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Everything You Need To Know About Sebaceous Filaments

Everything you need to know about Sebaceous Filaments

Have you been trying to remove all those ‘blackheads’ around the nose area? If your nose is covered in tiny small dots, you probably have sebaceous filaments. While they may look like blackheads, sebaceous filaments are a normal and healthy feature of the skin that are actually there to help. We share the key differences between blackheads vs sebaceous filaments, how to identify them and how to treat them. 

What are sebaceous filaments?

Sebaceous filaments are naturally occurring, tube-like structures that form when oil is produced around the hair follicle. They are a normal part of the skin’s moisturising process and help to move oil to the skin’s surface. Unlike blackheads, sebaceous filaments help to moisturise the skin rather than clog it.

Difference between blackheads vs sebaceous filaments.

Blackheads are a type of congestion whereas sebaceous filaments are a part of your skin. For those with oily skin or enlarged pores, sebaceous filaments might be easier to see. Not sure how to tell the difference? Sebaceous filaments tend to make pores look “full”, grey or yellow in colour. On the other hand, blackheads are slightly raised, black in colour and appear solid or as a congealed plug and tend to be much larger and wider than sebaceous filaments. 


How to treat blackheads

  • Antioxidants like vitamin C will prevent blackheads by reducing sebum oxidation which causes the dark colour of a blackhead.
  • AHA’s & BHA’s will help to clear any congestion that lies within the pores and dissolve sebum and dead skin.
  • Manual extraction - if you’re unsure how to do this correctly, leave this to a professional to avoid long-term damaging or scarring the skin. 
blackhead infographic

How to treat sebaceous filaments

Because these are a normal part of your pore structure, these aren’t something you can get rid of - but you can do a few things to avoid inflammation and minimise the appearance of them.

  • Avoid the urge to extract - Although you may be tempted to get super close to your mirror and extract them yourself, you won't see any permanent results as they'll appear again in around 30 days. You also may cause long-term damage and scarring to the skin if you squeeze a little too hard or incorrectly.
  • Chemical exfoliation is a must. Similar to blackheads, the best possible way to reduce the appearance is to prevent your pores from clogging with the use of BHA’s and AHA’s. These ingredients help to cut through oil, remove dead skin cells and help minimise pore size.
  • Oil cleansers help to draw out oil-based impurities, like excess sebum, dirt and makeup, clearing out pores and keeping them clean. Make sure to cleanse twice a day to avoid buildup.
  • Bakuchiol is a natural retinol alternative which will help to increase cell turnover and keep the pores clear.’
  • Niacinamide for oil control. This powerful vitamin B helps to balance out oil production and minimise the appearance of pores.

sebaceous filament infographic

Looking for an effective oil-based cleanser to draw out oil-based impurities? Try our Cleansing Balm. Need a powerful chemical exfoliant to decongest pores? Learn more about our Brightening Peel here.

Need a hand choosing the right products for you? Contact us today we’ll help you discover the perfect skincare routine for you!

Are you looking after your skin this summer? Read our ‘Summer Skin Q&A’ blog now. 


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