It’s a real pain in the behind to get rid of those black dots all over the nose and sometimes other parts of the face. These black dots are called sebaceous filaments, although they’re sometimes mistaken for blackheads. Cleaning the pores and getting rid of sebaceous filaments can be a daunting task and sometimes no matter what you try you just don’t seem to get rid of them.
What are sebaceous filaments?
Simply put, they’re oil plugs in your pores. Your skin normally creates oil (sebum), and thanks to gravity, they travel into your pores like water swirling down a drain. Sebaceous filaments can be skin-colored or turn brown when they oxidize in the air. They are not blackheads. Sebaceous filaments are much smaller and are not considered a type of acne. They are a perfectly normal part of your skin, and everyone has them.
It’s important to note that, since they’re a part of your skin, they will come back no matter how many times you extract them. Do not pick or squeeze them. In addition to irritation and broken capillaries, it can stretch out your pores. Nose strips are a no-go for the same reason.
Cleaning the pores and getting rid of sebaceous filaments
We know that we can’t ‘shrink’ our pores (once the walls of a pore have been stretched, they cannot be unstretched), what we can do is minimize their appearance by keeping them clean and relaxed. Addressing sebaceous filament can also minimize your chances of them turning into blackheads in the long run.
You can get rid of sebaceous filaments temporarily, but they always come back. Many people use BHA chemical exfoliants, clay masks, or other methods to get rid of them, but because of the fact that they will always come back, whichever method you use will have to be done often, and it’s not very healthy for your skin to be doing clay masks several times per week. Or some people just have sensitive skin and can’t tolerate clay masks or BHA chemical exfoliants. This method is safe to do multiple times per week!
You will need an oil. Some of my favorites are jojoba oil, squalane, argan oil, and rosehip seed oil. It doesn’t have to be an oil that’s marketed as being for skincare, but I wouldn’t personally use a cooking oil.
- Take your oil and rub it all over your face.
- Let it sit, leave it alone so it can sink in for 10 minutes.
- Take a couple of drops of oil on your fingers and gently massage your face.
- Focus on the areas where you have most sebaceous filaments for about 5 minutes.
- Wash your face like normal or wipe it gently with a warm cloth.
The oil gets into the pores and works to dissolve the stuff that is built up and clogged inside them, and the massage part is so that any of the gunk that’s become too hardened to easily dissolve can be gently brought up and out of the pores. You can even sometimes feel them on your fingers after they’ve come up; they feel like little grits of sand almost.
If you continue to do this 3 times a week, after about a month (most likely, much sooner than that) you should have a mostly clear face and the results will only get better after you keep doing it each week.
But like I said, they’ll always come back, so this technique only works if you keep doing it indefinitely. You might not see noticeable results right away but don’t be discouraged. After a few weeks you’ll be dissolving new ones before they even have a chance to really build up and be noticeable. This helps with blackheads too but they can be more stubborn.
Why use an oil to remove sebaceous filaments?
I know some people might be confused as to why they should use an oil, when the problem was most likely caused by excess oil in the first place. Well, you might remember from chemistry class that like dissolves like! Meaning an oil is going to dissolve the oil that’s stuck in your sebaceous glands. A lot of people avoid using oils when their skin might actually benefit from them.
With that said, please don’t stress too much over the appearance of your sebaceous filaments or pores in general. It’s very likely that nobody else notices them on your face besides you! And they are totally normal to have. I don’t like how the skincare industry has invented this fake “problem” of “large pores” so they can sell us the “cure” for it.
You don’t need to buy luxury skincare to get that healthy skin. Just always make sure you are completely removing makeup and sunscreen at the end of the day and keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized.