Skincare has become a common cause of worry in the present world. With the increased encroachment of social media in our lives, having the perfect skin has certainly become a global obsession. This has placed much pressure on young people as they increasingly tie their self-worth and confidence to their appearance.
While certain techniques can help improve your appearance, it is important not to let them become your obsession. However, this might be difficult to comprehend for some people battling with mental health, especially young adults who are susceptible to tying their sense of worth with their appearance.
Such obsessions can cause one to seek instant solutions without proper research and can often lead to harm. This article aims to counteract that by providing a few effective and safe techniques to quickly eliminate blackheads. However, we would like to stress the fact that your self-worth is not tied to your appearance and can, at best, be a bonus.
What are blackheads?
Blackheads are small, dark bumps that appear on the skin's surface, particularly on the face, neck, chest, and back. Acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells.
Blackheads are open to the skin’s surface, exposing them to air which causes oxidation and hence the dark color. Conversely, whiteheads are closed off and don’t undergo oxidation.
The causes of blackheads are complex and subject to various factors. One of the primary causes is the excessive production of sebum or oil by the sebaceous glands. When this oil combines with dead skin cells and bacteria, it can clog the hair follicles, forming blackheads.
Oil production in the body can also increase due to factors like puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy, leading to the increased formation of blackheads.
Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and androgens, can also contribute to the development of blackheads by affecting hormones in the body.
In addition, using skincare products that are too oily or heavy can worsen the problem. The same goes for products whose ingredients can clog pores.
Other factors that can contribute to the formation of blackheads include poor hygiene, a diet high in processed foods and sugar, and certain environmental factors, such as pollution and humidity.
While they are generally harmless, they can be unsightly and may cause self-consciousness. Treating blackheads often involves a combination of topical treatments, lifestyle changes, and professional interventions, such as extractions and chemical peels.
How to remove blackheads from the nose?
Some of the ways to remove blackheads quickly and effectively are:
i). Blackhead removal tool:
Blackhead removal tools are needle-like tools designed to help remove blackheads from within pores. The thin syringe-type tools can penetrate pores in the skin to retrieve blackheads from within.
However, these tools are not easy to use and can cause damage to the skin when misused. Imprecise use can cause cuts and wounds, leading to scarring or infection. Furthermore, the tools must be sterilized with rubbing alcohol to avoid infections. It is also recommended that the face be steamed to open the pores to make the procedure easier.
Due to such complexities in execution, it is recommended that this be carried out by a professional rather than tried at home.
ii). Pore strips:
These are adhesive strips designed to be applied to the skin to remove blackheads and other impurities from the skin. These strips are especially suitable for the nose and forehead due to their flexible material and shape.
The strips are coated with a sticky substance that sticks to the skin and locks on to the impurities within pores, including blackheads.
These strips are adept at sticking to oil, dirt, and dead skin cells and, in the process, can open up the pores or stick to the blackheads within. When the pore strips are removed from the skin, these impurities are removed from the pores.
However, this can be harsh and may damage skin tissues. It is not suitable for everyone, especially if you have sensitive skin. Therefore, adequate caution is necessary when using such strips.
iii). Activated charcoal:
Activated charcoal, also called activated carbon, is charcoal treated with oxygen to open millions of pores between the carbon atoms. This leads to an increased surface, making it capable of a high level of absorption, helping effectively trap impurities, toxins, and chemicals.
It was initially employed in industrial applications like filtering and refining substances. In the past few years, it has taken the world of cosmetics by storm due to its scope of application in skincare products. It can absorb excess oils, unclog pores, exfoliate, detoxify, draw out dirt and impurities from the pores, and even out skin tone.
Some of these applications of activated charcoal for skincare are useful in preventing and getting rid of blackheads. Its ability to unclog pores and absorb impurities from within, combined with exfoliation, can help quickly remove blackheads.
Products such as activated charcoal masks and activated charcoal peel-offs are especially helpful in removing blackheads. However, activated charcoal can also rid skin of nutrients and should be used sparingly.
Retinol, or vitamin A1, is a fat-soluble vitamin used frequently in skincare products. It is effective in preventing and removing blackheads, as well as in removing blemishes left behind by blackheads. It is effective in increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen production. It is also effective in unclogging pores and reducing inflammation.
Applying retinol overnight can help treat blackheads on your nose. However, the time taken for effects to show varies significantly with different individuals and may take several days.
v). Clay masks:
Clay masks contain clays such as kaolin, bentonite, fuller’s earth, or French green clay, known for their ability to absorb excess oil and impurities from the skin.
