Setting up the right skincare routine

Waking up with an outbreak can be a girls’ worst nightmare. However this can be avoided by setting up a skincare routine before going to bed. I know it isn’t easy, I know it’s hard, however it’s important that you are consistent. The best way to avoid blackheads coming back or you waking up with an outbreak is by following the ritual below to the teeth.

Step 1: Washing off all make-up before going to bed

skincare routine

 

This sounds like an easy one but it’s usually the one that gets neglected the most. Washing off all make-up means literally getting it all off. Not because make-up causes blackheads. No. You need to wash it off as having some make-up left on your skin is indicative of an unclean face. It means you’ve missed a few spots. And those spots can turn into real spots when you wake up again.

 

Blackheads and acne are caused by the same thing; a mix-up of dead skin cells and oil in the pores. These pores get clogged by this gunk and a so-called “Comedo” is born. If the pore stays open, the gunk in the pore oxidizes and turns black. Hence “blackheads”! If the pore however grows a thin layer of skin over the blockage, the gunk doesn’t oxidize and stays white. That is how a zit is made.

 

So to prevent these you need to tackle the main causes of “Comedos”, which are excessive skin oil and dead skin cells.

 

In this first step we tackle dead skin cells, as they are the easiest to manage.

 

When you wash your face, make sure to do so by using lukewarm water. Using too hot or too cold water can have the opposite effect, especially if you have sensitive skin. If the water temperature is too extreme, your skin might try and protect itself by either producing more oil or restricting the pores respectively. Which is the last thing we want. This can be a rookie mistake in setting up your skincare routine!

Step 2: Steaming the skin

skincare routine

 

Professionals will use a face steamer before any skincare routine. “Because it opens up the pores” I hear you think. No. Pores do not have a muscle and therefore cannot open or close. Contrary to popular belief, steaming the skin simply makes sure the skin is more pliable before the treatment. This makes it easier for the patient to receive the treatment, and makes the beautician more confident they aren’t hurting anybody.

 

If you don’t have a professional face steamer you shouldn’t worry. What you can do as an extra treat for your skin is simply wrap a very warm damp towel around your face. Covering your eyes, nose and mouth and leave it on for several minutes. That way the dampness and steam coming from the towel will nicely soak in to your skin. Also on a cold winters’ day it could be a nice thing to do anyway!


Step 3: Gentle exfoliation

skincare routine

 

Another important step in your daily cleansing routine will be to twice a week do a gentle exfoliation. There are several scrubs you can use but more often than not a simple wash cloth can do the trick. Make sure it’s a nice and clean one before you use it. With the wash cloth, gently go around your T-zone. This is the zone starting from the tip of your nose to between your eyebrows and forehead. This is usually the area where people suffer outbreaks the most.

 

By gently using the washcloth you are basically scrubbing the outer layer of your skin, dragging dead skin cells with it. In this way you prevent them from blocking pores in the future.

Step 4: Use the right cleanser in your skincare routine

skincare routine

 

A lot of people get very confused when they hear terms like AHA or BHA cleansers. However this is nothing to be confused about. As a general rule you could say that if you have oily skin, use BHA cleanser. If you don’t use AHA. So in all cases but oily skin, AHA is the way to go.

 

If you are blessed however with excessive oil producing glands, you’ll love BHA cleansers! The BHA and AHA stand for Beta-Hydroxy-Acid and Alfa-Hydroxy-Acid. They are acids that further help exfoliate the skin, while at the same time provide a deep pore cleanse.


If you are reading this article however I’m going to go ahead and assume you have oily skin. As do I. I use a BHA cleanser on a daily basis in my skincare routine. The acid in BHA cleansers usually is salicylic acid. This is an acid that has been shown to penetrate the pores and flush out the gunk in an effective way. As a result my blackheads have diminished after incorporating BHA cleansers into my routine.

 

Salicylic acid also happens to be the active ingredient in the common aspirin. So if you’re desperate for a cleanse but don’t have the right gear around, you should try and make your own aspirin mask!

Aspirin mask instructions

They are super easy to make. All you need are 5-7 aspirin pills, some bottled water and a mixing bowl. Mix everything together to form a paste. If the paste is too dry, add some more water. If it’s too wet, add a pill. However make sure not to add more than 7 pills. If you feel like after 7 pills it’s still too wet it’s maybe better just to throw that batch away and start a new one.

 

After the paste has been made, spread it over your face and let it sit for a few minutes. After it has soaked in, wash it off again with some lukewarm water and you’re done!

