Saturday, July 16, 2016

More questions about Ear Blackheads

Much to my surprise (and disgust!) my husband informed me that I have a bunch of blackheads in my ears. And when I put my finger there, it feels very oily. Help! What can I do to get rid of these unsightly blackheads?

You are not alone in your concerns. Whenever I give a client a facial, I always check inside his or her ears to make sure they are staying clean and blackhead-free. Our ears are sometimes a forgotten place in regard to our skin care routines. But just like other parts of our bodies, our ears have active oil glands and pores that, if left uncleansed for a period of time, will accumulate oil and debris that can create blackheads.

It is a lot harder to get rid of blackheads inside your ears than it is to help prevent them in the first place. If you already have congestion there, first you want to get into the habit of cleaning your ears—something that you have undoubtedly not done for most or all of your life.

I use the same cleanser for my ears as I do for my face. I take a little bit and put the cleanser on the tips of my fingers and stick them right in my ears. Not down the ear canal, just in that pocket that’s like the cup part of the ear. I massage the cleanser in a little bit—not for very long—and rinse when I rinse my face. I actually only do this in the shower, but you can certainly do it at your sink if you prefer. The shower is just easier for me because I can get the shower spray right above my ear and really get the residue of the cleanser all out before getting out of the shower. This should be a daily habit, especially if you are having blackhead problems.

UPDATE: Recently Yonka has come out with a waterless cleanser. I think this would be an excellent product to use inside your ears. The premise with this cleanser is there is no rinsing off involved, which can be a little tricky using a washoff cleanser inside your ears on a regular basis. With this new cleanser,
  • Put Eau Michellaire on a Q-tip--enough to get it wet but not dripping (so not much product is needed) 
  • Go over the cup of the ear area where your blackheads are
  • Do not stick the Q-tip in your ear. We are just treating the problem skin here, not trying to clean out your ear canal

If done on a regular basis, this will hopefully help keep blackheads at bay and then away. While in the shower, using your regular, milky cleanser (as mentioned above) is still a fine thing to do.

If you are trying to get rid of existing blackheads, you will want to take a more active approach. My first suggestion would be to
  • get out your clay mask
  • after thoroughly cleansing the ear area
  • gently put some mask in the cup of your ear or wherever the blackheads are
  • let the clay dry for 10-15 minutes*
  • remove carefully with warm water, or in the shower. I say carefully because you really don’t want cleansers or clay or anything to go down your ear canal

Ears are very delicate organs, and although I am suggesting you clean the area, I am also imploring you to be very careful and not let anything actually go inside your ears.

*This is probably the only instance where letting the clay dry is acceptable. As you have probably read many times throughout this blog, you never want clay to dry on your face. The surface area is too large and it can dry out your facial skin. Here, in the ear area, I think trying to keep the mask moist could cause problems and is definitely cumbersome. When I have clients in for facials and they have ear blackhead problems, I put clay there while they have clay on their face, but in the ear I just let it dry.
  • when rinsing, the best thing to do is to tilt your head with the ear you’re cleaning pointed down to the ground so that gravity will take care of the rest.
  • then with your finger, make sure all the product gets out of the ear cup. Tilting like this will ensure nothing drips or seeps inside of your ear.

If you have a bad blackhead problem, you may want to use the clay for several consecutive days, eventually backing off to 1-3 times per week. When the problem goes away, be sure to continue to cleanse the ears daily in the shower and use the waterless cleanser otherwise. Also, use the clay mask when you feel it’s necessary, maybe once a week for maintenance.

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