They have been traditionally used in many cultures as a form of skincare and are effective in unclogging pores and absorbing impurities and oil trapped inside pores. They are also excellent exfoliants as they can absorb dead skin cells.
However, clay masks can dry out the skin and may not be suitable for people with dry or sensitive skin. Furthermore, overt use of clay masks can lead to excess oil production by the skin, leading to more blackheads.
vi). Peel-off masks:
Peel-off face masks are sticky face masks applied to the skin and allowed to dry before being peeled off. Their mechanism of action is similar to pore strips as they stick to the top layer of skin and absorb impurities such as dirt, excess oils, and dead skin cells. When peeled off, they unclog the pores, leaving the skin fresh and free from impurities.
However, they are surface-level products and are ineffective in removing blackheads formed deep within pores. They might also dry out the skin and cause skin irritation and should not be used with sensitive skin.
vii). Salicylic acid face wash:
It is a face cleanser with salicylic acid as the active ingredient. Salicylic acid is a type of Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) known for its exfoliating and anti-inflammatory properties.
Salicylic acid penetrates deep into the pores, exfoliates the skin to remove dead skin cells, and unclogs the pores. Its anti-inflammatory property can help reduce blemishes and inflammation caused by blackheads and acne.
viii). Glycolic acid face wash:
It is a face wash with glycolic acid as the active ingredient. Glycolic acid is a type of Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) known for loosening and removing dead skin cells from the skin surface.
It is a water-soluble exfoliant that effectively unclogs the pores and dissolves the debris underneath. Not only are they effective in removing blackheads from the pores, but they are also effective in restoring the pores to a clean and breathable state that prevents further blackheads.
Face scrubs are skincare products containing small particles like ground nut shells, sugar, or salt, formulated to exfoliate the skin physically. These particles help mechanically remove dead skin cells from the face and other impurities that clog the pores.
Massaging the scrub gently on the nose in a circular motion helps loosen and clear impurities leading to the removal of blackheads. Regular use can prevent both acne and blackheads. However, it is important to remember that various kinds of scrubs must be chosen based on your skin type.
Steaming is a skincare technique where freshly cleansed skin is exposed to steam to unclog pores and improve circulation. It helps remove impurities from within pores, including blackheads.
When your face is exposed to steam, the blood vessels dilate due to heat, increasing blood flow and oxygen to the face, promoting lymphatic drainage, and removing toxins. It also loosens hardened sebum and dead skin cells, leading to easier removal.
Steaming can be done from the comfort of your home using a bowl of boiling water. Other stimulating substances, like turmeric, aloe gel, and essential oils like tea tree, citrus, or jasmine oil, can be used for a more therapeutic experience.
However, steaming is not very effective by itself and is best used in combination with another blackhead removal technique. Ideally, it would be helpful to undergo steaming before using any other skincare technique.
Following the techniques discussed in this article will help you eliminate blackheads effectively. It is advisable to consult a dermatologist to better understand the underlying cause behind the condition to better treat it in the long term.
It is important to manage expectations regarding skin and appearance, as a lot of it is based on genetics and not in your hands. Furthermore, it is not healthy to derive beauty standards based on social media or the entertainment industry, as these are heavily skewed by technology.
Factors like practicing good hygiene, wearing fresh clothes, and maintaining a positive attitude can lead to higher social confidence, which ultimately comes across as more attractive than any amount of skincare.
Q: What are blackheads?
A: They are acne caused when hair follicles are caught along with dirt and sebum in the pores on the skin. When they have opened pores, they are exposed to air, causing oxidation and leading to blackheads. Conversely, whiteheads don’t have an air supply and appear white due to a lack of oxidation.
Q: What causes blackheads?
A: Blackheads are caused due to a combination of multiple factors. The primary factors are excess oil production and the accumulation of dead skin cells. This can be due to poor hygiene, hormonal changes, genetics, or certain medications.
Q: How can I prevent blackheads from forming?
A: Blackheads can be avoided by maintaining high hygiene standards for your face. Ensure that you avoid using products containing heavy chemicals on your skin. Avoid touching your skin with dirty hands or materials. Regularly cleansing and exfoliation will ensure a lack of accumulation of dead skin or sebum.
Q: How can I get rid of blackheads on my nose quickly?
A: Several methods can help you get rid of blackheads on your nose quickly. However, you should consult a dermatologist to understand the primary cause behind your blackheads to treat them more effectively. One of the methods is using pore strips, as they are especially convenient for the nose. Another way is to use to blackhead removal tool, but it has to be handled carefully as it can cause wounds if misused. Other easier methods include the use of clay and peel-off face masks.