How to Tell if Those Dots on Your Nose Are Blackheads or Sebaceous Filaments

Blackheads or Sebaceous FilamentsBlackheads or Sebaceous Filaments

Ever spent waaaaay too long in front of the mirror staring at the blackheads on your nose? Same.

Most of us have (and have tried to get rid of) those little dots on our noses, but did you know there's a good chance they're not actually blackheads, but sebaceous filaments?

Hang on... what the heck is a sebaceous filament? And how are you meant to tell the difference between blackheads and sebaceous filaments?

You can find out the difference, plus a bunch of other stuff about pimples and acne, by listening to the Week 9 episode of Skincare School the podcast below (or keep scrolling for the quick version).

What are Sebaceous Filaments?

According to dermal therapist, clinical educator and Head of Dermal at Canberra's Extra Clinic Elise Birchall, sebaceous filaments are pretty common.

"Sebaceous filaments are when your hair follicle or pore fills with keratin (the stuff that makes up your skin cells), combined with bits of debris and oil that come together to form a plug," Birchall told the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast.

"We often forget that sebaceous filaments are needed to carry oil through the hair follicle, so they do actually serve a purpose, despite how much we hate looking at them."

Sebaceous filaments can be white, clear, yellowy or black, and you'll often find them through the T-zone, but wherever you have a hair follicle, you can have a sebaceous filament.

What are Blackheads?

Blackheads are a type of pimple that also start in our pores.

These plugs of dead skin, sebum and other gunk look like raised black dots, and get their dark colour from the oxidisation that happens when that gunk is exposed to oxygen.

Got oily skin? You're probably more prone to blackheads. The size of your pores (which is determined by your genes) can also be a factor. Essentially, the larger your pores, the more often they'll refill, resulting in blackheads and/or sebaceous filaments.

Watch dermal therapist, James Vivian explain why blackheads form, how to treat them and how to avoid making them worse in the video below...

Sebaceous Filaments vs Blackheads.

OK, but what is the difference between sebaceous filaments and blackheads?

Birchall said, "While they do look pretty similar, sebaceous filaments and blackheads are quite different."

"If you imagine a blackhead as the start of a non-inflamed pimple with a black head, they're usually more raised and are found on areas like the chin, upper cheeks and forehead rather than on the nose. And if squeezed, what comes out is a hard seed/nut."

"Sebaceous filaments might also look like black dots, but they're harder to squeeze because they're flatter. They are common on the nose, and refill and return more easily than blackheads."

Sebaceous Filaments Treatment and How To Get Rid of Blackheads.

The most effective way to treat both sebaceous filaments and blackheads at home is with regular chemical exfoliation.

"For the management and prevention of both blackheads and sebaceous filaments, salicylic acid is quite effective," Birchall said.

"The BHA (beta hydroxy acid) is oil soluble and known for its exfoliating properties. It can get into the follicle wall and work on the dead skin that's stuck inside creating that plug. Combining salicylic acid with AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) will amp things up because they can also exfoliate dead skin cells on the surface level of the skin."

Here are Birchall's favourite products for treating sebaceous filaments and blackheads.

1. Medik8 Pore Cleanse Gel.

What: Medik8 Pore Cleanse Gel Intense

Why she loves it:

"The name pretty much says it all - this product has got a bit of salicylic acid and some AHAs, just enough to work on preventing blockages from forming and refining what's already there. You can use daily, but it won't dry out the skin."

2. asap radiance serum.

What: asap radiance serum

Why she loves it:

"This is a lightly exfoliating serum that's not too intense. It's also got both BHAs and AHAs to exfoliate thoroughly."

3. Medik8 Crystal Retinal.

What: Medik8 Crystal Retinal 3

Why she loves it:

"I always say it can't hurt to add in a vitamin A product, too. This is something I really like for open pores and blackheads, it's my favourite."

Should You Pop Your Blackheads?

We've all done it, but the official line is: no, you should not squeeze your own blackheads. Especially not with a metal blackhead extraction tool.

