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To target blackheads at home, hit them hard at their source. These unsightly dots result from oil, dead skin cells and bacteria forming nasty little plugs in your pores, particularly on the nose, which is a hotbed of oil gland activity. As such, your homemade remedies should work to reduce oil or clean out clogged pores. To focus on the nose, stick with techniques that are easy to apply to a controlled area.
Squeezing out blackheads forcefully is a big no-no, so turn to a gentler method that eases the buggers out via heat. Apply a coating of petroleum jelly to your nose just after you get out of a hot shower, when your pores are wide open. Cover the bridge of your nose and surrounding area with a bit of plastic wrap, keeping your nostrils unobstructed.
Hold two damp, heated washcloths to your nose for about 5 minutes -- warming them up in the microwave for a minute or two does the trick. Remove the cloths and the plastic, cover your forefingers in clean tissue and gently squeeze the sides of your nose to unclog the pores. Don't be forceful, and don't pinch; if a blackhead doesn't come out easily, leave it. Follow up this very occasional process by washing your face with an oil-reducing cleanser.
A Sweet and Sour Cleanse
For a treatment gentle enough to apply daily or every few days, depending on your skin's sensitivity, simply squeeze a bit of raw honey onto a halved fresh lemon. Rub the honey-coated fleshy side of the fruit over your nose, thoroughly coating it. Take a little time to appreciate the lemon-fresh scent as you allow the all-natural combo to rest for 10 minutes, then rinse it away with cool, clean water. This remedy helps draw oily sebum out of the pores -- honey serves as an oil-reducing antibacterial agent and lemon also reduces bacteria.
Mix a bit of baking soda with clean water to form a paste and you've got an instant nose-exfoliating scrub. If you have an oily complexion, substitute astringent apple-cider vinegar for water. Massage this paste into your nose after your shower a few times per week and then give your face a good rinse with a face cleanser. Reduce the regularity of the application if you have sensitive skin or if irritation occurs. As a lightly abrasive exfoliant, baking soda clears the nose of blackhead-forming surface impurities.
To keep the nose free of blackheads, practice a regular skin-maintenance routine in addition to your D.I.Y. techniques. Control excess oil production by using a cleanser that contains an oil-curbing active ingredient -- think salicylic acid, caffeine, biotin, lactic acid or papain -- twice daily and applying an off-the-shelf clay-based mask once or twice weekly. Above all, avoid the temptation to squeeze blackheads out with your fingernails or other forceful methods -- this may lead to broken capillaries and damaged skin.
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