Strawberry nose? Pitted nose? Black marks on the nose? Pin heads? Call a rose by any other name and it is still a rose! The beauty aberrations expressed above are references to a skin condition called comedone.
Comedones present as whiteheads, which become blackheads. These can be either raised or flat in appearance. They usually occur when a pore gets clogged with sebum. This forms a plug on the pore and pushes against the skin. Some of these whiteheads oxidise owing to the sun, resulting in dark, black spots. Comedones begin as small pin heads but when left untreated, they can grow in size, damaging the skin structure around and causing scarring and darkening. Extracting very large comedones can leave crater like indentations on the skin. Sometimes, the blackheads can also get infected and inflamed. It’s best to meet a doctor for this as you might need antibacterial skin cream to treat the inflammation.
Comedones can occur despite a good cleansing routine. A good cleansing routine consists of cleansing the skin with a skin-appropriate cleanser, washing with warm water, applying a good skin-appropriate moisturiser or night cream. It’s also a good practise to exfoliate once every 4 days.
Some skin, despite the best care, are prone to developing comedones. In such cases, it’s very helpful to make exfoliation more frequent for the skin type. However, choosing the right type of scrub or exfoliant is critical. Over exfoliation of dry skin can aggravate dryness and redness. And in oily skin, over exfoliation can strip the skin of necessary oils and also cause oily, scaly patches.
It’s a good practise to exfoliate dry skin every 4 days and oily skin every alternate day.
Make your own exfoliating scrub
For oily skin: Use a mix of 2 tbsp. fine salt, 1 tbsp. olive oil, apple cider vinegar to mix the ingredients to wet sand consistency and 10 drops of tea tree oil.
For dry skin: Using a rich moisturising exfoliant will also help control dryness. Use a mix of 2 tbsp. fine sugar, 1 tbsp. coconut oil, 1 tsp. glycerine and 10 drops of tea tree oil.
Exfoliation, sunscreen and regular extraction.
Oily skin scrub: The salt helps cut excessive oiliness, olive oil helps moisturise, apple cider vinegar helps maintain the skin’s pH levels and tea tree aroma oil helps control bacteria build-up.
Dry skin scrub: Sugar and glycerine are a natural humectant and moisturiser, coconut oil helps clean pores, is antibacterial and moisturises and tea tree oil helps control bacteria build-up (which prevents comedones from getting infected and inflamed).
Make the magic work
Wash your face with warm water and pat dry. Use a tbsp. of the mix to gently exfoliate the face, using light pressure and circular motion. Exfoliate for 3 to 5 minutes approximately. Wash with warm water and gentle soap if you feel greasy and pat dry. Post an exfoliation treatment, the skin is very sensitive and delicate. It’s strongly advised to use a sunscreen with SPF of 30 or more immediately.
Bonus advice: If the blackhead doesn’t dislodge in about a fortnight, it’s advisable to meet a doctor or an expert beautician for extraction. Extraction of the comedone requires the doctor to gently loosen the plug and remove it with as little damage to the skin as possible. Applying a topical antibacterial cream on the site will help avoid any possible secondary infection that might have been caused during the process.