"When you squeeze blackheads and blockages in the pores, you can actually stretch the pores and make them larger. The metal tools are great when used by a professional for the right kind of breakouts, but it's not something I'd recommend for home use because you can create a lot of damage. It never ends well."

Best practice is to go see a dermal clinician or skin specialist, who can extract blackheads for you. If you can resist, that is.

You can listen to more on blackheads and sebaceous filaments in this episode of the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast below!

Are Pore Strips Bad?

Birchall tends not to recommend pore strips either because to pull the blockage out of the pore, it has to push through the small opening, which can stretch the pore even more.

She added, "The blockage might be gone, but it'll refill and look even bigger next time."

Finally, the most important thing to know about pores and the gunk inside them is:

They're completely normal, and you can't get rid of them for good because they're actually really important for functioning skin.

"There's a big misconception that pores aren't normal... we've been brainwashed for so long to think you have to have this porcelain perfect skin."

"You can minimise the appearance of pores, but you can't get rid of them because your skin needs them. You can prevent the blockages inside your pores, which will make them look less noticeable, but you'll always have them."

In other words, we're all stuck with our pores, so might as well make friends with them!

Here's Every Product Mentioned in This Article:

Want to know more about managing congested skin? Check out these helpful stories below!


Want to learn more? Here's the transcript of our Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast episode on sebaceous filaments and blackheads.

    

    

We recently visited Grown Alchemist to try "drip therapy". Plus, Dermal therapist, Elise Birchall joins us to chat all things sebaceous filaments and blackheads.

Beauty IQ Uncensored Episode 62 Transcript - 'Sebaceous Filaments VS Blackheads'

    

 

Hannah Furst:
Welcome everybody to Beauty IQ the podcast.

Joanna Flemming:
I'm your host, Joanna Flemming.

Hannah Furst:
And I am your cohost Hannah Furst. For those that are listening and may not have listened to the last couple of weeks, I'm going to Byron Bay.

Joanna Flemming:
So we're thinking like a Gold Coast New Year's Eve. Maybe I'll meet you up there.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. I just want to go somewhere where it's hot.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Is making out with randoms not COVID safe?

Joanna Flemming:
I would say that's probably against your COVID safe plan. Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Dammit.

Joanna Flemming:
So it's crossing a line.

Hannah Furst:
How many dates do I have to go on with the person before I can kiss them on New Year's?

Joanna Flemming:
I'd say one is enough.

Hannah Furst:
Okay.

Joanna Flemming:
What were you doing last New Year's Eve?

Hannah Furst:
I was on the dance floor in Thailand, this jungle dance floor, and this Italian guy stopped me as I was walking through the crowd.

Joanna Flemming:
As they do.

Hannah Furst:
And I'm pretty sure he just picked me up and we started making out.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, goodness.

Hannah Furst:
I'm pretty sure that's what happened.

Joanna Flemming:
Okay.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. This was pre-COVID so that-

Joanna Flemming:
Well, it's a contrast then. I went for a evening picnic with my best friend and we watched the nine o'clock fireworks. When it was time we went home and I went to bed.

Hannah Furst:
Oh my God. So, this year I'll do the picnic and you can make out with the random.

Joanna Flemming:
Okay. We'll see how we go with that.

Hannah Furst:
Let's swap lives this New Year's Eve.

Joanna Flemming:
All right.

Hannah Furst:
All right.

Joanna Flemming:
What is on today's episode, Hannah? What are we talking about?

Hannah Furst:
We are chatting about IV intravenous skincare for our cringey convo.

Joanna Flemming:
I'm glad you said skincare after that.

Hannah Furst:
Jo and I have really stepped up our skin care routines and we're doing it all intravenously now. Is that the right word?

Joanna Flemming:
Intravenously.

Hannah Furst:
Intravenously. Then we are speaking to Elise who is a dermal therapist about sebaceous filaments versus blackheads and the products we didn't know we needed. And, Jo, I saw yours and I just saw a tea bag and I was like, "What the actual F is going on?" You've lost it.

Joanna Flemming:
In the literal sense, not in the sexual sense.

Hannah Furst:
What?

