For some, clogged, oversized pores on the nose is an ongoing struggle. Whether you’ve tried a clay mask or your favourite clarifying mask, you can’t help but wonder if there are additional techniques to incorporate into your skincare routine—and lifestyle—to keep these little buggers at bay.
Here at FirstBase Skincare, we are sharing our 7 tips and tricks to clear up this troublesome area for fresher, cleaner skin. From safe, at-home treatments to options to explore with a professional, we hope these guidelines will help you to reduce blackheads, congestion, and oversized pores on the nose.
WHAT DO CLOGGED NOSE PORES LOOK LIKE?
According to Healthline, “clogged pores typically consist of a combination of sebum and dead skin cells that get stored in the hair follicles beneath.” After all this messy stuff is stuck beneath the skin, it then hardens within the follicle walls. Often referred to as a ‘plug’, these clogged pores may then turn black as the sebum undergoes a chemical reaction (oxidizes) and turns black.
Unfortunately, for most, the nose is an area where blackheads, as well as oversized pores, thrive. This is based on the location of your face, and according to Biore, is actually because the nose has more oil glands than any other area of the face. Moreover, Biore mentions that “blackheads are most common in the pores that lie within your T-Zone, a section of your face that includes your nose, forehead, and chin.” This, in part with accumulated dead skin cells, the fact that we touch our nose constantly throughout the day, and constant exposure to debris and dirt, contribute to clogged pores on the nose.
SO, WHAT CAUSES ENLARGED AND CLOGGED PORES ON THE NOSE?
If your parents suffer from overactive sebaceous glands, this will most likely be the case for you. Overactive sebaceous glands essentially mean there is an overproduction of oil, and especially in the t-zone where your most active oil-producing glands are situated, there is a higher chance for your nose to become congested, clogged, and have oversized pores.
As another leading factor contributing to overactive oil glands, a common hormonal imbalance is suffering from an excessive amount of male hormones. When you are imbalanced hormonally, and there is excess androgen and testosterone, this will over-stimulate the production of sebum (known as seborrhea), leading to pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, pustules, and papules. Again, this means a higher risk of your nose becoming crowded with clogged pores.
3. LIFESTYLE FACTORS
It is age-old advice that your lifestyle choices deeply affect your skin health, and this reigns true when it comes to keeping blackheads and oversized pores at bay. It is important to note that your nose is constantly the first part of your face to inhale debris and harmful environmental pollutants. This, in turn with excess oil production, can lead to clogged nose pores.
It is important to therefore eat well, exercises to detoxify the skin, and practice clean hygiene (to also keep harmful bacteria from thriving on the nose’s clogged pores).
HOW TO CLEAN AND UNCLOG PORES
1. WASH YOUR FACE
Cleansing the skin should always be the first step in your skincare routine. This nourishing step will remove makeup products, harmful bacteria, excessive dirt and oil, and will also balance the ph levels on your nose.
We recommend a gentle, non-drying cleanser with active ingredients such as salicylic acid, or lotus flower extract. Being anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, these two activities shed the dead skin cells on the top layer of your face, which can help to reduce clogged pores on the nose. We recommend cleansing daily, with lukewarm water.
2. EXFOLIATE WEEKLY TO REMOVE DEAD SKIN CELLS
It may come as no surprise that exfoliation is key in the treatment of nose pores. However, how you exfoliate is key. As opposed to a mechanical exfoliator (think loofah or brushes), we recommend opting for a chemical exfoliant with enzymes like papain (derived from papaya) bromelain (derived from pineapple), baobab extract, or glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid. Exfoliation can be done once weekly.
3. TRY STEAMING OR A HOT CLOTH
Before cleansing day and night, opt for simply placing a hot cloth over the nose to help open up the pores. A hot cloth before cleansing means your pores will be more permeable for your secondary skincare steps, like a cleanser, which can then go in and clear out excess oils, sebum build-up, and dirt. Steaming the face has also been shown to release and break up trapped sebum, but it is also said to hydrate and soothe the skin.
4. LOCK IN MOISTURE
First and foremost, it’s a common misconception that oily skin does not require added moisture. By using ingredients like exfoliating acids and prescription topicals, the skin is more prone to drying and requires moisture more than ever.
As told by dermatologist Dr. Nazarian to Well + Good, moisture is key. "Many acne medications work by targeting oil glands and decreasing production of oil on the skin. So it's important to use a moisturizer to keep your skin moisturized so that it can tolerate the acne regimen.” While opting for a non-comedogenic moisturizer is best, choosing an oil-free, lightweight moisturizer with ceramides and hyaluronic acid is a great idea. “These will help make your skin stronger and maintain more water and hydration with continued use,” she says.
5. WEAR SUNSCREEN
The biggest correlation between excess sun exposure and nose pores is an increase in pore visibility. On a sunny day, your nose continues to receive the most amount of sun exposure due to its location on the face. If you are not wearing an SPF (a recommended 30+), then the pores on your nose are prone to inflammation caused by sunburns, and rougher looking skin (cue, enlarged pores).
For many blackhead sufferers, skipping the SPF is all too common with the fear it will clog your pores even more. However, SPF is vital for any person using prescription retinol, benzols, and salicylic, as these ingredients can lead to a compromised and more sensitive skin barrier. Applying SPF means protection from harmful pollutants and irritants, as well as sun damage.
According to dermatologist Dr. Martha H. Viera, as stated in Byrdie, the key is to look for the right ingredients. "Ideally, you need to avoid heavy oils that can clog the pores (coconut oil, for example) and certain silicone derivatives such as dimethicone," she says, with oil and fragrance-free— as well as non-comedogenic—being your best bet for SPF ingredients when battling breakouts.
6. AT-HOME TECHNIQUES
We want to say first and foremost to never pick, squeeze, or pry at your nose pores at home. In addition to steaming and hot cloth techniques, we would also recommend incorporating a nose clearing strip into your routine. These can help to pull out the unwanted oils from your pores, break apart the dirt and oil, and reduce the visible size of your nose pores.
7. SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
We always recommend seeking professional help if your skin health has not improved. Dermatologists can provide treatments such as micro-needling, laser treatments, chemical peels, and even mechanically extract your oversized, clogged pores on the nose.
According to Mirabile MD, microneedling can reduce your pore size over time, and when done under the guidance of a professional, can lead to blackhead removal for up to 3-weeks. IPL laser and chemical treatments are two other beneficial treatments that help to kill harmful bacteria and clear pores, while mechanical extracts can help to remove excess sebum in the short term.
Every individual has their own skin journey, but we hope that incorporating some of these tips and tricks will allow you to stress less over those stubborn clogged pores on your nose, in the future.
Questions, comments, or concerns? We’d love to hear from you. Simply reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.