The nose is a common area for blackhead development; many suffer from oiliness around this T-Zone area. Blackheads can be quite prominent and not extracting them can lead to a potential breakout or permanent pore enlargement. But what are blackheads, how can you get rid of them, and how do you prevent them from forming in the first place?
What are blackheads?
Blackheads are a form of mild acne. Acne severity can vary and is normally separated into 3 categories: mild, moderate and severe. Individuals with mild acne have comedones (blackheads or whiteheads); blackheads are related to non-inflammatory acne which falls under the mild category.
Blackheads are commonly mistaken as being ‘dirt’ in the pores. While the makeup of a blackhead could be dirt, it’s also down to the natural oil secretions combined with dead skin cells clogging the pore. This build-up undergoes oxidation by the air, giving it the characteristic black/dark grey colour.
How to remove blackheads on your nose
Let’s discuss a few ways in which you can remove the blackheads around the nose area and identify which is the best course of action to take;
1. Squeezing, manual extraction
The quick fix that everyone seems to love. Usually, forcing an obstruction out of the pore can lead to the increased risk of infection and skin damage. You must ensure the correct procedure is followed. Use a facial steamer or hot cloth on the face, this will make extractions easier by loosening the debris in your nose pores. Gentle squeeze around the area with the tips of your fingers, or consider purchasing an extraction tool. Once it’s out, splash your face with cold water to seal the deal, and follow up with acne-busting serums.
Whilst squeezing the blackhead will remove it from the surface of the skin, this won’t always solve the root cause. The oils that initially caused the blackheads will likely return if you do not practise good skincare, repeating the cycle. Doing a manual extraction also carries the risk of skin inflammation, and scarring.
Popping blackheads should generally be left to the experts who use the correct tools in order to perform blackhead extraction without causing redness, irritation or scarring.
2. Pore Strips
Pore strips are another quick fix that have become quite popular in recent years. Pore strips consist of a strong adhesive which is used to forcibly pull away those nose pore obstructions. Here at Obviously Skincare, we think you should stay away from pore strips. Pore strips don’t tackle the root cause of the problem, whilst they visibly remove the blackhead they do not moderate the oil production of the skin, meaning often the blackheads will return.
3. Clay Face Masks
Clay face masks are a gentler approach compared to that of pore strips. Clay aids in removing excess oils present in the skin and helps to unclog the dirt and dead skin cells trapped within the pores, including blackheads.
4. Charcoal Cleansers
Charcoal has been around for years and has been well known to draw impurities out from the pores of our skin. Activated charcoal has antibacterial properties which may help in lifting bacteria and dirt from the surface of the skin.
5. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid, is an excellent skin exfoliant which works deep into the pores to moderate sebum production and push out dirt and dead skin cells clogging the pores. Not only will salicylic acid break up blackheads and help expel them from the skin, it will prevent them from forming the future.
Blackhead Prevention Methods
You know the age old saying, prevention is better than cure. Here are some ways you can prevent blackheads on your nose from forming in the first place;
1. Washing your face morning and night/ general hygiene
Simply washing your face twice a day and consistently can be an extremely effective method of preventing the formation of blackheads. Washing your face ensures that you remove any dirt or excess oils that can build up either during daytime activities or even overnight.
Make sure to use a cleanser suitable for your skin which can help moderate sebum production, ensure you don’t over do it as this may be counter productive and actually lead to the skin to produce more oil to compensate, leaving you right back where you started. General hygiene is very much overlooked as part of your blackhead prevention toolkit. Washing your bed sheets and pillowcase regularly can ensure that your skin remains free from contaminants overnight causing less irritation. Getting into the habit of not touching your face can also help prevent blackhead formation.
The use of chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid are a great way to remove dead skin and help clear the top layer of skin so that cleansers and other ingredients can work more effectively. Make sure you don’t use rough scrubs to exfoliate too often either as they can lead to the irritation of the skin and in some instances trigger acne to become more inflamed.
People often forget that whilst oily skin can lead to the formation of blackheads, overly dry skin can also lead to this also. Ensure you are using a moisturiser that is suitable for your skin type and not just what your partner or friends use. If your skin is oily, try a moisturiser that is oil-free and non-comedogenic to ensure a light, non-pore blocking experience. If your skin is dry, try a moisturiser which includes hyaluronic acid.
4. Try Niacinamide
If you suffer from oily and blemish-prone skin, try including a niacinamide serum into your skincare regime. Niacinamide can help to regulate sebum production in your nose pores, this can minimise the appearance of blemishes and prevent the formation of blackheads.
To Sum It Up
Blackheads around the nose are common and can be easily extracted and avoided. As blackheads are just a mild form of non-inflammatory acne they are generally harmless but certainly not pleasant to look at. Ensure that you maintain good general hygiene and use the suitable skincare products and regimes to prevent blackheads from forming on your nose and cheek area.