Joanna Flemming:
I do want to say before we even get into this discussion, Hannah, is that out of every treatment that you and I try, this is probably the most unnecessary. It's got to be said, this is just something that nobody needs to go and have done, but you and I will try everything once.

Hannah Furst:
But I reckon if you've got a big night planned, you could totally book this in for the next day.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
I personally would do it again.

Joanna Flemming:
I would do it again as well. The first time I had one of these, I was actually hung over. I was working in a clinic and we had bags of a vitamin B kind of mixture. And one of the girls at work was like, "Do you want one?" I was like, "Absolutely. Yes, I do." And that was the first time I had one. And I felt amazing because it hydrates you straight away. So that dehydration that comes with the headache and the fatigue that you get from being hung over that just worked a treat. But this is a little bit different to the hangover drips, just slightly, because this one's meant to be for skin. So we went to Grown Alchemist's new space in Carlton. It feels like you're in a science experiment.

Hannah Furst:
The analogy for me was that it was like, well, you haven't watched Brave New World on Stan.

Joanna Flemming:
No.

Hannah Furst:
That's my fave new show. It was very kind of dystopian and that's what this felt like.

Joanna Flemming:
Well, you walk in into the showroom where all the products are and you walk into this space and all the oxygen is purified. So you can see on the outside there's this dial on the outside and the oxygen inside is purified. It's all this amazing technology.

Hannah Furst:
It's totally next level.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah, it really is. But they offer this thing called drip therapy. So there's five different drips that you can have and they range from 230 to, I think, maybe $270. But they don't claim any changes to your organs. They're not like, "This is going to detox your liver," or anything like that. It's more around ... This is what they say, "The drip therapy delivers vitamins and minerals directly to your blood stream assisting in optimal nutrient absorption at a cellular level. Our innovative treatments provide immediate beauty benefits, boosting the function of skin cells to achieve your skin grows faster for a more youthful and radiant complexion." I've got a pretty good bullshit metre, I think. And I was pretty sceptical about how much of a result I would see on my skin from that. But not going to lie, I did notice probably about 48 hours later that I did have more radiant skin from it. Did you notice a difference on your skin? And probably that result only lasted 24 hours for me, but I did notice. I was like, "Ooh, shit, I look good today."

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. I reckon it might be something that you would do if you really had a big event, like your wedding or something.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
It's really hard for me to notice this sort of stuff just because I'm using so many different products, but to be honest, it was just a really, really nice experience. I had such a nice afternoon.

Joanna Flemming:
I was so Zen after that. I felt like I'd been asleep.

Hannah Furst:
I thought it was a real treat.

Joanna Flemming:
The thing with this is that it is prescribed by a doctor. So you have a consultation with a doctor and then it's administered by a registered nurse in a fully sterile and clinical setting. So it's all very much above board. Everything's done properly. I had a few people respond to the stories that I put up when we went and had it done. They're like, "Oh my God, do I need this?" I'm like, "No, it's not saying that everybody needs ... I wouldn't say anyone needs to go and have any of the face treatments I have done, but there are things that I like personally." And like you said, I'd probably go and have this thing done at Grown Alchemist again because I quite enjoyed it. But yeah, it is a medical treatment so you need to make sure that you're actually a suitable candidate for it. So yeah, have that consultation with the doctor and see if you're suitable.

Hannah Furst:
To be honest, it was just worth a Instagram Story where I was like, "We now do our skincare through a drip." And not to mention the mini [Maui 00:06:15] we had as well.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, yes. That's not part of the regular offering though Hanna, [crosstalk 00:06:20].

Hannah Furst:
Sorry guys. I was wondering, having champagne which dehydrates you mixed with your IV therapy.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah, I think it was a little bit counterintuitive.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah.

Joanna Flemming:
I don't know if I've ever mentioned on here that I have a serious phobia of swallowing tablets, but I'm absolutely fine with needles. I could watch a needle go into my veins, I wouldn't have any issues with it.

Hannah Furst:
Oh, Jo.

Joanna Flemming:
But I cannot swallow tablets. I have an actual phobia of it. So I heard that there's also people listening who are the same. I'm fine with needles. I'd rather have my Panadol in my veins than swallow a tablet.

