What causes blackheads on the nose? And how to get rid of them effectively
Blackheads are a battle for many and can make an appearance at any age, no matter how scrupulous you are with your skincare routine. High levels of pollution coupled with stressful, busy routines and oily and debris can have a significant impact on our complexion. The good news is there are various ways to tackle them – it’s simply a case of finding the right method for your skin.
What are blackheads?
Blackheads, or open comedones, are pores which are filled with keratin, sebum, and dirt from the environment. The oxygen in the air oxidises the sebum, which makes it black, hence the term ‘blackhead’. Anyone can develop blackheads, which occur most commonly in areas where pores are larger, such as the nose, jawline, and forehead.
Don’t confuse a blackhead with a sebaceous filament, which is a very normal, important and healthy feature of pores on the nose.
What causes blackheads?
Like any type of spot, a blackhead is largely caused by a build-up of oil, dead skin and dirt. They can be caused by several factors: over-production of oil, for one, which is connected to our hormones. Stress can further upset our hormonal balance, and even using the wrong skincare, such as oils and rich moisturisers, can do more harm than good and end up blocking the pores. Living in a city is a prime cause, too, with pollution being one of the primary triggers for congested pores and skin.
The best ways to get rid of blackheads
The best solution for your blackheads entirely depends on what’s causing them. Any blockage is the result of an over-production of oil and our skin cells not shedding effectively, resulting in a build-up of oil and debris within the pores. The key is utilising ingredients that can support the skin’s processes. Retinol helps speed up skin cell turnover and control oil production, preventing the build-up that leads to clogged pores. Salicylic acid is another pore-clearing powerhouse, as it deeply penetrates the pores to dissolve congestion at the source.
You can reap the rewards of these ingredients in both cleansers, serums, and at-home peels. Give them at least 6-8 weeks to take start seeing results but be careful not to over-use them, as these can dry the skin which can then actually start to produce more blackheads and oil.
Avoid these things
Don’t try to scrub or squeeze your blackheads, as this irritates the skin, worsens the problems, and risks scarring. Avoid blackhead vacuums because the risk of bruising, broken skin and pigment changes is too high to be able to use them safely. Instead, focus on using skincare ingredients to help reduce and control oil production and keep the skin cells turning over.
What are the best professional treatments for blackheads?
If you have a lot of blackheads, if they’re deep, or if skincare products aren’t tackling the issue, it’s worth speaking to a professional who can assess and diagnose your skin problem and offer prescription topicals, professional-grade peels, and skin treatments like theHydraFacial.
Professional facials help to stimulate cell turnover and focus heavily on extracting comedones – you can’t get a spot if you don’t have a comedone first! Instead, they help create a clean slate for you to maintain at home.
A HydraFacial pairs gentle suction to remove trapped debris and infuses skin with moisture – think of it as an amped-up facial. It targets excess oil and gently draws out blackheads and other impurities from the pores. This is a great way to clean pores without overly stripping your skin of moisture.
Professional skin peels, particularly those containing salicylic acid, are a very effective way to eliminate tough blackheads. They work by penetrating deep inside pores and dissolving oil and debris, which, when done regularly, will keep blackheads and breakouts to a minimum.
If you want to find out more about the best treatments for blackheads, click here to book a consultation with a professional.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.