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Those blackheads on your nose probably aren’t blackheads at all

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Alex Finnis
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Those blackheads on your nose probably aren't blackheads at all

It’s not just me who loves a good squeeze on those seemingly eternal nose blackheads - come on, we all do it - except it turns out we definitely shouldn’t, because they probably aren’t blackheads at all.

While that those tiny spurts of yellowy substance are great for satisfying our idle brains as we stare into the mirror every morning, what you’re squeezing out probably isn’t pus - they are probably sebaceous filaments, and they’re very important for our skin.

Lots of us have what we think are blackheads on their nose, but more often than not, they’re probably just much more visible pores.

As Michelle Cashen at Privet Body in Notting Hill told Metro: “[I see] clients coming in for a facial and proclaiming ‘I have so many blackheads on my nose’.

“I turn on my magi lamp and perform a consultation, peel at their skin and low and behold – they do not have blackheads; they have pore or sebaceous filaments.”

Those blackheads on your nose probably aren't blackheads at all 1

OK, that one probably is a spot

So what are sebaceous filaments, and why is it bad to squeeze them? 

Well, pores are the tiny openings on your skin through which important oils are released to hydrate it, and this is done via sebaceous filaments, which are very tiny hairs. They taken the oil from inside your nose to the surface of the skin.

When they get filled up with too much dirt and pollution from the air they can become blocked, and turn into blackheads, but regular washing can prevent this.

A blackhead will appear much darker than a regular pore, and you should definitely avoid squeezing the ones you don’t think are actual blackheads. As Cashen explains:

“If a tan/creamy substance is excreted when a pore is squeezed, it is not a blackhead; it is, in fact, a sebaceous filament.

“For the reasons outlined above, these hydration-helpers should be left alone to perform their function.

“Chronic squeezing of pores can result in slackened elasticity which can make the pore appear more prominent.”

So by squeezing, you’re actually making these pseudo-blackheads look worse, not better.

Where on earth are we going to find our fun now?

(Images: iStock)

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Alex Finnis

Alex is the Editor of ShortList.com

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