Hannah Furst:
So you can't swallow Panadol?

Joanna Flemming:
No. I can swallow the pill and I can swallow very small anti-histamines, and I can swallow a very specific form of Nurofen which is in a caplet. And I can swallow that, but with great difficulty. Actually, if anyone does hypnotism, can they let me know because I consider getting hypnotised for it.

Hannah Furst:
Can we record you getting that done?

Joanna Flemming:
Yes. How fun would that be?

Hannah Furst:
That would be really good. I'd love to hear that.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Okay. Let's do hypnotism. Anyway, that was just a side note because I can't take any of the tablet supplements that you guys take at work. Everyone's always like, "What supplements do you take?" I'm like, "I can take the Beauty Chef powder, but that's about it."

Hannah Furst:
Well, my product I didn't know I needed today, is a tablet. You would hate these tablets. I would like to hear you try to swallow a tablet though. Can we do that on one episode?

Joanna Flemming:
I don't know that people would want to hear me gagging.

Hannah Furst:
Do you actually gag?

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Oh, my God.

Joanna Flemming:
And I would just spit it out. I spit it down the drain.

Hannah Furst:
Oh my God. I imagine because I've got these magnesium tablet that's the size of my pinky finger. I don't think you'd be able ... You would gag looking at them.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, my god.

Hannah Furst:
I know.

Joanna Flemming:
I would. I just look at those and I go, "No, that's a no for me." Yeah. Today's guest is joining us because I cannot count the amount of times that I've had people ask us to do this segment. And to be honest, I didn't realise that there'd be that much demand for it. But Elise Birchall joins us today. She's a dermal therapist, clinical educator for all things skin and Head of Dermal at Extra Clinic in Canberra. Elise, I think you're actually our first guest from Canberra. So welcome.

Elise Birchall:
Thank you. I'm so excited to join you guys on this podcast. I listen to it religiously every week. So I'm a bit of a fan. So this is very exciting for me.

Joanna Flemming:
We love that. Well, today you're actually joining us to talk about sebaceous filaments versus blackheads. So, let's just start off by asking what are sebaceous filaments?

Elise Birchall:
So, sebaceous filaments are basically when you have your hair follicle or you're pore and it fills with keratin. And keratin makes up your skin cells basically. So, normal keratin will shed through the opening of the follicle. But when the keratin combines with bits of debris and oil and they all come together, it creates a plug, which is what you call a sebaceous filament. So, these are often what you'll find on the nose and the T-zone area as little black or sometimes even white dots. Pretty much wherever you have a hair follicle, you'll likely have a sebaceous filament.

Elise Birchall:
So a lot of people will try to get rid of sebaceous filaments completely because they don't like the look of them, which depending on your genetic condition, will depend on how easy that is. But we often forget that sebaceous filaments are needed to carry sebum and oil through the hair follicle to the surface of the skin. So they do actually serve a purpose within the skin and a function despite how much we hate looking at them. But you'll find, generally, that people have more sebaceous filaments around the nose and the chin just due to the high concentration of sebaceous glands, which produce the oil for the skin.

Joanna Flemming:
How would you know the difference? Because I remember when I went and got my extractions, and I remember the dental therapist saying, "Oh, they're sebaceous filaments, they're blackheads?" How would you know the difference between them? Because my nose is covered with something. I don't know if they're sebaceous filaments or they're blackheads.

Elise Birchall:
That's a really good question. And I think that's one of the things that I see most in clinic as well, people trying to treat sebaceous filaments as blackheads. While they do look pretty similar, they're actually quite different if you imagine a blackhead as the start of a non-inflamed pimple with a black head. So, they're usually a little bit more raised and they'll be found in areas more like the upper cheeks or the forehead or around the jaw and the chin. And blackheads are plugs of dead skin and sebum, which usually you can wiggle them out pretty easily and they come out as, sounds kind of gross, as a hard seedy nut. Blackheads are not usually the ones that you find around the nose. Whereas, when you have sebaceous filaments, they're usually harder to squeeze. You might still have the black dot, but they're a bit flatter and they can refill and return more easily.

