This does not make the use of blackhead strips any less fun
March 17, 2015 2:26 PM   Subscribe

You know all those blackheads on your Biore nose strip? Turns out they mostly aren't blackheads; they're sebaceous filaments and they were supposed to be in your nose. They help channel the flow of oil in the pore, and cannot be permanently removed (the pore will refill within 30 days).
posted by Blue Jello Elf (72 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is bad news for my Mr. Spackle* kickstarter.

*Mr. Spackle—the only spackle specially formulated to smooth over those pesky, unsightly bumps on the surface of the human tongue.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:35 PM on March 17, 2015


Reminds me of cleanses, where what's coming out of your butt is presumably killed intestinal lining and desperately overproduced protective mucous, and ear candles(?) where what's coming out is presumably the candle wax and not your ear wax? Other examples?
posted by zeek321 at 2:36 PM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Surely no cosmetic company has ever sold us something we don't need?
posted by scruss at 2:36 PM on March 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah....I knew that. And I will continue to use those nose strips anyway. If my nose wants me to stop using them, it can stop producing so damned much sebum.
posted by sharp pointy objects at 2:37 PM on March 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


The thought of a roaming nose is more terrifying than any of the actual content in the story. I'd be constantly concerned about it flipping over during rainstorms in an angry attempt to drown me.
posted by davelog at 2:37 PM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Other examples?

Dandruff flakes clinging to your hair before it falls to your shoulder. You wanna leave those there.
posted by resurrexit at 2:38 PM on March 17, 2015


My little nose forests! Oh no!!!!
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:39 PM on March 17, 2015 [14 favorites]


it can stop producing so damned much sebum

YMMV, but if you stop stripping away sebum and oil, your body stops producing so much... I stopped using face wash as a teen--I lightly rub my face with water, feeling for oil, until I can't feel oil under my fingers anymore, and that's it. I had one breakout and then no major breakout, forever. For infrequent pimples, I use a dab of soap.

If you use water and mechanical action (feeling with your fingers), instead of soap, oil does get rinsed away, leaving a thin insoluble layer, and then your body doesn't massively overproduce oil and sebum to replace anything.
posted by zeek321 at 2:45 PM on March 17, 2015 [13 favorites]


...but if you stop stripping away sebum and oil, your body stops producing so much..


Hahahahahhhaaahhahahahahahaha.
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:48 PM on March 17, 2015 [38 favorites]


thanks for sharing. this will alter my life in many ways
posted by Postroad at 2:58 PM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


doesn't make my blackhead extractor any less satisfying to use. splurrrp
posted by ghostbikes at 2:59 PM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Humans are disgusting.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:00 PM on March 17, 2015 [31 favorites]


Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Mask
Cellnique Skin Action Sebum Gel
Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets


So basically they're trashing one cosmetic product while recommending different ones on a cosmetics website.

Same shit, different day.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:00 PM on March 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm super oily and cursed with these sebaceous doodahs on my nose AND chin, and believed they were blackheads. Removal techniques I've tried include wipes, peels, strips, scrubs, steam treatment, oils, exfoliation, every single 'blackhead treatment' lotion around, homebrew face peels, and damn electronic wands that 'pull out impurities' with electric current.

Screw Biore for making a nearly pointless product for well over £7 a box, is what I'm saying.

ETA: only thing that really reduces my oiliness and hides my grey dots is good quality foundation for oily skin, or a colourless oil control base. love it.
posted by NoiselessPenguin at 3:07 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've found that using Vaseline as a moisturizer has helped clear up those little spots. I do the Biore strips maybe once a week max, then it's Vaseline time.

The only downside is to keep my nose free of the not-blackheads, the Vaseline should be re-applied during the day. As apparently my nose is actually dry as hell. This wouldn't be so bad but I wear glasses...
posted by bgal81 at 3:12 PM on March 17, 2015


My skin has always had oil production that could rival the great state of Texas. When I started moisturizing twice a day? Both my infernal blackheads and my cystic acne pretty much disappeared. I'm 40 in a month and my skin has never been so great.

