Monthly Archives: March 2016

Yikes, Blackheads!?

Clients often ask, “What can I do about my blackheads?”

The T-Zone of the face consists of the forehead, nose and chin.  When visualizing these zones, you will note that they form the letter T.  These areas of the face are known to produce the most oil.

We have pores all over our face.  Some produce more oil than others.  Pores are most noticeable when they are filled with oil, a.k.a. human sebum.  When the sebum rises up to the surface and meets the air, it turns black due to a process known as oxidation.  (Similar to how an apple turns brown shortly after it is cut open.)

Most women mistakenly believe that the dark specks that they see on their nose are blackheads…that is incorrect!  These are actually “sebaceous filaments.”

Whereas a true blackhead differs from a sebaceous filament since it contains not only oil, but also dirt along with dry and dead skin cells.  Blackheads often look like a little pebble is embedded in the skin.  In this case, products that help to dissolve sebum and stimulate cell turnover will help to keep pores clean while reducing (not eliminating) excess surface oil production.  Cleansers containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) such as salicylic acid as well as glycolic acid would be appropriate.

Here’s a simple way to lessen the appearance of oxidized sebaceous filaments.  Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a small amount of water in order to create a paste.  Apply this to your nose before entering the shower.  Let the steam activate the baking soda while you’re washing your body.  At the end of the shower, gently rinse the paste from your nose.  Doing this once to twice a week will probably be sufficient.  (Overusing the baking soda mixture should be avoided as it will cause the skin to peel and become irritated, so be sure to use good judgement.  If you plan to use this on the forehead, be careful not to let the paste drip into your eyes.)


Lori Weintraub is a licensed skin care therapist, holistic health coach and a hair removal expert. She offers online consultations, skin care lessons, exceptional products and hand-holding guidance to help women over 40 regain their youthful glow. Learn more here.