Elise Birchall:
So, blackheads are more of those ones that come and go every now and again, but not usually in the same area like the ones all over the nose. But also too, I think a lot of people get confused with open pores. So I should probably mention that while we're here too. So, pores and blackheads and sebaceous filaments are all kind of similar things, but all different at the same time. When you have pores, they're basically the opening of the hair follicle, and how big they are is determined by our genetics really. So, when they're enlarged, you can get blockages inside more easily and it can cause the pore to stretch. So it's very easy for sebaceous filaments to cause inside of these enlarged pores to get these bigger blockages. So, as we age as well, you lose your elasticity in your skin and the pores themselves start to loosen and sag. And that's why they usually start to look bigger as we get older. So, the larger the pore, the more visible the sebaceous filament, and really because there's physically more for it to fill.

Joanna Flemming:
And when it comes to treating both concerns, so your blackheads and your sebaceous filaments, can you treat both with salycilic acid? Do you have any favourite products that you recommend for treating each concern?

Elise Birchall:
You definitely can, and salycilic acid is a great place to start for management and for prevention. So salycilic is a BHA, so it's amazing for its oil-soluble properties and its exfoliating properties too. So, you can get into the follicle wall and work on the dead skin that's stuck inside creating that plug. It's also a bit anti-inflammatory and it works on bacteria, which is a bonus too. So for both sebaceous filaments and blackheads, it's actually quite effective. Combining the salycilic with things like AHAs can amp it up a little bit further as well to reduce the amount of dead skin on the surface that might be getting into the pore and trapping inside. So, with these kinds of things, I always say, it can't hurt to add in some retinoids too. So things like your retinols and your vitamin As. In terms of products, there's a few with salicylic that I really love.

Elise Birchall:
I do like, as an everyday product, the Medik8 Pore Cleanse Gel, the name pretty much says it all. It's got a bit of salycilic acid, it's got some AHAs, it's a product you can use daily, but it won't dry out the skin. But it's enough just to work on preventing blockages from forming and working on refining what's already there. I also too, I love the ASAP Radiance Serum, that one's great as well, slightly exfoliating, but-

Joanna Flemming:
Same.

Elise Birchall:
... not too intense. Yeah. And, I guess, if you're looking at adding vitamin As and things like that in as well, something I really like for open pores and for blackheads is the Medik8 Crystal Retinal. That one's my favourite too.

Joanna Flemming:
Some very good suggestions there in terms of products.

Hannah Furst:
And some of us more prone to blackheads than others, because I know for me and my mom and my sister, do we try and do something about it or do we just have to accept it and know that we can't completely get rid of them forever?

Elise Birchall:
This is also a great question because I think there's a really big misconception around there that pores aren't normal and that you have to get rid of them because they're an imperfection.

Hannah Furst:
Totally.

Elise Birchall:
And it's something that's really hard to educate clients on in clinic because we've been brainwashed for so long to think that you have to have this porcelain perfect skin.

Hannah Furst:
Like Jo.

Elise Birchall:
Like Jo, she's got beautiful skin. I'm quite jealous.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah.

Elise Birchall:
Open pores and sebaceous filaments and blackheads, the pores themselves, you can never remove. You can shrink them and minimise the appearance of them, but your skin needs them to breathe and to excrete different oils and things like that. So, you can prevent the blockages from forming inside, which will make them look less noticeable, but you'll always have your pores. And for some people where you've lost that elastin that keeps them stretchy, if you have had a time in your life where your oil flow has been a little bit more increased, chances are your pores will always stay on the larger side for the rest of your life. But you can make them look slightly less noticeable by keeping them clean, if that makes sense.

Joanna Flemming:
Something I miss about my ex boyfriend is squeezing the blackheads out of his nose. Is that a big no-no to try and squeese out your own blackheads? And should I steer clear from those metal tools that you can buy from Priceline because I did buy one of those so that I could extract his blackheads? It could be one of the reasons we're not together anymore.

