The most common cause of closed comedones is making the wrong choice for skin care products. The biggest villain are moisturizers, sunscreens or foundations that contain any oil or petroleum derivatives. Most dermatologists will recommend that you be sure that your skin care regimen only includes oil-free products. My personal favorite is Neutrogena, which is available in many pharmacies. You can certainly spend more money at the department store cosmetic counter with products from Mac, Clinique, and Lancome. Be sure to ask for only oil-free products.
Long-term sun damage can also be the cause of whiteheads. These are called solar comedones and often appear on the upper cheeks near the eyelids. However, any part of the face can be susceptible.
There are physical remedies to remove them where the dermatologist uses a needle-like hook to puncture them and then squeeze out the contents. Estheticians often assist with the extraction process.
It is also important to avoid skin care products that you do not need, such as toners, astringents and skin conditioners. Prescription medications such as Differin gel and Retin-A can be very effective in reducing the future development of the whiteheads. These drugs may cause temporary dryness but in the long run can create a smooth, blemish-free skin. There are other medications prescribed by dermatologists that can offer even more improvement. Patients need to be treated as individuals and there is no perfect regimen that works for everyone.