The Great Blackhead Banishment: And So We Begin...Morgan Shanahan
I have generally good skin. I’d say “I’ve always had generally good skin,” but that would be an outright lie, because when I was sixteen, my skin suddenly turned on me and started sprouting mountainous pustules which my dermatologist quickly prescribed accutane for. Accutane, for the uninitiated, is the miracle skin clearing agent that was discovered as an accidental side effect for a cancer drug … so the story goes … and it became all the rage with pizza-faced teens. Aside from the fact that you had to have your liver function tested every few weeks and could UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES go into the sun while on it, Accutane was something of a miracle cure — my brush with problem skin was a thing of the past after just a five-week course. (While I’m grateful to Accutane for my lovely adult skin, I do sometimes wonder if I’ll wake up one morning without a face. Only time will tell.)
Anyway, I’ve seriously digressed, but the point is from that point forward, zits have mostly left me alone save for a few weeks before my wedding, because OBVIOUSLY, life is hilarious. Blackheads, on the other hand, not so much. So, thanks to the invention of wet/dry foundation, while my overall skin LOOKS good, up close I’m — as the great Cher Horowitz once put it — a total Monet, with blackheads all but covering my nose and chin. (I know, gross, don’t judge me.) And I had basically resigned myself to a lifetime of tiny dirt particles embedded in my face.
Enter MicroNeedling. What is MicroNeedling? Oh, just a process in which tiny needles create 3mm divots in your skin, thereby spurring your natural healing and collagen to go into overdrive and make you look all fresh and tight. But not too tight like a face lift. You’re not about that life. Think of it as tilling your face. MicroNeedling is non-invasive and relatively painless, and although you are a little red and puffy afterwards, you can basically get back to business within the hour.
So while I walked out looking like this (basically the equivalent of a bad sunburn):
My skin now looks like THIS (in super duper extreme close up):
And as a totally unexpected and added bonus to the MicroNeedling I did to undo some of the careless sun damage I’ve endured over the past few years where my sunscreen habit fell by the wayside, my chin and most of my nose were nearly blackhead-free! Blackheads that had literally been there for years washed out with a gentle cleanser after my MicroNeedling was through. No, literally YEARS. Because I thought some of them were actually freckles, and now my nose has little holes in it where the dirt used to be.
I mean see? How gross is that? I’ll give you a minute to swallow that vurp back down.
And now that I’ve gotten those blackheads that predated my daughter out of my face, I can’t stand the thought that there are other years-old bits of filth still embedded. And since I don’t want to tear my nose off completely, and I can’t afford to get MicroNeedling every week (although I do still have a second session coming up and I am VERY excited to see what it does for the remaining filth), I need to find some sort of effective at-home method of removing these blackheads. Because WOAH, what a difference it makes. My skin is luminous. I don’t mean to brag, but you guys, I thought that my blackheads were freckles — I’d been living a lie for a LONG TIME.
So, I’m open to suggestions and ready to do the leg work. Is it the vaccuum extractor that will banish the blackheads for good? Dissolving toners? Regular steam showers? Committing to a regular facialist? It’s not going to be picking at my skin in the mirror for hours on end … because I am really starting to fall behind on other things. What works for you?