Elise Birchall:
As bad as it is, there's nothing more satisfying than squeezing blackheads out of a man's nose. There's something about it. I don't know what it is, but it does go against my whole philosophy of skin health. So, I've got to have some self-restraint. It's difficult, but it's in there. So when you squeeze blackheads and blockages in the pores, you can actually stretch the pores and make them larger and more visible, and nobody wants that. So, the metal tools are great when used by a professional for the right kinds of lesions or the right kind of breakouts. But it's not something that I would recommend for home use because it's super easy to go overboard and you can create a lot of damage. We've all been there, standing in the mirror with the 10 times magnification for an hour, squeezing at every single tiny little pore and it never ends well.

Elise Birchall:
So, the metal tools and things like that, I say, leave it to the professionals. But another thing that I think people try a lot for are pore strips. These are not something I tend to recommend either because as you pull the blockage out of the pore, it has to stretch through the small opening. And as it stretches, it can enlarge and stretch the outside of the pore even more. So, the blockage might be gone, but it's just going to refill and look even bigger. So, I generally say, if the blackhead or the sebaceous filament or whatever it is, if it's staring at you in the face and it just needs to go, best to see a dermal therapist or a dermal clinician who can extract it carefully and then chat to you about what would be best for you to manage them from home.

Joanna Flemming:
Okay. Well, that's a good tip. I was planning on finding my next boyfriend based on how many blackheads he had, but he's [crosstalk 00:16:30].

Hannah Furst:
Do you know what's another good one, Jo, is squeezing ingrown hair.

Joanna Flemming:
Yes, I did that too.

Elise Birchall:
That's so satisfying.

Hannah Furst:
Maybe just stick to the guy that has a lot of ingrown hair on his chest.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Okay. I could do that.

Elise Birchall:
What a great first date question, "Can I just have a look at your back and your legs for ingrown hairs?Thanks."

Joanna Flemming:
What are the best in clinic treatments for curbing congestion?

Elise Birchall:
It really depends on what kind of congestion you have because there's a lot of things that come under the congestion umbrella. So you've got your inflammatory breakouts, you've got blackheads, you've got all of the things. So, if it's not inflammatory and it's not painful and it's more like little lumps and bumps or blackheads and sebaceous filaments, chemical peels and light exfoliation can be really beneficial. So, clinical peels can do a very similar thing to what your AHAs and BHAs are doing at home just at a more concentrated and advanced level. So, any good treatment programme for congestion should always look at controlling the problem-causing factors.

Elise Birchall:
So, things that might be contributing to that congestion forming. So, looking at reducing oil flow, reducing dead skin cell buildup, both in the pore and on the surface of the skin, looking at regulating skin cell turnover, stimulating collagen and elastin to repair the dermal layer where damage to the tissue might've occurred from in inflamed breakout. So, there's a lot of things that you should look at when it comes to treatments, but generally, chemical peels are a great place to start. I also do love microneedling for reducing pore size too. There's, in my opinion, nothing that microneedling can't do. It's amazing.

Joanna Flemming:
I love myself a bit of needling.

Hannah Furst:
Remember when you had needling and you were like, "Look at my pores." And it was maybe four weeks after you finished your treatment. I was like, "Whoa, that's amazing." It really did work.

Joanna Flemming:
No, it really worked.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah.

Joanna Flemming:
Now, you did mention that there's other kinds of congestion. So can you explain to us other kinds of non-inflammatory congestion concerns? Because a lot of people ask about those tiny little bumps that you can get under the skin and it just causes texture. How can you explain that?

Elise Birchall:
So there's a few different types of non-inflammatory congestion. The most common one that I see in clinic would be Milia, which are those annoying little white dots that kind of look like pimples, but they never ever go. And they don't usually get bigger and smaller, they just stay the same size. So, these ones are super common around the eye and the cheek area. And they're, technically, little tiny superficial cysts. And when you extract them out, they look like tiny little pearls. So they're really hard kind of seeds. These ones are always best extracted by a clinician because you don't want to damage the skin because it's very easy to do that. So keeping these under control with regular exfoliation at home can help, but also looking at what products you're using in the area that might be a little bit too rich, such as really heavy eye creams and eye masks that might be clogging the pores. So Milia, I would have to say is probably one of the most common ones.

