How to Remove Nose Blackheads, According to a Dermatologist
Blackheads are stubborn and cringe-worthy, but they’re also pretty straightforward. A little background: Blackheads are an accumulation of sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells in your pores. They get their notorious black hue when the exposure to air causes them to oxidize. Sadly, nobody is immune to a nose that’s laden in pesky black dots. More bad news: banishing blackheads can be a grueling battle, one that requires regular maintenance, a solid skin care routine, and a boatload of patience. It’s not an impossible feat, though. Below, we tapped two board-certified dermatologists for advice on how to effectively remove blackheads on your nose. Keep reading for their recommendations!
NOSE BLACKHEADS TIP #1: WASH YOUR FACE WITH EXFOLIATING CLEANSERS
Looking for ways to remove blackheads on your nose without taking a trip to a dermatologist’s office? The good news is that’s totally possible, so long as you have a good exfoliating cleanser on hand. “At home, I recommend daily exfoliation with a good cleanser specifically formulated for acne-prone skin,” says dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali. Exfoliating cleansers can help slough away dead skin cells that can pile up on skin’s surface, lift pore-clogging dirt and impurities, and visibly reduce the look of large pores. They’re a beauty arsenal must-have. For gentle exfoliation on sensitive skin, La Roche-Posay Ultra-Fine Scrub is one of our favorites. The formula—with antioxidant-rich Thermal Spring Water—feels incredibly soothing and refreshing on the skin. Garnier Clearly Brighter Argan Nut Gentle Exfoliating Cleanse is a great option to gently polish the skin to reveal an even, brighter-looking tone, while revealing smoother skin and refined pores. You know that rough, bumpy skin texture blackheads can bring about? Consider it gone, with silky smoothness in its place. Just remember to use an exfoliating cleanser daily if you’re hoping to decongest clogged pores—just once isn’t going to cut it.
NOSE BLACKHEADS TIP #2: INCORPORATE A CLARISONIC
To deeply cleanse skin, consider using a Clarisonic—the device cleanses six times better than hands alone! Clarisonic MIA 2 boasts two speeds—delicate and universal— to cater to all skin types. It also features a T-Timer that pulses to indicate when it’s time to move to another area of your face, ensuring an even, thorough cleanse each time. Of course, if you have a different Clarisonic device at home, you can opt to use that one instead. The key is to make sure you’re targeting the parts of your face that need sonic cleansing love the most. For best results, Dr. Bhanusali recommends washing your face with a Clarisonic facial cleansing brush two to three times a week.
NOSE BLACKHEADS TIP #3: APPLY A BENZOYL PEROXIDE GEL OR SALICYCLIC ACID LOTION
Once your skin is cleansed, follow with a moisturizer. In the evening, reach for one that’s formulated with acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. “The best way to remove blackheads from your nose is to apply some benzoyl peroxide gel or salicylic acid lotion before bedtime,” says ethnic skin expert, SkinCeuticals ambassador, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. William Kwan.
As a refresher, benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient that’s capable of killing the bacteria that causes acne. It can also help remove excess oil from the skin and pore-clogging dead surface skin cells. Salicylic acid, on the other hand, helps prevent pores from forming a plug, which ultimately triggers blackheads to surface. Both ingredients can lead to unwanted skin dryness, especially if you have sensitive skin. Only use as directed.
NOSE BLACKHEADS TIP #4: USE PORE STRIPS SPARINGLY
Pore strips are coated with an adhesive that bonds to the skin and—upon removal—helps to exfoliate clogged pores. While they can certainly help assist in blackhead removal, Dr. Bhanusali warns that you shouldn’t overdo it. “Pore strips can definitely work to exfoliate clogged pores,” he says. “But if you overdo it, you can cause compensatory hyper-secretion of oil, which may lead to more breakouts.”
Keep in mind, any results you see from pore strips will be temporary if you don’t take steps to eliminate the risk of blackheads. If you’re aiming to kick blackheads to the curb once and for all, Dr. Kwan says you’ll likely find the other recommendations above to be more useful.
HELPFUL TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND
Now that you have an understanding of how to effectively remove blackheads on your nose, here are some additional tips to keep in mind along the way.
Tip #1: Don’t pick or squeeze your blackheads.
First things first, put away the tweezers! “Never try to poke or pop blackheads yourself,” says Dr. Bhanusali. The same goes for your fingers—keep them off your face! It might be tempting, but the damage it can create—think: spread of bacteria, enlarged pores, skin irritation, etc.—is just not worth the risk. According to Dr. Kwan, “Picking at blackheads also increases the likelihood of getting a persistent brown or red mark after the blackhead is gone.” Plus, if a blackhead is incorrectly removed, it will only come back, potentially with a vengeance. For an extraction, always visit your dermatologist.
Tip #2: Shower immediately after sweating.
Are you a frequent gym-goer? Your post-workout routine is just as important as your actual workout. Allowing the oil and sweat to sit on your skin for an extended period of time post-workout ultimately gives your skin a free pass at pimples. Get in the habit of cleansing your skin immediately after a sweat sesh—even if just with a cleansing wipe—to help reduce the risk of clogged pores.
Tip #3: Use non-comedogenic skin care products.
Take a good look at the labels on your facial skin care products, are they non-comedogenic? If they’re not, you want them to be since that means the formula won’t clog your pores. If you’re prone to blackheads, reach for water-based and non-comedogenic skin care and cosmetics that won’t clog your pores.
Tip #4: Protect your skin from the sun.
According to the Mayo Clinic, exposure to the sun can worsen acne flare-ups. Since blackheads fall under the acne umbrella, you’ll want to heed their advice and keep your skin protected against harmful UV rays. Not to mention, the heat alone can trigger sweat, leading to another case of potentially clogged pores. Where possible, limit your sun exposure and always wear a layer of non-comedogenic, broad-spectrum sunscreen––even when it’s cloudy.