Wrt blackheads in general, I'll just leave this here.
posted by KathrynT at 3:14 PM on March 17, 2015 [15 favorites]


NO WHAT NO WHY HOW NOOOOO
posted by corb at 3:15 PM on March 17, 2015 [10 favorites]


Omg i thought that meant a 25 year old getting a blackhead removed. What the fuck did I just watch. And by watch I mean watch for 15 seconds then scrub to the end bc Holy mother of God what the hell what.
posted by sio42 at 3:21 PM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Pore Strips: Deep Cleaning
posted by mrjohnmuller at 3:22 PM on March 17, 2015


I'll just leave this here.

Nah, you can pick it back up and take it with you, please.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:25 PM on March 17, 2015 [19 favorites]


http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comedo

In case anyone wants a more in depth explanation of blackheads besides KathrynT's nightmare fuel.
posted by sio42 at 3:26 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


My life got less confusing once I realized that human bodies are horrifying, and that's ok.

Not everybody likes it when I respond to their tale of bodily woe by saying that, though.
posted by emjaybee at 3:30 PM on March 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


>...but if you stop stripping away sebum and oil, your body stops producing so much..

Hahahahahhhaaahhahahahahahaha.


I've found that a diet high in refined carbohydrates (wheat, sugar), stress, sleep, and sudden changes in the weather (a sudden dip to dry, cold temperatures) influence sebum production.
posted by Nevin at 3:44 PM on March 17, 2015


Wrt blackheads in general, I'll just leave this here.

Started watching, got to the tweezers, saw I had SIX MORE MINUTES, closed the fuck out of that tab. I find removing blackheads immensely satisfying and wish I got to remove other people's and I deeply, profoundly, could not handle that.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 3:44 PM on March 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


Man, articles peppered with "DON'T I SEEM FUN TO YOU?!?!?" animated gifs are getting on my last goddamn nerve.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:52 PM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sebum spelled backwards is mubes.
posted by Floydd at 3:56 PM on March 17, 2015 [10 favorites]


KathrynT, you are my hero. I want that job. I want that job and I want a parade of 25-year-old blackheads from noon 'til night.
posted by minervous at 3:57 PM on March 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


The beauty Internet is heavy on the "they're sebaceous filaments ACTUALLY." But if you have them and they bother you, does it make a difference what they're called? Either way digging at your face and stripping with this or that harsh cleanser is damaging to the skin.
posted by stowaway at 4:26 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wrt blackheads in general, I'll just leave this here yt .

i made it to the part where i saw the person with the long fingernails digging around in somebody else's fucking SKIN and no gloves on and i was like NOPE THIS IS LIKE THAT TIME WITH THE AMATEUR DENTISTRY VIDEOS ISN'T IT
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:36 PM on March 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


I want that job. I want that job and I want a parade of 25-year-old blackheads from noon 'til night.

minervous, you should check out Dr. Sandra Lee (aka DrPimplePopper)'s YouTube Channel
posted by brand-gnu at 4:47 PM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Honestly I found KathrynT's video really refreshing. Imagine how good it would feel to have that finally pulled out of you? Is this tingling that ASMR thing the kids are talking about? I want to watch it again! And show it to Mrs. Penguin except that she'd divorce me.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:50 PM on March 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


/r/popping
posted by bottlebrushtree at 4:50 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


HAHAHA if you finish watching the video it suggests twelve more videos of people cleaning out impacted blackheads god I love the internet.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:50 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can we remove all comments since KathrynT's please
posted by halifix at 4:58 PM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ever since I learned that comedone extractors were a thing, I really really wanted one. Ok, I'm getting one. ... and back from Amazon, good god, you can buy a whole toolkit for picking at your face. Probably not a good thing, but I do love tools.
posted by bobobox at 4:59 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of cleanses, where what's coming out of your butt is presumably killed intestinal lining and desperately overproduced protective mucous, and ear candles(?) where what's coming out is presumably the candle wax and not your ear wax?

