You know that eternal combat against blackheads? The never-ending search for a product, that would minimize your pores and make your skin clear and smooth? I have some bad and some good news for you.
They aren’t blackheads! And therefore – you can’t just squeeze them out. In some cases, anyway.
If they aren’t blackheads, most likely they are sebaceous filaments. A natural part of you that belongs to your skin. They are a tiny collection of sebum and dead skin cells around a hair follicle. Some people have perfect skin and they aren’t visible but with some skin types, like oily skin, they are visible and can be mistaken for blackheads.
I have sebaceous filaments. A lot of them. I have some blackheads too – but it’s important to spot the difference.
Blackheads versus sebaceus filaments – what’s the difference?
A blackhead is just that – a clogged pore with a black head. It’s quite easy to spot (because it’s black). It’s consistency is quite solid and when you squeeze it out it comes out in a one piece, most likely.
Sebaceous filaments look almost the same but they have grey, brown or yellowish head. And as I said – they are a natural part of your skin. They are smaller, but they can be bigger too if the pore is enlarged. When you squeeze them out, you can see sebum coming out, but it’s not necessarily as solid as a blackhead. And it doesn’t necessarily come out in one piece. And here’s what’s important: no matter how many times you extract them, they always come back. That’s how you know. Isn’t that kind of a relief?
Here is my skin in it’s all glory in HD: Sebaceous filaments, enlarged pores, blackheads, closed comedones and an oily but dry skin. All that brown spotting is sebaceous filaments AKA my pores.
Sebaceous filaments are a natural part of your skin
Okay – so you may have a skin where there are brown spots all over your face and you can’t get rid of them. And you just have to live with it. This is most likely the case – so you should prepare for that and embrace your looks anyway..
(And I am with you on this one ’cause I don’t have the perfect skin and will never have that. It’s okay too, pal. We don’t need to be perfect!)
.. but there are some products that you can use to help live with them and to not make them worse, because they can turn into blackheads (Sons of bitches, I know!). And needless to say the most important thing would be to eat healthy and drink lots of water, because that has a huge impact on your skin condition.
Since sebeceous filaments are your pores just developing sebum and hair they are likely to come up. To surface. At least that’s how my skin works – and it can even feel bumpy if I haven’t exfoliated it in a while. So the best product to keep your skin smooth – is to exfoliate.
The best recommended products for treating SF or enlarged pores are BHA and AHA products. They are basically acids and they help to exfoliate your skin without the physical irritation and to keep your pores cleaner. AHAs are water soluble and a bit more gentle to the skin and BHAs oil soluble and especially recommended for oilier skin. There is a lot of info on both of these on the internet but I found this article on this one amazing blog that I suggest you read.
There are AHA/BHA products for daily use and then there’s exfoliants and masks, that you only use once per week. I’ve mostly used products from the last group because it’s the easiest way to bring these acids into your skincare routine without drying out your skin. Usually all the brightening masks or products that promise glow include acids. If you haven’t tried a brightening mask you haven’t lived! They actually work – and the secret is in the gentle exfoliation (=brightening) they give. I want to note that when you’re using BHA/AHA products your skin gets more sensitive to the sun and a sunscreen is a must have. Every day.
You can also exfoliate your skin with scrubs that work by just physically scrubbing your skin – but always be careful not too use too much force.
Here are some of the products I’ve been using to treat my skin and that I recommend for treating sebaceous filaments.
Great AHA/BHA products for sebaceous filaments
DAILY: A SERUM
*The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate
I call this the serum, that actually makes a difference. This is a BHA that I can use daily. I have a full post about this here. But to tell you shortly about this product: it improves my skin texture in a way that I can clearly see and feel. Whenever someone asks for advice regarding skin texture problems, acne scarring or acne – I always recommend this product.
Evolve beauty Miracle Mask
Super effective gel-like mask that contains fruit acids. It feels like mango chutney on my face and leaves it baby smooth. This is like a professional treatment, in a jar, that you can do at home. In five minutes.
Full post about this and another great Evolve Beauty mask here.
Madara Ultra-Purifying Detox Mud Mask
This is a highly effective mud mask that contains lactic acid. Mud masks are a great way of taking care of the SF. Mud absorbs sebum from the skin leaving it fresh and clean. This is by far the most effective mud mask I’ve tried.
Full post about this and other great Madara masks here.
I hope this post helped some of you. Let me know what are your favorite AHA/BHA products – would love to try something new!