It's quite disturbing to wake up in the morning with a dark bump on your nose that you didn't have the previous night. Even if you squeeze it out, another could just as easily form in its place, which is why it's important to learn how to get rid of blackheads on your nose.
Blackheads are formed when excess oil, dead skin cells, and dirt accumulate inside a pore. Fortunately, there are methods you can use to get rid of them without stirring up further trouble. This post discusses the causes of blackheads, ways of getting rid of them as well as how to prevent them from developing again.
Causes of Blackheads on Your Nose
Blackheads form when an open pore is clogged by various materials, including dead skin cells, excess oil, excess sweat, and certain skincare products. Let's look at each in detail below.
1. Skin Care Products
One of the reasons you are experiencing the formation of blackheads on your nose is the skincare products you use. There are certain ingredients that place acne-prone skin in a predisposed position to blackheads. These ingredients can clog pores and make it easier for blackheads to form because they contain oil.
That is why you want to ensure the makeup and skincare products you use are oil-free and non-comedogenic. Only this way can you steer clear of these disturbing blemishes, especially if you have sensitive skin.
2. Excess Sweat
Sweating is a natural process that allows our bodies to cool while getting rid of excess water and toxins. On its own, sweat can't cause the development of blackheads, but it can facilitate their formation if you don't practice regular hygiene. Once sweat reaches the surface of the skin, the moisture evaporates or drains while the waste materials remain.
These materials could accumulate alongside the oil your skin produces to cause clogged pores. While being sweaty doesn't automatically mean you'll get blackheads, it can add to the necessary conditions for your pores to get blocked.
3. Excess Oil
Another factor that can promote blackhead development is excess oil production. Everybody's skin has oil glands that secrete some amount of sebum which helps maintain a healthy environment for the hair follicle inside the pore.
Unfortunately, when this oil is produced in high amounts, it can accumulate on the skin with other substances to form gunk which can clog pores. That's why people with oily skin are prone to acne and blackheads.
4. Dead Skin Cells
Another thing that can make blackheads a common problem is an accumulation of dead skin cells. Your skin gradually creates new cells which replace the ones on the surface, but it doesn't remove them. Without washing your face regularly, these dead cells can build up on your skin's surface and start clogging your pores.
How to Remove Blackheads
There are two primary ways to get rid of blackheads; using over-the-counter medication or by visiting a skin expert. Since the latter is more costly than the previous, here are some DIY methods of removing blackheads from your nose.
1. Pore Strips
Pore strips are the standard method of removing blackheads. The method involves using a pore strip, which is a small patch that you place on your nose, to pull out the materials that clog your pores. They feel soft and flexible during the application, and the adhesive on the underside attaches to the dead skin cells, sebum, and dirt that cause blackheads to form.
As you pull the strip off, even the impurities blocking your pores will come out, leaving an open pore. To ensure that the blackheads don't develop again, you should follow up the removal with regular washes by a cleanser with ingredients like glycolic acid or salicylic acid. This will eliminate bacteria from the area and prevent blackheads from developing in the future.
2. Clay Masks
Something else that you can add to your skincare routine to tackle the blackheads ravaging your nose is using clay masks. These masks are safe for all skin types and can cover just your nose or your entire face if you have more blackheads. They are formulated to absorb the excess oil that clogs up your pores to leave you with clear skin less prone to blackheads.
The downside to using masks is that they can easily strip your skin of moisture, leaving you with dryness that could lead to other skin problems. As such, you should only use them once a week and stick to products that have ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur which are known to work.
3. Salicylic Acid
If you have mild blackheads, salicylic acid is an ideal treatment option, according to Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. This ingredient is one of several beta hydroxy acids that are effective at exfoliating skin and treating blackheads.
If you want to use salicylic acid, you should apply it using a gentle face scrub on your acne-infested areas. The scrubbing functions as a method of physical exfoliation, while the formula offers chemical exfoliation, which will remove any impurities from your pores.
If you have sensitive skin, you should only do this once a week because beta hydroxy acid can cause dry skin. However, if you have oily skin, you can use it up to three times a week, but you should keep a close eye on the condition of your skin as you do so.
4. Retinoid Creams
Retinoid cream is another over-the-counter product that you can use to treat more stubborn blackheads. These creams work by improving skin cell turnover and reducing the stickiness of dead cells that adhere to the pores. You can trust that these products are formulated to get rid of blackheads without hassle.
If using a standard retinoid cream doesn't prove effective, you can seek a dermatologist to provide medical advice. There are some prescription retinoid creams that are better suited for persistent blackheads. You should apply the cream once every few days and adjust the dosage according to the results you experience.
Since this chemical exfoliation product could cause excessive skin dryness, you should regularly moisturize to prevent any other issues from breaking out.
Another way to get rid of blackheads on your nose is using steamers. These are devices that, as the name suggests, produce steam that can make your pores open up a little more. They are a safe choice for people avoiding using a chemical exfoliant.
Steamers can get your pores open but, they can't remove the blackhead from your nose. This means you'll need to use an extraction tool afterward to ensure all the blockages are cleared from your pores.
However, you should exercise caution when removing blackheads with a comedone extractor since the wrong move could cause more harm than good. Alternatively, you could visit a board-certified dermatologist to have the blackheads professionally removed.
6. Pore Vacuums
The last method you can use to get rid of blackheads on your nose is with pore vacuums. A pore vacuum is a skincare tool that uses suction power to draw impurities from blackheads to leave you with clear skin pores. The suction they create is gentle and doesn't cause pain when being performed.
The thing to keep in mind is that applying too much suction can cause your blood vessels to tear, leading to a new set of problems. So, it'll be better to have an experienced person help you with this blackhead removal method rather than doing it yourself.
How to Prevent Blackheads
Once you effectively get rid of blackheads on your nose, you want to take proper precautions to ensure they won't return. Here are some preventive actions you can take to keep blackheads at bay.
1. Wash Your Face
The first thing to do is make washing your face a part of your regular skincare routine. This is because it's an effective way of removing excess dirt, sweat, and oil, which normally block your pores. As you clear out these impurities consistently, they won't have a chance to accumulate and cause clogs in your pores. This is especially important if you like to exercise or engage in energy-intensive activities. You could even use a face wash with a chemical exfoliant to ensure you clear out any blockages as soon as they emerge.
2. Use Oil-Free Skin Care Products
Products like sunscreen contain ingredients that easily clog your pores. That's why using skin-care products that are oily can increase your chances of getting blackheads on your nose. So, you'll want to limit yourself to non-comedone products that are approved by dermatologists.
3. Wash Pillowcases Regularly
Your pillowcases absorb a lot of impurities from your face and head as you sleep. After weeks of use, your pillowcase will have accumulated enough gunk to block any skin pore as you move your face on the pillow.
That's why it's crucial to wash your pillowcases regularly. It'll help you avoid introducing dirt, bacteria, and other materials into your skin which could easily lead to blackhead formation.
4. Always Wash Makeup Off
Your makeup can also cause blackheads to form since the powder you use can sit on your skin and block your pores. A common mistake many people make is to wipe off the makeup instead of washing it off. Wiping isn't effective since it doesn't clear out the materials inside the pore, which is why you should always wash the makeup off with clean water.