads and blackheads?

Many have asked, What’s the difference between whiteheads and blackheads?

Whiteheads and blackheads both occur ‘when pores get blocked with dead skin cells and oils’. The difference is that in the case of whiteheads the pore remains closed; whereas with blackheads, the pore is stretched open.

If a whitehead becomes inflamed, it can easily turn into another, more severe, form of acne.

Blackheads are most common during puberty, when oil production is at an all-time high, and continue to be prevalent in those with combination/oily or very oily skin types. Because they form before bacteria have the chance to enter and fester within the pores, blackheads can develop into a pimple (a papule or pustule) prior to inflammation and is thus said to be the first stage in acne breakouts.

No matter which of the two plagues you, the best way to manage whiteheads and blackheads is to focus on prevention of future problems and removal of existing blemishes at the same time. The following three steps could be useful:

Step 1: Exfoliate

Exfoliating removes the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. Often, this process alone can remove small blemishes, but you do need to be very gentle and use a product that doesn’t contain harsh, abrasive grains that can scratch the surface of your skin and allow bacteria to get in, making your acne and spot problem worse rather than better.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid and useful option to consider as an exfoliant. BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) is ideal for oily, blemish-prone skin because it exfoliates inside pores and helps prevent breakouts. It’s also oil soluble, so it can penetrate into the pores of the skin. The salicylic acid removes dead skin cells and sebum from our skin and pores. It’s effectively an exfoliant, removing old skin cells and debris (like sebum and oil), ensuring new skin cells can thrive.

Options you could consider:

Origins Super Spot Remover Treatment Gel 10ml


The Ordinary salicylic acid


Step 2: Use a Clay Mask

Use a mask regularly to help remove all of the dead skin cells that commonly build up on the top layer of the skin. They also suck out the debris, sebum and other impurities from your pores.

Face masks can be used twice a week if your skin is very oily, but you’ll probably only want to use a clay mask once a week, as it can be quite drying.

Options you could consider:

ORIGINS Clear improvement active charcoal mask to clear pores 75ml


Pixi Glow Mud Mask


Charlotte Tilbury Goddess-Skin Clay Mask


Step 3: Improve Your Skin with Diet and Exercise

Eat a rainbow of colours every day in your food choices. Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.

Get a little sunshine too, as this is proven to be beneficial for acne problems – although you should still wear a sunscreen and take care if you’re using acne treatment products that can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Shop for sunscreen using the link below:


Any exercise that causes you to perspire is good for your skin because perspiration comes out through the pores and is a great way of cleansing them from the inside out! Exercise also improves circulation by getting more blood to the layers of skin below the surface, bringing in vital nutrients and taking away waste and impurities.

Hope you enjoyed learning more about your skin.

For further support and guidance, you can get in touch with our team at personalshopper@myhq.co.ke

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