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Can BHA actually DISSOLVE blackheads/ clogged pores


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#1 v_singh

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 10:14 AM

ok so i was about to by pauals choice BHA (salacylic acid) and on their website it says that BHa can dossolve blackheads. i guess they break the down untill there gone. ive noticed companies selling BHA's all say the same thing. so my question is:

Does BHA actually dissolve a blackhead ?

i was thinkin about doin a lil experiment where i would extract a blackhead using a comdone extractor then submerging it completly in Salacylic acid and leaving it for like 1 - 3 months to see if it actully dissolves blackheads or breaks them down. i would replace the salaclyic acid everyday so that it doesnt go 'off' if thats even possible.


#2 The Genius Next Door

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 07:20 PM

Nothing dissolves them completely. You need to address the root cause, m8.


However, salicylic acid/BHA is probably the single best topical thing I've found for reducing blackheads. And here's a little tip for you: although Paula's Choice products are wonderful in general, (I'm a huge Paula Begoun fan), you would probably save a lot of money by just using salicylic acid powder mixed with water or even crushed aspirin mixed with water. I believe it's exactly the same thing, and it's worked for me immensely.

On a side note, I love your suggestion of experimenting with an already extracted comedone. I'll have to try that myself.

#3 v_singh

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 06:50 AM

cool thanks for the replies ... the geniusnext door - you said that nothing dissolves them completely and that you ahve to adreess the root cause - what is the cause then ? it cant be too much oil coz oil on its own wont block the pores

#4 The Genius Next Door

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 11:09 PM

QUOTE (v_singh @ Feb 13 2009, 07:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
cool thanks for the replies ... the geniusnext door - you said that nothing dissolves them completely and that you ahve to adreess the root cause - what is the cause then ? it cant be too much oil coz oil on its own wont block the pores


I don't believe they know the exact cause, although it's probably that the skin's oil balance is off and that your skin is excreting too many toxins, meaning that your bowels/digestive system are all messed up.
I recently discovered that like many people in Western societies, I have Candida overgrowth, which is probably why I get comedones.
My father has the same thing, but neither one of his parents ever had it, nor did any of his siblings. Unsurprisingly, he was also the only one who refused to eat anything but carbohydrates, and unfortunately, I'm the same way.

You may want to poke around the diet/holistic forums if you want more info on this topic. I'm personally interested in changing my dietary habits/lifestyle and maybe doing a few detoxes, but the convenience factor kind of seems to get in the way.

The best and most efficient way to fix problem skin is from the inside out.

#5 v_singh

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 12:29 PM

yea ive actually been on sporonox tablets nizoral cream and nizoral shampoo to clear up my seb derm and p.folliculitis but it hasnt worked much. ive been using the sporonox for 8 weeks which is WAYYYY longer then wot people normally use it for. and my seb derm is consisdered mild. ive recently seen someone who has had so many paitents with the same story. shes bascilly put me on a candida diet except im not really doing the diet part. shes given me all the wierd powder and liquid things to take to clear it up. so hopefully that will work for my clogged pores aswell.

#6 The Genius Next Door

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 01:55 PM

Haha, cool.
Well, I would love to see how your story unfolds, as we seem to have basically the same problem. smile.gif

How old are you?



#7 LionQueen

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 09:35 AM

QUOTE (v_singh @ Feb 13 2009, 04:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
cool thanks for the replies ... the geniusnext door - you said that nothing dissolves them completely and that you ahve to adreess the root cause - what is the cause then ? it cant be too much oil coz oil on its own wont block the pores


Sebum is not always liquid. Sometimes it is waxy and thick. It will most definitely clog your pores.

My comedonal acne is due to a combination of two factors, both of which I believe to be genetic. One is a tendency to this thick, waxy sebum; the other is that my skin cells do not shed properly. So my pores get clogged with a combination of the two.

Salicylic acid is soluble in oil, so it can penetrate the pores ... and it does break up those sticky skin cells and exfoliate within the pores. In my experience, though, the blackheads don't "dissolve" .... they loosen up and gradually come to the surface, where they can be extracted easily. Continued use of BHAs should prevent them from recurring.

#8 v_singh

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 10:23 AM

lion queen how long have you had clogged pores ?

so basically this is genetic and im gona have them untill i die ! FFS !

even with cotinued use of bha and all those other prescription creams you can get you will still get blackheads and clogged pores ?



QUOTE (The Genius Next Door @ Feb 14 2009, 07:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Haha, cool.
Well, I would love to see how your story unfolds, as we seem to have basically the same problem. smile.gif

How old are you?


ive just turned 20 ... had these damn clogged pores for the last 5 years and most likley for the rest of my life !