Erm, so this reminds me of a story. One of my friends was convinced that his ear candles had pseudo-mythical powers of earwax removal, and when pressed to back up his claims he'd demonstrate that cutting the candle open revealed an amount of waxy substance. Unfortunately, he shared a flat with a bunch of argumentative scientists, who made a bet with him on the result of a controlled trial where one candle would be lit in his ear, and one stuck in a cork and the amount of wax inside would be compared...

Anyway, that's the preamble that I wish I'd have known when I walked into their kitchen one day only to see a naked man lying face down on the kitchen table with a lit candle sticking out of his arse.
posted by Ned G at 5:02 PM on March 17, 2015 [21 favorites]


From Wikipedia : David A. Whiting described (sebaceous filaments)... as "a loose, porous mass of horny detritus".

porous mass of horny detritus

my body is literally an oozing mound of lecherous trash, I guess I'm a sebaceous filament???
posted by suckerpunch at 5:27 PM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Was that really a blackhead, ... or shrapnel?

I read this post, because I thought I might find some informative articles about other cosmetic skin issues, I dunno, like big pores or something simple. And then that.
posted by xtian at 5:35 PM on March 17, 2015


Wrt blackheads in general, I'll just leave this here yt .

Apparently, a large pore makes a convenient receptacle for lawn clippings, candy wrappers and old cigarette butts.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:01 PM on March 17, 2015


I just watched the you tube video to the end against all my better instincts screaming against this, and I know I'm going to have nightmares tonight wondering why they panned away from the hole at the end and what living thing was under there!
posted by BlueHorse at 6:26 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm fully aware that those things are just ripping out useful stuff and probably causing damage, but they're like little artificial scabs to pick. It's satisfyingly gross but also worthily painful. Tangentially, I am reminded of this.
posted by lucidium at 6:39 PM on March 17, 2015


Don't pick your face, y'all. Danger triangle.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 6:40 PM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


The only thing I've ever found that helps with those little bastard nose-dots? This mandelic acid serum. Seriously, it's like a miracle happened in the middle of my face. (I'm not mad about what it does for the rest of my face, either.)
posted by palomar at 6:46 PM on March 17, 2015 [12 favorites]


That blackhead video KathrynT posted is incredible. Thing is like a fucking botfly! A++
posted by threeants at 7:07 PM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: "a loose, porous mass of horny detritus".
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:50 PM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wrt blackheads in general, I'll just leave this here

I refuse to watch that a second time
posted by aubilenon at 8:21 PM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


KathrynT! That video! Has caused me to! Comment! In! Disgust!
posted by Mister Cheese at 8:45 PM on March 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wrt blackheads in general, I'll just leave this here.

We are mortal enemies now. haha. everything thinks this is just a joke. I want you to know we are enemies now. Oh my god. Why did I click? Why did I sign into my google account to watch that? Why did I scroll to the end?

You are some type of modern day Rasputin or some shit. We are enemies.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:02 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


KathrynT! That video! Has caused me to! Comment! In! Disgust!
posted by Mister Cheese



Eponyewwwwwww.....splooge.
posted by futz at 10:02 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


> Mr. Spackle

There's your answer, fishbulb.
posted by ostranenie at 10:09 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Damn it KathrynT, I said to myself, "I will not be permanently scarred by this video." I watched, and it was simultaneously gross and fascinating. And now it's 90 minutes later and I CANNOT GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD. You win. Or I lose. Something, anyway.
posted by rednikki at 10:25 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


And now I've googled "impacted blackheads." I'm going to bed, pulling the covers over my head and I am hoping that my dreams will scrub out my brains like bleach.
posted by rednikki at 10:27 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm fully aware that those things are just ripping out useful stuff and probably causing damage, but they're like little artificial scabs to pick. It's satisfyingly gross but also worthily painful. Tangentially, I am reminded of this.