Joanna Flemming:
Now, I wanted to ask because you're getting married in a couple of days and you've kindly made time for us to do this interview even though you're busy prepping. So I wanted to ask, as our last question, what your best skin advice is for brides to be? When should they start prepping their skin? What products should they use the day before? All of that stuff. What's your best advice?

Elise Birchall:
Oh, I love these questions. And I have to say, I've been not even following my own advice, which is awful, but it's been one of those months, I think, given COVID and all of the things. But when it comes to bridal skin and bridal makeup, makeup will always look so much better when you've got a really healthy glowy base underneath. So, anything that's looking at addressing collegan stimulation or anything that's going to work on reducing dehydration and just getting as much moisture back into the skin as you can, that's the go-to. So I love led light therapy. I've been doing one of those, five a week for the last, probably, three months, which has been amazing. Perks of working at a skin clinic. I've also been doing lots of microneedling and really liked lactic acid peels just for a bit of extra hydration. But when it comes to every skin, every skin is different. So, prep for wedding skin is always going to be slightly different, but you can't go wrong with some laser genesis, some LEDs, and some really light resurfacing treatments just to keep everything nice and fresh.

Joanna Flemming:
I love that advice. They're the exact treatments that I would have before my wedding that isn't happening. But that's what I would have if I was getting married.

Elise Birchall:
All in good time, I'm sure.

Joanna Flemming:
So if you want to see Elise, you can find her at Extra Clinic in Canberra or you can find her on Instagram at @elise_skin. Thanks so much for joining us today, Elise.

Elise Birchall:
Thanks so much, guys. I had such a good time.

Joanna Flemming:
Please explain. I want to start with you because I just saw a tea bag and I was like, "Oh, yeah." It just has our notes and next to my name, it just says, "A tea bag."

Hannah Furst:
Wait, I'm going to guess what I-

Joanna Flemming:
I think you know what it is, but I'm going to tell you, anyway.

Hannah Furst:
This is your TikTok.

Joanna Flemming:
This is my TikTok, yes. So, we do have a TikTok on our account right now @adorebeauty. So I found this hack via Nikki Makeup, who we've also interviewed for this podcast. If you missed that episode, go and listen to her because she has a very soothing and stunning voice. So this hack is to do with broken nails. So as most people know that follow me on Instagram or follow these podcasts, I have a bit of a nail obsession at the moment. And recently, I had very long nails and my thumb nail broke from the side and quite low down. So, I knew that if I was washing my hair or I was doing pretty much anything that the break would just worsen over time.

Joanna Flemming:
So I was like, "What am I going to do? I can't cut all of my nails down and you can't just have one shorter nail if all of them are long." So, I was determined to fix it. And nail salons, at that time, weren't open. So, I found this hack on Nikki's page and I then Googled heaps of different people that did it. So what you do is you cut a teabag open and you use the meshy stuff that makes the teabag and you cut out a little bit of that and you basically papier-mache your nail. So what you do is you put a top coat or a base coat down. Just get something clear that's going to give you a bit of a gluey finish. And you put that over the break in the nail. And then you put the tea bag mesh on top. And you just want a little bit, you don't want to cover your entire nail in a teabag.

Joanna Flemming:
You just put a little bit over the break and then you put a top coat over it to seal it. And then you can just paint your nails as normal. And you can't even see the teabag because it's so fine and thin that you can't even tell it's there, but it strengthens it so much. And I think I went about three extra weeks with the tea bag on there without having to cut my nails. I've cut them down now a little bit, but wow, I can't even tell you how good this teabag trick is. So if you've broken a nail and you really don't want to cut them, do that.

Hannah Furst:
I feel we need to link to your TikTok in the episode notes.

Joanna Flemming:
We will link to the TikTok in the episode notes. So if you want to see how I do it, we'll definitely put it in there because it's probably one of the best nail hacks I've ever come across in my life. So, everybody needs that. A lot of people get broken nails as well and they ask me how I get mine so strong.

Hannah Furst:
I've actually made a nail decision. I got my SNS on my nails and Shellac on my toes and I've decided that before I go to Byron, I'm going to get it all taken off. I'm going au naturel.

