Blackheads or Sebaceous Filaments?
I have been so MIA lately, so I apologise for the lack of posts and also about how long this one will be. However, things have quietened down now so I can get back to my usual writing routine! In this post, I’m going to be explaining a very common misconception skin concern. I didn’t actually know about these until a few weeks ago, I was doing some research about how to get rid of my ‘blackheads’ and found lots of information in regards to what my ‘blackheads’ could actually be! Ever since I was a teen, I have always had tiny little dots on my nose and chin area, to me they have always seemed darker in colour, which is why I thought OMG I HAVE BLACKHEADS. I’ve tried every scrub, pore strip, extraction tool, peel, anything that was targeted at blackheads. Every time following with a tantrum because nothing had changed other than a few had disappeared! Anyway, after my research I discovered that I don’t have blackheads at all… never have! What a lifetime of moaning and money I have wasted trying to solve a problem that was never actually there. So lets get to the point.
Generally, we know blackheads to be a blocked pore which contains dirt, sebum and skin debris. They’re usually caused by our skin producing too much oil, however, heavy makeup, cleansers, heavy sweating and a bad diet are also major causes of blackheads. Blackheads appear to be dark in colour, this is due to oxidisation. Blackheads can appear anywhere over the body, very similar to whiteheads. Squeezing the blackheads will get rid of them, but won’t stop the issue. You should go somewhere who can professionally extract them for you and safely to avoid skin infections. Image credit from Medical News Today
We need sebum, it provides a waterproof barrier on our skin to keep it healthy while fighting bacteria and infections. When it comes to skins that suffer from acne, we try to tackle the issues which stem from excessive oil/sebum, however, sebum is GOOD for us!
Sebaceous Filaments appear like tiny little dots, which to me, look like blackheads. They aren’t raised and can be grey in colour. Long story short, there is nothing we can do to get rid of them. They’re made up of bacteria, sebaceous lipid and corneocyte fragments. You can get them extracted, but within a month they will fill up again. There is no treatment that can be used to get rid of them forever, but there are some treatments you can use to minimise the appearance. Image credit from LightSkinCure
I see crazy remedies for blackheads, putting egg on their face and tissue, these gross black peel masks, even some crazy people try to advertise using bicarbonate soda and toothpaste?! Please… don’t do that. Things like this should not be advertised as something that will help the skin.
How to minimise the appearance of Sebaceous Filaments
First of all, you need to understand them. As I mentioned above, they aren’t something you can get rid of, only minimise the appearance with the correct skin care! Accept that they are natural and we need them, if you have oilier skin then the filaments will be more prominent, but that doesn’t mean we can’t target them.
- Professional treatment – You need to deep cleanse those pores, I don’t mean buying a cleanser which claims to ‘deep cleanse’ you need to go for a facial, machinery products need to be used in order to help clear those pores extremely deeply. I’d recommend a Galvanic Desincrustation Treatment. It is a low-level treatment which uses directs currents to stimulate cells, softening blackheads and pushing products deep into the epidermis.
- Acids (Salicylic & Glycolic) – I won’t go into these too much, Caroline Hirons has an amazing post all about acids if you want to find out in-depth information on acids, click here. Basically, Glycolic Acid penetrates deeply into the skin while exfoliating it and evening skin tone. Although I love my ELEMIS Skin Buff I prefer acid exfoliation. However, it is sun sensitive so you need to ensure you’re wearing SPF the following day after using the product. I have been using the Alpha-H Liquid Gold for around a year now, on and off. As soon as I found out what these mysterious things were, I have been using it every week and it has made an incredible difference. Salicylic acid is one of the most effective this is what you’ll use for skins that suffer from breakouts and oily skin. It’s water soluble which means it’ll dissolve the excess oil surrounding the filaments which are making themselves comfy on your face! Don’t be afraid of using acids, your face will tingle when using them but it’s doing its job. If you are going to use an acid, make sure you use it correctly!
- A decent skin care routine – This is an obvious one… remember, what may work for someone else may not work for you. Get to know your skin, learn how it reacts with certain products. We only get one skin, look after it!
Overall, I love using acids for my skin. I know many people despise of using anything that isn’t natural, but for me, this works great. When I use this religiously and correctly my skin is glowing, my pores are small and no breakouts! As we get older – we need to incorporate products into our skin which will penetrate deeply and effectively. Have you ever used acids? What are your opinions on acids? I’d love to know and if you need any help on how to use them – let me know, I’ll be more than happy to help.