Are those REALLY Blackheads? Or Sebaceous Filaments?

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Are you suffering from what appears to be blackheads on your nose? However, despite many efforts they keep reappearing?

They might not be blackheads at all, but rather, sebaceous filaments.

What’s the difference between Blackheads and Sebaceous Filaments?

Blackheads are comedones, these are formed when your pores get clogged with oils and sebum and prevents the pore from ‘breathing’. This build-up from oils eventually oxidises, giving it the characteristic black colour. You don’t want these.

Sebaceous filaments however, do not clog the pore but are simply part of the natural oil production that occurs within the pore. Sebaceous glands secrete oils to keep the skin moisturised and protected.

Ok sure, but why are they still unsightly to look at?

We’re told our skin has to be flawless, however this really isn’t the case. Using all those pores strips and squeezing at these filaments will definitely be doing more harm than good. Especially because they’re meant to be there. In addition to this, they may look dark in colour from afar, but using a magnifying mirror will reveal that they aren’t actually black, but rather, yellow or even clear.

How can I get rid of them?

As you may have noticed, physical exfoliation is becoming a thing of the past. Chemical exfoliation is seen as a far better alternative, as it is less harsh and easier to do.

Reddit, especially /r/SkincareAdvice has picked up on this technique to reduce the appearance of sebaceous filaments, without the need to squeeze or use pore strips.

Step #1

Cleanse. As always, use a gentle skin cleanser that won’t overly dry the skin.

Step #2

Apply a BHA serum. You want this serum to penetrate the pores to loosen up any debris in there, and unclog these pores. A peeling solution would be the best option, as they are often higher in concentration and will only be left on for 15-20 minutes.

Step #3

After leaving the BHA Serum on for 15-20 minutes, apply a clay mask. Preferably a cleansing clay mask, most brands work fine however. This mask will draw out the impurities in your pores, and along with it, the sebaceous filaments. Leave this on for 15 or so minutes.

Step #4

Gently rinse off all the product, and you’ll immediately see a difference. Follow up with a moisturiser/serum to tighten your pores and keep your skin hydrated.

How often can I do this?

We recommend you don’t do this very often at all. These sebaceous glands may start overproducing sebum to counteract the dryness (giving you an oily complexion), or could lead to excessive skin dryness. After all, these are natural secretions for healthy skin function.

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