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Q&A: Whiteheads Vs. Blackheads, What’s the Difference?

You ask, we answer!

Whiteheads vs. Blackheads

Q. What are blackheads?

A. Also known as open comedones, blackheads are widened hair follicles plugged with keratin squamae (dead skin buildup), oil, and sebum. Despite their name, this type of acne can actually range anywhere from yellowish to a dark, grey-brown in color and appear as small dark spots on the skin. 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.

Blackheads are not a sign of dirtiness or poor personal hygiene, contrary to popular belief. Their dark color is actually a simple chemical reaction that occurs; when the buildup comes in contact with oxygen, it oxidizes into a dark plug.

[We recommend: Acne Facial Cleanser, Silver Powder, Cucumber Tonic Mask]

Q. What are whiteheads?

A. Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, are a type of non-inflammatory acne. Like blackheads, whiteheads are the result of clogged pores. Excess sebum trapped within hair follicle by a layer of dead skin cell buildup, so rather than oxidizing into a darkened plug (a blackhead), it forms into a small, white, pus-filled bump. If a whitehead becomes inflamed, it can easily turn into another more severe form of acne.

[We recommend: Special Cucumber Lotion, Drying Mask, Healing & Soothing Mask, Drying Lotion]

Author: Kimberly Yang

A 21-year-old blogger, sometimes freelance writer, and full-time business school student. Previously the fashion editorial intern for two boutique magazines and now here at Mario Badescu! I tend to be verbose, so I'll keep it as short and sweet as possible: I write and dance. A lot. Also pertinent: Aries, pescatarian, and lover of all things beautiful. I'll be honest when I admit that before MB, I simply washed my face twice daily and left it at that. But ask if I'm a skincare junkie now and I'll nod voraciously. I can never be without moisturizer, and the Vitamin C Serum makes my heart palpitate. And if by some miracle you haven't tired of me rambling about myself or the Vitamin C Serum and are curious for more, visit my Google+ page for more of my work.

One Comment

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