I always found the squeezings satisfying while being conscious of how gross they are. Something about getting cleaner having a tangible result. The video KathrynT linked, for example, was pleasing on some level. Made me nod in appreciation.

This, though. This is enough.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 4:13 AM on March 18, 2015


The visceral disgust/pleasure so many people experience at viewing videos like those linked by KatherynT are just another proof of evolution to me. We are but apes feeling about for lumps, bumps and nits to pull off of ourselves and one another. And possibly eat.
posted by thebrokedown at 4:50 AM on March 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


And possibly eat.

"Dear Ask Metafilter, I accidentally left this blackhead in my skin for 25 years. Can I still eat it?"
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:34 AM on March 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Why didn't it gush blood? Did they numb the area? I feel like the lady had washed her hands thoroughly,tho. She doesn't actually use her nails to do any extracting. And it seems she is using actual derm equip based on the two facials I've ever gotten. I don't know that they wore gloves either. And they were fairly posh places.

Why wasn't that person's skin getting all red and stuff from poked and prodded like that?


I have so many questions and I'm not sure I can handle the answers.
posted by sio42 at 7:41 AM on March 18, 2015


davelog: "The thought of a roaming nose is more terrifying than any of the actual content in the story. I'd be constantly concerned about it flipping over during rainstorms in an angry attempt to drown me."

Then don't read this short story by Gogol.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:29 AM on March 18, 2015


And it seems she is using actual derm equip based on the two facials I've ever gotten.

It was hard to watch with my hands over my eyes, and I refuse to watch again, but didn't she use a needle and drugstore tweezers?
posted by BlueHorse at 10:34 AM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


She sure did! That was probably not done in a hospital setting.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 10:35 AM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


sio42, skin is stretchy! A blackhead is your pore getting clogged up, but not inflamed. The pore is still "open" to the air (the color comes mostly from oxidation). Over time the body continues to produce sebum and the pore stretches. And stretches. And stretches....
posted by zennie at 10:38 AM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I woke up today at thinking about that video. What the heck, kathrynT?

What the heck!
posted by hal_c_on at 10:47 AM on March 18, 2015


Sounds like you haven't. . . extracted all the value from it yet. *puts on sunglasses*
posted by KathrynT at 11:22 AM on March 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


Man getting that out in the video just looked so satisfying though.
posted by Carillon at 11:30 AM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I found this video more educational and realistic wrt blackheads.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:33 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ahhhhhhhh. I started watching the video. And stopped. Why, god, why?
posted by stowaway at 3:08 PM on March 18, 2015


I'm going to just leave this here.

(sorry!)
posted by PissOnYourParade at 4:14 PM on March 18, 2015


r/popping

You are all terrible people who give bad advice and should feel bad about yourselves.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 6:22 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


So that was a regular old sewing needle and not an actual tool? What if it broke? Yikes! I didn't watch the whole thing bc it was terrifying and even what i watched i couldn't focus very well.
posted by sio42 at 7:50 PM on March 18, 2015


I think it was a heavy-weight embroidery needle, about 3 times as thick as a regular sewing needle and with a much bigger eye.
posted by KathrynT at 9:02 AM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Surely no cosmetic company has ever sold us something we don't need?

Spoken like someone who is not sufficiently shamed by their chin cleft!
posted by Theta States at 11:06 AM on March 19, 2015


Knowing it was a heavier needle made me slightly less terrified. Man.
posted by sio42 at 8:09 PM on March 19, 2015


I totally knew this but still hate those damn things sticking out of my pores. You can pull them out with tweezers. Yeah it might not be good for the skin, but it's clean and damn satisfying.
posted by dazedandconfused at 7:17 PM on March 31, 2015


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