Friday, September 4, 2020

Ear Blackheads—do you have them? Here is WHAT TO DO if you do!

Do you have blackheads in your ears?

Whenever I am doing a skin consultation, I always look inside my client’s ears. And I always let them know if I am seeing buildup there. It’s hard for you to know without inviting another person to look in your ears and tell you. Maybe a loving spouse? Or perhaps your aesthetician. You could also take a hand mirror and look in your ears using the wall mirror in your bathroom. However you find out, it’s good to be aware if you have blackheads there, albeit unwelcome information. It is important to know because you don’t want a mild case of blackheads to become more severe. The more impacted the pores become, the greater the possibility that infection could show up.

The best way to prevent or to start treating blackheads there is to regularly cleanse the area. The easiest way to do this is to simply wash the insides of your ears when you’re in the shower. It’s quick, it’s easy, and you can flood the area with water so there isn’t a soapy residue left in your ears. Directions are listed below.

Keeping the insides of your ears in mind as part of your “skin care” regime is a good idea for long-term health of that area and to prevent problems in the future.

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. As mentioned, 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. Whether or not you already have congestion there, you definitely want to get into the habit of cleaning your ears—something that you have undoubtedly not done for most or all of your life. Here’s what I do to keep my ears clean whenever I take a shower:
  • 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. No matter where you clean out your ears, this should be a daily habit, especially if you are having blackhead problems.

In recent years, Yonka came out with a waterless cleanser. (Many companies have waterless cleansers, Yonka is just the one I know well.) If there was ever a product that was perfect to use to clean out your ears, it’s this cleanser. By putting some waterless cleanser on a cotton pad or Q-tip, you can easily clean that cup in your ear and keep the blackheads away. 

The premise with this cleanser is there is no rinsing off involved. If you are currently using a regular cleanser, I think this would be an excellent alternative to use inside your ears. Here is what I recommend:
  • Put Eau Michellaire on a Q-tip (or cotton pad, if you prefer)—enough to get it wet but not dripping. You wont use much product at all
  • 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 perhaps completely away. While taking a shower, using your regular, milky cleanser (as mentioned above) is still a fine thing to do. In other words, use your regular cleanser on your ears in the shower and use a waterless cleanser at your bathroom sink. The waterless type means you can clean your ears out more often than just while taking a shower.

Getting rid of existing blackheads. If this is what you are trying to do, you’ll want to take a more active approach. 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. These are my suggestions:
  • 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

*This is probably the only instance where letting the clay dry is acceptable. As you’ve heard me say over and over, 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. Here are a few important pointers when it’s time to remove the clay:
  • 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.

I highly recommend finding an aesthetician who is skilled at removing these displeasing invaders. If you already have a person you see for facials, just let them know you want special attention applied to your ear blackheads. See the link below; not every professional will be able to provide this service, but it is definitely worth a try if you have a bad blackhead problem in your ears.

For more information, see:

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