Those of you who follow my Instagram would know that I was away for holidays in Europe, which is why I was unable to post. When I started this blog, a couple of friends warned me about getting too lazy to post, so now that I’m back, I just knew I had to share my latest dilemma with you all.
Through the endless greenery, the gorgeous, quaint streets of old towns, and the wonder of modern architecture scattered across Europe, my oily skin really behaved itself. I suffered no breakouts or excessive oiliness, and I was able to have pictures taken without having to worry about blemishes and all the other fun stuff that comes as a package with oily skin (groan). However, one thing I couldn’t escape was blackheads and whiteheads (those darned pests). I don’t get very large blackheads that stand out on my face, but the amount of pores on my nose is so great that one can’t miss the small bumps scattered all over.
Let me take this opportunity to share a fact with you. Blackheads are NOT dirt clogging your pores. The development of blackheads is not related to the cleanliness of the skin at all! They occur when the pores in the skin become clogged with dead skin cells and sebum (an oily, protective substance produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin). The top of the blackhead, which is visible on the surface of the skin, has a dark color. Normally, hair grows from hair follicles in the pores, and the sebum-producing sebaceous glands lie underneath. When these pores are clogged, the dead skin cells in the open pore react with oxygen in the air and turn black, forming a blackhead (remember 8th grade science and the oxidization process).
So, basically my skin needed some taking care of, and that process (which I do about once or twice every month) is what I’m going to share with you today. And here goes!
Presenting my nose in all its glory! :p
1. Take a piece of cotton, dip it in HOT water, and place it over your nose (or wherever you want to remove the blackheads from). Keep it there till the cotton cools down and then remove it. This basically open the pores, making it easier to extracts the blackheads. An alternative is taking steam, but that’s not recommended if you’re working with small targeted areas like the nose or chin.
2. Take a small amount of baking soda and mix just enough water drops in it to get a paste-y consistency. I rub this mixture over my nose in circles as an exfoliant to clean up my skin and get rid of external impurities so they don’t get into my pores. Exfoliate for about 5 minutes, and remember to do it GENTLY so the skin isn’t irritated. Once done, clean off with warm water.
3. Aaaaaaaand now my favorite part. Nose strips! I used Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Strips. If they’re not available, I try to get my hands on any good quality charcoal strips. I find them the best because once you remove the strip, you can actually see what’s come off of your skin, and that is weirdly satisfying for me :p
4. Well, the next step is to basically just follow the instructions. Remember to keep your nose wet (because the strip won’t stick to dry skin), and your hands dry (so that it doesn’t spoil the strip). Peel the strip off from the plastic liner and stick it onto your nose, starting from the middle and then smoothing it down the sides. Make sure to apply pressure so there’s no air between the strip and your skin. Give the nose strip 15 minutes to work, or until it is dry and stiff.
5. In order to remove the strip, grab the edges on either side and start pulling it off gently.
7. Optional: I usually moisturize with pure coconut oil afterwards, as it’s my favorite natural moisturizer. You can also use almond oil.
I hope this posts helps those of you who are constantly stuck with blackheads and whiteheads. Show me some leave and let me know what you think! Till next time, loves.