#9 LionQueen

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 10:28 AM

I'll be 45 this summer. I've had clogged pores since I was 12. Sorry, I know that's not good news.

This type of acne is actually one of the most stubborn and difficult to treat, because many of us never outgrow it. Topical retinoids and BHAs do work very well, but you have to keep using them or the bumps will come back.

#10 dsrfgsertwe

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 12:08 PM

QUOTE (LionQueen @ Feb 22 2009, 11:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This type of acne is actually one of the most stubborn and difficult to treat, because many of us never outgrow it. Topical retinoids and BHAs do work very well, but you have to keep using them or the bumps will come back.

true. my secret weapon against blackheads and closed comedones is clean & clear blackhead scrub (i know, right? there is not one other product from a drugstore that helps AT ALL, but this does a great job.) as soon as my skin clears up, i often stop using the scrub, only to have them come back at full force a few weeks later...which is happening now haha...i've resolved myself to using it at least 2-3 times a week for maintenance in the future

#11 v_singh

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 02:21 PM

QUOTE (LionQueen @ Feb 22 2009, 04:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'll be 45 this summer. I've had clogged pores since I was 12. Sorry, I know that's not good news.

This type of acne is actually one of the most stubborn and difficult to treat, because many of us never outgrow it. Topical retinoids and BHAs do work very well, but you have to keep using them or the bumps will come back.


by cloged pores do you mean blackheads ? mine are white. they are like white beads and can easily come out if i just rub my skin on my nose. but they come back within 1 day. i cant believe im gonna have this for the rest of my life. they have made my pores MASSIVE.

so retinoids dont actaully correct anything to do with clogged pores coz as soon as you stop using it they come back. i cant be using retinoids for the rest of my life !

#12 LionQueen

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 02:38 PM

Before I started using Green Cream, I had severely clogged pores -- blackheads and bumps (closed comedones), which would get inflamed sometimes.

Green Cream cleared up the bumps, and BHAs and mandelic got rid of the worst of the blackheads. I still got congested pores on my nose, chin, and forehead, though. These didn't have hard comedones in them, just waxy sebum, but they were still annoying.

My derm put me on a low-dose Accutane course to get try to get rid of folliculitis, and an additional benefit was that it cleared my pores really well. I'm now on a very low-dose maintenance dosage, and reducing it every few months. So far my pores are staying clear.

#13 v_singh

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 04:08 PM

so with the accutane your pores are now free from any blackheads, clogged pores etc ?

you said GC cleard up the bumps ... what exactly do you mean bumps. are you talking bout the same white hard bead things that you can just rub off with you finger. (this is what i have - they are hard round things) ... or do you mean like little acne spots. ?

#14 LionQueen

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 05:18 PM

Before GC, my face was covered in small hard flesh-covered bumps .... closed comedones. For the most part they weren't inflamed, but sometimes they would become so.

When the comedone eventually surfaced, it could be extracted or rubbed off, but most of these bumps were closed.

#15 v_singh

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 08:42 PM

QUOTE (LionQueen @ Feb 22 2009, 11:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Before GC, my face was covered in small hard flesh-covered bumps .... closed comedones. For the most part they weren't inflamed, but sometimes they would become so.

When the comedone eventually surfaced, it could be extracted or rubbed off, but most of these bumps were closed.


i think what you have is somthing differnt to mine. i basically have like a little white hard lump that just appears in every pore. there not flesh coloured of anything. its basically just sebcoues material / sebecoues filaments. they dont get inflamed or anything. they are like blackheads but their white and are not as hard to remove as blackheads. they can all re rubed off my skin but they just come back within 1 day.

#16 LionQueen

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 08:58 PM

You might consider having a chat with your derm about low-dose Accutane to reduce sebum production.

A good AHA topical might also help, since it sounds like your problem is largely confined to the surface of the skin. I'd recommend a lactic acid serum, as it is less irritating than glycolic. Lactic acid is also a humectant, so your skin will actually retain water better when you use it.

Diana Yvonne makes excellent hydroxy acid products. www.dianayvonne.com

#17 chrism07921

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:13 AM

It's my understanding thru personal use and some reading that salicylic acid actually has the effect of chemically "burning" the comedone, resulting in the sticky waxy walls changing into something that is easier to protrude thru the skin with the proper extraction techniques. It's amazing how well this works, even the slightest amount of SA applied on a blackhead will dramatically ease the effort needed to extract - the causal effect and before/after is readily apparent to even the layman's eye. The problem is, extracting the comedone simply allows for it to get replugged more quickly sometimes, and it can seem like the frequency of extraction increases as a result.