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Blackheads - argh!

You lean into the mirror and what's right in the middle of your face? Your nose. But that's not all - what are those little black dots topping up each one of your pores? Argh!

What are they? Why do they keep coming back? How can you get rid of them for once and for all? Before you read the rest of this I want you to do some research. Google 'oxidised sebaceous filaments' (please feel free to add any good links that you find into the comments).

OK, done? Chances are you just discovered that you don't have blackheads but that what you're experiencing is a mis-fire of normal pore function that happens when the natural filament lining the pore becomes discoloured. I won't go into the technical details as you just reviewed this in your Google search, but the important thing to remember is that this waxy core (the filament) is your skin's way of regulating oil and sebum. Any intervention that you choose must take this into consideration that this is a by-product of normal skin function. If you discovered that your dots actually are Blackheads then they should be treated as blemishes or acne, and the information in this post might not apply.

Assess your situation. Are you sure that you have OSF (Oxidised Sebaceous Filaments)? If the answer is yes then you need a plan of action. You need to rid yourself of the black dots AND stop them from coming back!

Investigating the cause of OCF.

Certain products are notorious for causing this issue, LAA (pure Vitamin C) in particular, but oils, some serums, salves and other products can oxidise or can encourage the SF to oxidise. Air is always a factor in the oxidation process. Product can accumulate at the opening of pores and some products turn darker when exposed to air, water or other elements.

This doesn't mean that you can't use these products, just that you need to be smart about it.

Ideally, make sure to end your routine with an occlusive that will prevent light, air, pollutants, etc. from reaching the mouth of the pore. It can take time to do a thorough Trial and Error investigation on your routine to find the culprit and it may not be necessary if you can prevent the oxidation from occurring. In some cases you might be better off to elimi