What Is A Sebaceous Filament? Plus: 11 Ways To Get Rid Of Blackheads

They're different than blackheads.

What is a sebaceous filament? + ways to get rid of blackheads getty

When we have breakouts, many of us don't actually care what that breakout is called. We want it gone! However, knowing what is causing our breakout, and what it is, is actually the first step in dealing with it.

But what are sebaceous filaments? They are a bit different than the acne you are probably used to seeing.

According to Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified NYC dermatologist and Assistant Professor of Dermatology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, “Sebaceous filaments are pretty much the oil glands on your nose and in the chin area just below the lower lip. They will never go away. Even if extracted, they will still look the same and fill back up again few days later. Sebaceous filaments cannot be extracted like a blackhead can.”


Instead of trying to figure out how to get rid of blackheads, sebaceous filaments are a whole other ball game. But how do you remove them? Here are 11 methods and products to use.

RELATED: 15 Best Skincare Lines For Sensitive Skin

1. PMD Personal Microderm


Microdermabrasion can be very effective because it helps to smooth out the skin, and to helps to remove blackheads and whiteheads,” says Jaliman.

While going to a dermatologist for microderm is always a great option, for those people who want to have it done at home, there are at-home options like the PMD, which is a patented, safe, and effective. This tool that provides the same brilliant results as professional, in-office microdermabrasion treatments.

(Sephora, $159)

2. Medical Facial

“Medical facials are very important in acne treatment because then the face is steamed and blackheads and whiteheads are removed,” advises Dr. Jaliman. Set up an appointment with your dermatologist.


3. Professional Peel

According to Jaliman, “Light peels with salicylic acid and lactic acid are effective in unclogging the pores.” Again, an in-office appointment with your dermatologist is the best way to go about this method.

4. Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner

Using toner is helpful in keeping blackheads at bay. One toner we love is this one, which offers critical hydration via a refreshing blend of skin-repairing Aloe, moisture-binding humectants, plus soothing Lavender, Balm Mint and Arnica.

(Ulta, $40)


5. MURAD Retinol Youth Renewal Serum

“Serums with retinol at bedtime are good for how to get rid of blackheads. Just use a broad spectrum sunscreen in the morning,” says Jaliman.

One great retinol serum is the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, which quickly and visibly minimizes lines and deep wrinkles, firms, evens skin tone, and boosts radiance for more vibrant, youthful-looking skin.


(Sephora, $89)

6. Sonic Facial Cleansing System

“A sonic cleansing system helps with blackheads. It's good to use once daily,” says Jaliman. Make sure you don't overdo it though!

This facial cleansing system comes with three different brush heads that deeply clean and massage the skin: the Silicone Massaging Brush, Soft Bristle Cleansing Brush, and the Exfoliating Sponge, which cleans out pores, eliminates blackheads, and helps exfoliate and brighten skin for a natural glow.


(Cala Product, $37.50)

RELATED: 5 Easy Home Remedies To Help Treat Your Dry Skin

7. AmazonBasics Cotton Wash Clothes

“A baby washcloth can be used daily for extra exfoliation,” advises Jaliman. And this is a pack of 24 washcloths for bath, office, or gym use made of 100 percent looped-terry cotton for strength, high absorbency, and fast drying that is soft enough for use on the face and strong enough for general household cleaning.



8. NYAKIO Chinese Rice Exfoliating Cleansing Powder

“Cleansing grains can be used for extra exfoliation. I like gentle mechanical exfoliation with rice powder. It doesn’t irritate the skin but helps with blackheads,” Jaliman advises. It’s like a gentle skin buffer!

Nyakio's Chinese Rice Exfoliating Cleansing Powder is an exfoliator that gently polishes away dead skin cells and dullness to reveal fresh, healthy skin. Chinese Rice Powder is coated with a touch of nourishing shea butter and detoxifying African Black Soap to provide soft, smooth, brighter-looking skin.


(Ulta, $26)

9. The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask helps cleanse, cool and refresh blemished skin without over drying. Enriched with Community Trade tea tree oil, the mask helps clear impurities whilst absorbing excess sebum, leaving skin feeling soothed and looking clearer.

(The Body Shop, $17)


10. Osmosis Skincare Pathway Supplement

“We discovered the 'black' in blackheads comes from mucus in the digestive tract caused by dairy and fried foods. As most sufferers know, cleansing is not enough to keep them at bay. Osmosis created an internal wellness product called Pathway that removes the mucus from the digestive tract thereby treating blackheads at their source,” warns Dr. Ben Johnson, MD, founder of holistic skincare brand Osmosis.

(Dermstore, $60)

11. Elina Organics Oil Control Formula


The Oil Control Formula is the best product to get rid of blackheads because it will help to reduce the activity of oil glands in the t-zone or other oily areas. According to Elina Fedotova, CEO of Elina Organics, "It will also help to sanitize the area with willow bark extract which has a high concentration of natural salicylic acid. It will cool off and calm the skin while reducing redness."

(Elina Organics Skincare, $48)

RELATED: The Best Way To Wash Your Face, According To Your Skin Type

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her at alywalansky@gmail.com.


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