Get rid of oily worms
December 23, 2012 2:03 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to get all the white and black heads out of your skin? Specifically in the nose. I always seem to have little white and black heads and I don't know how to definitively get rid of them.

I want to have my nose be totally clear of them without putting undo pressure on my nose skin. If I push to much it gets a bit red.

I know there are those dumb strips, but do they work? Do I need to soak or steam or something?

I've seen videos (yes I know) of someone using a tool that looks like the eye of a needle but much bigger to help put pressure on the pores.

What works, and where can I get it?

This is a place for your anecdotes, but any professionals would be appreciated. And any new terms you can teach me would also be nice.
posted by Napierzaza to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I had AMAZING results using the Oil Cleansing method. Completely cleared out black heads that every tool and cleanser on the market couldn't. Fairly quickly too. My skin is great now. Very gentle, cheap. Google it and you'll find out how it's done and can start to research.
posted by pearlybob at 2:09 PM on December 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

You can extract the large ones. Ultimately good cleansing is the way to reduce some of this. But lots of these aren't actually "blackheads" or abnormal.
posted by Jahaza at 2:13 PM on December 23, 2012 [5 favorites]

I couldn't begin to guess what your skin needs are, as you don't mention it - although usually "clogged pores on the nose" is due to overactive oil (sebum) glands, so you likely have oily skin.

The one thing that I noticed is that about a month after I went vegan (after being a lacto-vegetarian for a year), my clogged pores were dramatically reduced.

Caveat - I've always had fairly clear skin, but did struggle with the "t-zone" issue.
posted by dotgirl at 2:17 PM on December 23, 2012

My skin situation is that I can often softly squeeze my nose skin and I get the oily macaroni extrusion. If I do it more often they are less large and I'd like to not get them at all. But I'm not sure what combination of things would help.

In general they don't get too badly clogged but maybe one or two a week?
posted by Napierzaza at 2:23 PM on December 23, 2012

Are you sure that they are blackheads and not sebaceous filaments?
posted by insectosaurus at 2:25 PM on December 23, 2012 [8 favorites]

insectosaurus's link is right on. Everyone has these. They're more noticeable on some people than they are on others. No one is looking as hard as you are - seriously, no one notices.

Pore strips "work", in that they pull out some of the sebaceous filaments, but they'll come back in a couple of days. They're also really irritating - if you go red from a little squeezing, you'll definitely go red from pore strips.
posted by cilantro at 2:35 PM on December 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

Nthing "make sure it's even blackheads before you drive yourself nuts", but I've never had much redness from pore strips. They do work fairly well, especially if you use them consistently (say, once a week). I have to say though that's one of those things where it is worth it to shell out the extra $1.50 or whatever to get the name brand (Biore is the favorite I think) vs. the CVS/etc. ones... I've tried many a pore strip and some are terrible. Do it post-shower, after you've been in some steam and your pores are opened.

I've also heard a lot of talk about Dr. Brandt's "Pore No More Vacuum Cleaner" but some have had much better reviews than others - probably due to actual blackheads v. filaments or something. Too pricey for me to care to try.
posted by jorlyfish at 2:56 PM on December 23, 2012

Oh, and I had a very similar extractor to this one, but didn't get much use out of it. I very occasionally would get a forehead blackhead that it would help with (it is more targeted and presumably [i.e. if you clean it] cleaner than fingers/fingernails) but trying to extract on the nose or cheek was too difficult for me as it tended to kind of slip around. If you end up buying an extractor, I would try the ones with loops that you sort of pull across the area instead of this kind. I also only used the lance maybe once or twice.. I just rarely had a pimple big enough to feel like I needed to lance it and cut open my skin like that.
posted by jorlyfish at 3:04 PM on December 23, 2012

Honestly, I would just get a professional facial. They know what to do, they've done it a a million times before, and they do it well. A facial with extractions will clear it all up for you.
posted by krakus at 3:43 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding the oil cleansing method. Be sure to get the right oils though, and don't substitute whatever you have lying around. It really does work. And cheap and natural.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:02 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

They probably are sebaceous threads rather than true blackheads. I get them too and have had success putting a thin film of benzoyl peroxide on my nose every day or two. I think it bleaches them so they become invisible. It's pretty drying so every other day might be better. And you'll want to use it during the day or you will bleach your pillowcases!
posted by apricot at 4:08 PM on December 23, 2012

My experience is that the more aggressively I tried to treat my skin, the worse it got. Also, that while for a long time I thought I had oily skin, it seems really that I had dry skin that was overproducing oil because the products I was using were drying it out even more.

Today I use this stuff from Neutrogena - note that while it has benzoyl peroxide, it's only 3% which is much less than many "acne treatment" face cleansers, so it's gentler. Sometimes I do use those nose strips, too.
posted by dnash at 4:16 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Good old Queen Helene mint julep mask is the best at making them less visible. It's not an extraction method per se, but it's less irritating and works almost as well.
posted by Fig at 6:48 PM on December 23, 2012

I used serious skincare products and got facials pretty regularly for a long time, until I read Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me (based on AskMe recommendations - thanks AskMe!)... I found that the products I was using really were too harsh. I started using Cetaphil cleanser (and now more often than not I just rinse with water) and salicylic acid every 2-3 days or so, the cheapest product I could find. The salicylic acid really cleared up my pores, and cleaning my skin in a more mild way kept it from overproducing more oil. I don't even use the s.a. products anymore.
posted by vignettist at 10:55 PM on December 23, 2012

The Clarisonic has totally changed my skin. I cannot express how much I looooooove it. The skin in the creases of my nose is clear and smooth. Love, love, love!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 6:26 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have to counter that I hated my Clarisonic. I have very very sensitive skin and even using it only once every other day made me break out like a teenager.

I have had no luck with clearing out my pores, (the sebaceous filaments link is really enlightening), but I have had great luck with Benefit's The Porefessional for masking the appearance. So not exactly a solution, but a band-aid.
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 8:21 AM on December 26, 2012

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