It’s almost impossible to resist picking at blackheads on your nose when you get an up close glance in the mirror, but what else can you do? Scrub them away? Apply a mask? What about toothpaste to get rid of blackheads on nose? Before you try any home remedies, read on to learn exactly what blackheads are and what causes them, as well as how to get rid of blackheads on nose in 5 easy steps.
What are blackheads?
Blackheads are a type of acne known as open comedones. They appear as small, dark lesions that are flat on the skin. Blackheads on the face primarily occur on the nose, chin, and forehead. But some people get blackheads in other places, such as their ears, shoulders, and on their backs.
What causes blackheads on nose?
Blackheads form when the pores in the skin become clogged with dead skin cells and sebum (the oily substance that lubricates and protects skin). While most people think that blackheads occur as a result of trapped dirt in the pores, this is actually not true. Rather, when pores are clogged, the melanin in the dead skin cells reactions with oxygen in the air and turns black, forming a blackhead. Thus, blackheads are made of oxidized melanin and not trapped dirt. So you don’t have to feel dirty for having blackheads or feel that your skin is dirty.
5 steps to get rid of blackheads on nose
You probably feel relieved knowing that your blackheads aren’t caused by dirt clogging your pores, but you still want to get rid of them, right? Try these 5 easy steps to get rid of blackheads on nose for good!
1. Wash your face twice daily
Since blackheads on nose form due to excess sebum and dead skin cells clogging pores, it’s important to keep your face clean by washing twice daily. As you probably know, washing your face at night will remove excess oil, makeup, dirt, pollution, and any other impurities that may have accumulated on the skin during the day. So you may be thinking, “If I washed my face at night, why do I have to wash it again in the morning?” One of the main reasons to wash your face in the morning is due to the skin’s overnight recovery process, which causes the skin to shed dead skin cells and toxins. Many people also sweat during the night. Furthermore, it’s hard to keep pillows and sheets totally clean, which means bacteria and other impurities may be lurking on your bed linens. Washing your face in the morning removes dead skin cells, toxins, sweat, and bacteria so that they do not clog pores and cause blackheads on nose. Of note, you may not want to wash your face twice daily if you have very dry or sensitive skin.
2. Use a BHA
Okay so you’re convinced to wash your face twice daily, right? Good! Now we want to explain why it’s important to look for a cleanser that contains salicylic acid to get rid of blackheads on nose. Salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA). It is oil-soluble and therefore easily penetrates into the skin’s pores. Salicylic acid exfoliates the pore lining, which loosens clogged dirt and oil and helps to wash these impurities away. It also has the ability to dissolve keratin, the protein that acts as a “glue” to keep dead skin cells together in the stratum corneum. Since salicylic acid helps to get rid of both excess oil and dead skin cells, it is an excellent treatment for blackheads on nose. You can also use a leave-on BHA product, which may work more effectively than a BHA cleanser because the product has more time to penetrate into pores and dissolve blackheads on nose.
3. Exfoliate regularly
The next step to get rid of blackheads on nose is to exfoliate on a regular basis. Exfoliation is defined as “the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin,” according to the American Academy of Dermatology. There are two types of exfoliation: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliation, also referred to as mechanical exfoliation, utilizes an abrasive substance to scrub away dead skin cells through motion. Chemical exfoliation utilizes chemical agents to break up dead skin cells, allowing them to be washed away more easily.
One problem with physical exfoliation is that the ingredients used in scrubs (think walnut shells and microbeads) are often too abrasive for your skin, causing small microtears and irritation. This is why using a chemical exfoliant, such as an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), is recommended by most skin care experts. AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, and citric acid. These ingredients exfoliate the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells that make up the top layers of skin) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased. Ultimately, this clears away dead skin cells so they won’t clog pores and lead to blackheads on nose. You can make an appointment with your dermatologist to receive an AHA peel, or there are at home AHA peels, treatments, and even cleansers.
4. Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer
A common misconception is that those with oily, blackhead-prone skin should not use a moisturizer. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! If you skip the moisturizing step of your skin care routine, you could actually make your blackheads worse. This is because when the skin becomes too dry, it will produce excess oil to compensate for the dryness. As we explained above, excess oil can clog pores and lead to blackheads on your nose. To prevent this from happening, it’s imperative to use a non-comedogenic moisturizer. You don’t want to use thick heavy creams if you’re dealing with blackheads on nose. Also, avoid highly comedogenic ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil, palm oil, and flaxseed oil. Look for lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizers that are specifically formulated for oily skin.
5. Consider blackhead extraction
If you still have stubborn blackheads on your nose after trying the steps above, you may want to consider blackhead extraction. But let’s be clear: this does not mean squeezing your blackheads out with your fingers! Even though it may seem like a good idea after looking at your nose up close in the mirror, ignoring this temptation would be in the best interest of your skin. Picking at blackheads can cause irritation and lead to inflammation in the area where you tried to remove the blackhead. This method can also lead to scarring, infection, and dark spots due to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Instead of using your fingers to extract blackheads on nose, you can use blackhead extraction tools. Blackhead tools usually come in a set with a variety of shapes and sizes because each tool is designed to tackle a different problem. After determining which type of blackhead tool is best for your needs, gently press down around the clogged pore to extract the blackhead. It’s important not to apply too much pressure, as this could lead to skin damage and inflammation. Overall, it’s worth investing in a set of blackhead tools so you won’t be tempted to squeeze with your fingers.
Blackheads on nose home remedies to avoid
Unfortunately, there’s some advice on the internet about how to get rid of blackheads on nose that may actually do more harm than good. Below are three popular home remedies for treating blackheads on nose and why you should avoid them.
Baking soda is claimed to be a “natural deep cleanser and oil remover”, and is a common ingredient in DIY masks and treatments for blackheads on nose. While baking soda is abrasive and will exfoliate the skin, skin care experts consider it to be too harsh. Plus, baking soda has a high pH of 9, which is typically too alkaline for skin to tolerate since the skin’s normal pH is about 4.5 to 5.
Using toothpaste for blackheads on nose is simply not going to work. There aren’t any ingredients in toothpaste that can exfoliate dead skin cells and get rid of excess sebum. In fact, many of the ingredients in toothpaste, especially fluoride, peppermint, mint, menthol, and other flavorings, are skin sensitizers. This means they can make the skin on your nose red, inflamed, and bumpy.
Pore strips, also referred to as nose strips, work like a strong Bandaid. The strip has a very strong adhesive that will remove top layers of dead skin cells and blackheads after application. However, this solution is only temporary and will not prevent oil from clogging pores and causing blackheads in the future. Plus, the strong adhesive on the strip could actually cause irritation and damage to your skin.
Instead of trying these home remedies, try the 5 easy steps we explained above to get rid of blackheads on nose for good!
References: AAD.org “How to safely exfoliate at home”, PaulasChoice.com “10 Skincare Home Remedies to Avoid”
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