Bye Bye Blackheads - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic
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Bye Bye Blackheads

What’s all the banter about blackheads?

We hear it all of the time. Our clients and friends are very concerned about large pores and more importantly about blackheads on the nose and chin. Today we are breaking it all down and giving you the down and dirty about all things blackhead!

Blackhead or sebaceous filament?

Sebaceous what?

We all have them.

Sebaceous filaments are tiny oil glands just below the skin’s surface that lubricate the skin. When the body overproduces sebum (oil), the sebaceous filament can fill up becoming more visible and resembling enlarged pores.
They key differences between a blackhead and sebaceous filament are summarized nicely by Medical News Today, and are listed below.


  • A blackhead is a blockage or plug at the top of a pore. The plug prevents oil from escaping through the pore.
  • A sebaceous filament is a thin, hair-like structure that lines the inside of the pore and helps sebum travel to the skin’s surface. It has no plug.
Appearance and Color
  • A noticeable sebaceous filament may look like a dark dot on the skin. The dot may resemble the head of a pin, and it may be yellow, gray, or clear.
  • A blackhead is a very dark plug at the top of a pore. The dark color develops when the plug is oxidized through contact with the air.
  • If a person squeezes, or “extracts,” a sebaceous filament, a white or yellow worm-like structure may ooze out. Or, the filament may not produce anything.
  • Trying to extract sebaceous filaments can injure the skin and cause scarring. It can also damage and stretch the pore, making it appear bigger.
  • When a person extracts a blackhead, the dark plug may come off. Beneath it, there may be white or yellow sebum and skin cells.

How to Treat Blackheads

Salicylic acid is the superhero ingredient to fight blackheads. It’s derived from white willow bark, and it is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA). I will go into the differences between beta hydroxy and alpha hydroxy (AHA) on another day, but the biggest strength of a BHA is that it is oil soluble.

What does this mean for your blackheads? 

Salicylic will penetrate into the pores deeper than an AHA ingredient, breaking up the oil and debris clogging the pore.

When to choose salicylic? 

It’s a great idea to incorporate a bit of salicylic acid into most acne-fighting skin routines. However, if your problem is mainly blackheads without any cystic whiteheads, you may want to incorporate a more concentrated application of salicylic.

We offer salicylic acid in Stay Calm Toner and also in Vita Tonic Toner. This is why your toner is so important! You may be getting that perfect dose of blackhead busting BHA in your toner.
Additionally, we have a straight-up Salicylic Serum which is a great option for someone who is limited to blackheads only.
Salicylic is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast feeding.

How to decrease pore size?

The honest answer is there is no way to shrink your pore size. If you have large pores, you have large pores. But you can work to keep them clean and free of build up. 
We recommend adding an AHA or BHA exfoliating serum to your routine — Salicylic Serum, Clarify (mandelic) Serum, or Glycolic Serum.
Additionally, eating a clean diet free of fried foods and processed snacks will help to slough out those pores. What we put into our body definitely shows on our face.
Drinking lots of water helps flush our system and flush out our pores.

A Final Note

The bad news is that we all have oil glands on our nose and chin. Some are more pronounced than others. And, some are clogged in the form of a true blackhead.
If you are working one-on-one with us, we have you on a routine designed to lessen the blackheads while also fighting the cystic pustules. Finally, you may think you have large pores, but I can guarantee you that people can’t see your pores when they are six feet away or even two feet away for that matter.
Put down the magnifying mirrors and wondering what to do about your skin. Clean up your diet. Complete a skin routine twice per day that includes salicylic serum. And say bye bye to blackheads.
Cheers to clear!

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