Joanna Flemming:
Okay. Yeah. Let that [fungus 00:23:50] shine through.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah, I'm just going to go full hippie.

Joanna Flemming:
Look, the salt water will probably fix it anyway. Anyway, what is your product you didn't know you needed, Hannah?

Hannah Furst:
I've touched on Apotecari, I think, a few times in this podcast. But I wrote an article about I had a whole new haircare routine to try to grow my hair. And unfortunately, now that I've had it colour-treated with the foils, it's starting to feel like shit again.

Joanna Flemming:
Shame.

Hannah Furst:
I'm so upset. So anyway, I'm back on my hair supplements. I was on them for a few months over ISO and now I've started back up on them. And I wanted to talk about the Apotecari Mane Event, which actually supports hair health.

Joanna Flemming:
I remember Micah raving about this when she had that Mohawk.

Hannah Furst:
Yes. So one of our haircare buyers, she had a Mohawk and she started on-

Joanna Flemming:
An accidental one.

Hannah Furst:
Accidental. So she started on a whole treatment plan, like Olaplex. And she also did the Mane Event and, I think, Hair Food as well by Apotecari. And her hair just fully grew back strong, healthy.

Joanna Flemming:
Exploded in growth.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. I had noticed when, and even Linda said to me, she's like, "Your hair looks too thick." She was like, "It's too much."

Joanna Flemming:
Linda loves a bit of criticism, doesn't she?

Hannah Furst:
I know. She just can't be nice. She can't be like, "Hey, your hair looks really nice." She's like, "Oh, it's looking so thick." And I was like, "What? What is that supposed to mean? Is there something wrong with that?" So, this hair supplement, it helps to grow healthy, stronger hair. And it's been formulated by a team of naturopath nutritionists and trichologists. So a trichologist is someone that looks after scalp health. So it has amino acids, activated B-vitamins, and silica. I don't know what the hell silica is. Do you?

Joanna Flemming:
I don't know exactly what it is in terms of what makes it up. But I know that silica's meant to be really good for hair, skin, and nails.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. Well, this will help strengthen and encourage healthy hair growth. So, I want to grow really long hair. I've decided I want to have long hair again. I think as I get older, I'm like, "I'm just-"

Joanna Flemming:
When Hannah started at Adore, she had really long hair and it was completely dead from her ears down.

Hannah Furst:
It was disgusting. It was dead.

Joanna Flemming:
And it took me so long to convince her to cut it because I was like, it's going to look so much healthier when she cuts it. And she did and it looked amazing and it still does look very nice now. It does, it looks very shiny. If we can get you back to long hair and it be healthy, then that's the best result.

Hannah Furst:
Well, I'm doing the Apotecari ... Can you link to my article please in episode notes?

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Because it's got all my products that I'm using.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Don't forget, Jo, don't forget. I've lost all my words.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Are you okay?

Hannah Furst:
No, I'm not okay. I'm not okay. I feel like every time we record now, I've lost all my words. I don't know what's happened.

Joanna Flemming:
It's probably just a lack of social interaction maybe.

Hannah Furst:
Do you think I've forgotten how to interact with people?

Joanna Flemming:
Maybe.

Hannah Furst:
Did you saw me for dinner the other night?

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah, you're all right.

Hannah Furst:
Was I okay?

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. You seemed it.

Hannah Furst:
I forgot to tell you that I went for that date afterwards. Jo dropped me at a bar.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. She was like, "So I've got to go. I've got a drink with someone else." I was like, "Would you like a lift?" She's like, "Yes, please." Well, I'll tell you what, I'm looking forward to some of these dating stories from Byron. And I feel things are about to get wild, everybody. Strap yourselves in, we're in for serious entertainment.

Hannah Furst:
Finally, after all this time, there's going to finally be some holiday romances happening.

Joanna Flemming:
See you next week, everyone.

Hannah Furst:
Thanks everyone for joining us today.

Joanna Flemming:
Don't forget to subscribe and tell your friends. It helps other people to discover us. And also, we really want to know what you thought about this podcast. So, if you can leave us a review, that would be much appreciated.

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