Step 5: Aftercare

If you want to be a skin-care professional, you’ll have to get familiar with toners. Toners are so-called astringents. Remember when I told you pores don’t have muscles and can’t contract? Well I didn’t lie, but there is a way to make them appear to be smaller than they are. And that is where the astringents come into play. They have the power to constrict a pore to some extent, making them appear smaller.

 

Especially after you’ve exfoliated and did your cleanse , then it’s a good time to break out the toner. As you apply it, the pores will constrict, making it more difficult for any new gunk to fall in. Also you’ll understand that if you’d apply toner at the beginning of the routine, it would be a lot more difficult to get the gunk out!

 

 

 

Once you’ve gone through all these steps, all that’s left to do is add some moisturizer, thank your skin and yourself for being who you are and go to sleep, knowing you now have a fully functional skincare routine! You’ll wake up refreshed and looking ¬†years younger in the morning!

Removing nose blackheads: different techniques

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I decided to write this article on removing nose blackheads after seeing this viral video that is doing the rounds. It’s a guy who has a very peculiar technique on removing blackheads. Take a look below:

First things first

What you see in the video are not blackheads popping out. It is in fact “sebum” that pops out in the form of the tiny white snakes that you see in the video. If you have been searching for blackhead related information for some time you might have stumbled across the word “Comedo“. It is a term used to describe both black- and whiteheads. This is actually originally a Latin term and was used historically to describe parasitic worms. Hence the connection with the white snakes!

You need to know that your skin produces oil all the time. Some people produce more oil than others. This gives rise to different oily complexions in people. Now the oil that is produced by your skin is sometimes called sebum. The filament portion in your pores acts as a wick and allows this sebum to climb out of your pores and onto your skin. When you apply pressure to your skin, and especially your nose, the sebum in your pores can be forced up and out of your pores through the sebaceous filaments. Resulting in a nose filled with white spaghetti! Sorry for the imagery.

 

Difference between blackheads and sebaceous filaments

Most of the time when you think you are removing nose blackheads, you are actually pushing sebum out of your nose as described above. There is an easy way to tell the two of them apart however. Blackheads have, you guessed it, a black head.

Blackheads form when a pore gets clogged with dead skin cells, mixed in with sebum. Once this happens and the pore gets clogged then one of two things can happen. The pore can stay open or your skin reacts and grow a tiny skin layer over the clogged pore. If the pore is grown over then you develop a pimple, congratulations! However if the pore stays open then usually the top of this sebum and skin cell mixture oxidizes. This in turn turns the head black, resulting in a blackhead.

 

But my nose looks like it is covered in blackheads!?

Unfortunately sebaceous filaments are almost always very visible on your nose. So what can we do to make them appear less visible? Short answer – not a whole lot. However proper exfoliation and a clay mask every now and then can do wonders for your skin. Clay masks in general have excellent skin oil absorbing properties. As a result they can make your skin appear less oily, make the pores less filled with sebum and as a result make it look like the sebaceous filaments wouldn’t be there at all!

Sebum oil production can also be influences by face oils. These are specially developed oils that you apply to your skin. It sounds crazy that in your efforts to removing nose blackheads you would apply MORE oil to your skin. However the funny thing about nature is that it always aspires to balance. So if your skin notices that there already is oil available to make your skin more supple, your skin itself will produce less oil. why would it go through the effort if there is already oil available right?!

 

Different techniques to removing nose blackheads

Most of these techniques either rely on handling your oil production or then mechanically removing the blackheads from your nose.

Probably the most common one works by using a so-called comedo-extractor. This is an iron lancet-tool that is looped on one end. The lancet you use to get rid of possible whiteheads. You poke the thin skin layer first so you don’t have to apply that much pressure to get the gunk out afterwards.

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They come in all shapes and sizes as you can see from the picture above. The way to properly use these tools is to select the right sized hole for the right sized pimple/blackhead. Then you simply place the loop over a blackhead or whitehead and with a scooping motion you’ll be successful in removing nose blackheads!

Below is a video showcasing more in detail how it is done properly. Note that before you start squeezing or pulling your skin to get any blackheads out, steam it first in order to make your skin that much more softer. By making it softer you won’t have to use nearly as much force as you would otherwise!

I’ve taken the liberty to gather on Amazon a few products that will get you removing nose blackheads in no-time! They include a facial steamer, comedo-extractor, a BHA cleanser and a toner. Feel free to check these out below.