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Ask The Makeup Diva
Welcome to Ask The Makeup Diva™! Our resident expert, The Makeup Diva, answers makeup and skin care questions sent in by readers just like you.

Q: How can I get rid of blackheads? I've tried everything, even the strips, and nothing seems to work.

A: "Blackhead." Even the word looks ominous. They look even worse on your face. I know - I've been there. I've endured painful extractions, but they always came back. I used to console myself by believing they were meant to be there, like freckles.

When those pore strips came out, I ran out and bought half a dozen boxes. They didn't work for me either.

One remedy I've found that truly gets rid of blackheads is Differin Gel. Differin is a topical medication available by prescription from your dermatologist. Used once daily, it helps lessen oil production, keeps breakouts at bay and gets rid of those horrid little black spots. Consult your doctor to see if you're a candidate for Differin, or another prescription treatment option.

If a prescription isn't an option for you, the next best thing is daily use of beta hydroxy acid, better known as salicylic acid. It can penetrate the pores better than an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), which only works on the surface cells of your skin, to loosen the pore-clogging oil and dead skin cells that create blackheads. One of my favorite effective and inexpensive salicylic acid products is Paula's Choice 1% BHA Solution (paulaschoice.com). This light lotion can be used all over your face or just on the trouble spots, and it's fairly gentle so you can use it every day (just once a day, though). For more stubborn blackheads they also offer a 2% solution in liquid form that I find works great on regular pimples as well. You can dab it on with a cotton pad or swab and the blemishes clear up within just a day or so.


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