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It becomes clear when i’ve been slacking on my skincare regimen -not because I get spots and pimples, but because inevitably, black dots appear on my nose at such a rate, that they begin to trigger my trypophobia.

The bad news, is that there is no way of stopping the pores on your nose from producing oils, but what you can do, is take steps to keep that oil from oxidising into those unsightly black plugs. First i’ll tell you how to get rid of them, and the maintenance you need to take to keep them away.

Attack Phase:

  1. Cleanse – use your cleanser of choice to rid your skin of excess oils and any trapped dirt
  2. Exfoliate – use a gentle scrub to slough away any dead skin cells and to target deeper grease in your pores – I like to use my Hinoki Face Brush which I reviewed here
  3. Steam – place hot water into a bowl, and lean over the steaming water with a towel over your head to trap in the vapour. The aim here is to open your pores. Add in a few drops of tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties if you wish, or even some green tea to nourish your skin
  4. Apply Nose Strip – Now, this is a controversial step, and the jury is out on their use due to concerns about the damage they can do to your skin with frequent use. I definitely wouldn’t recommend them to people with sensitive skins, and take note that if it’s your first time using a nose strip, you may feel pain when removing the strip. However, I personally have used them without any problems – In my view, Nose Strips are to skincare, what crash diets are to healthy eating – No one’s advocating that you do it frequently, but they’re an easy fix with instant results, to sort the problem before you take long term measures against blackheads. Nose strips are essentially an adhesive that sticks to the blackheads on your nose and pulls them out when you peel off the strip (personally, I take a perverse pleasure in seeing the blackheads all dotted on the strip).                                                                                                                                                                                      Don’t undo all the work of the steam and wet your nose with cold water though – use warm water to wet your nose before applying the strip to keep your pores open.                                                                                                                                  There are many brands out there that do pore strips, the most known is perhaps by Bioré – but in my experience own brand drugstore strips work just as well, and aren’t as expensive. I use the Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Nose Strips at 6 strips for £4.99


5. Comedone Extractor – The Nose Strip in the previous step would have done the bulk of the blackhead removal for you, but you’re not home and dry yet, there will be some that the strip hasn’t picked up, and you will see half dislodged blackheads that need a little help getting out. First wipe off any residue from the pore strip with a cotton pad soaked in warm water and get up close and personal with a mirror. A comedone extractor is a nifty tool that has loops on both ends to help you gently squeeze out blackheads. I use the Double Ended Blackhead Remover from The Body Shop, priced at £4 Click for enlarged view

The operative word when using this extractor is gently and I can’t stress this enough, lest you leave your face covered in marks. Sterilise your extractor before and after use with rubbing/isopropyl alcohol to prevent infection. Use the smallest loop to gently press over and around each individual blackhead/pore and you should see the blackhead ooze out (Again, I take perverse pleasure in this). You’ll wonder how you ever put up with using you fingers (and nail marks all over your nose) after this.

6. Final Cleanse – Repeat step one to get rid of any remaining residue and bacteria from step 5.

7. Tone & Moisturise/Proceed with your usual skincare regimen. Personally, I have found that using a facial oil has kept my nose completely blackhead free. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but the oil prevents the pores on your nose from overproducing sebum, which means fewer to no blackheads! I recommend the Dr Organic Argan Oil Facial Oil which I reviewed here.

General Maintenance

Unfortunately, there is no ‘crash diet’ equivalent to keeping your blackheads permanently at bay unless you have a proper dedicated skincare regimen which you are consistent with – this should consist of cleansing twice daily followed up with moisturising at the very least. With an effective routine, your blackheads should be minimal, and for the odd few that appear, you don’t need to follow all the steps above, Simply do steps 3 & 5 followed by your routine.