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Clogged Pores – The difference between blackheads and skin filaments.

Got clogged pores? Everyone does. But what the heck are they? Are they blackheads or sebaceous filaments? Well, they are two different things, often mistaken for one another. Let’s start with blackheads…


These are, basically, congested pores/skin that are clogged with sebum (oil) and dead skin cells. They often appear black in color because of oxidation (from being exposed to oxygen). Now, a white head is the same as a blackhead, only there is evidence of bacteria included in the mix. But that is a different story.
On certain areas of the face there are other black colored pores often mistaken for blackheads, but they are actually sebaceous filaments.

Sebaceous Filaments:
All over the skin, there are tiny vellus hairs, sometimes called peach fuzz. Every pore or hair follicle contains a hair, a sweat gland, and a sebaceous gland (oil gland). The oil produced from this gland is often referred to as sebum and it is how your skin gets its hydration. Sebaceous filaments keep oil flowing so your skin maintains it’s natural moisture.
Are ya with me so far? OK!  So now we understand the difference the basics of a blackhead and a sebaceous filament. Let’s get into details :
Sebaceous filaments are made up of triglycerides, wax, esters, and squalene that live within the pore. Their basic function is to move sebum into the skin to help moisturize it naturally. This is why I hate adding extra oil to the skin. It is UNNECESSARY! When skin functions properly, you won’t need extra oils on the surface.

Remember, sebaceous filaments are neither pimples nor blackheads, yet. They don’t need to be extracted, unless there is an over-production of oil (sebum). For those with oily skin, these can pose as a problem. The over-production of oil can cause enlarged pores which clog the skin. The excess oil builds up along with dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria – YIKES. These innocent skin filaments have now turned into blackheads and everything is out of whack.
Why do I seem to have more clogged pores or skin filaments on my t-zone, especially on the nose?It is totally common to have more sebaceous filaments on nose, forehead and chin areas. Regular extractions, done by a professional, around these areas help keep oil production under control, but they won’t solve the problem if the cell is clogged. Remember, don’t squeeze these sebaceous filaments or blackheads on your own. Doing so can exacerbate the problem and can spread bacteria, which leads to irritation and scarring. Leave these extractions for me! Though they will continue to fill up every month, for as long as you live, your skin will now function properly with natural oil flow. Let’s focus on how can we stay on top of these skin filaments, keep your pores clean, and keep oil production flowing, not clogging.

Here are some tips for treating:
Here is how you treat sebaceous filaments and blackheads on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. If you want to have clear pores and prevent future congestion BE CONSISTENT.

First, you must exfoliate my friend! Using cleansers with active ingredients, like glycolic, lactic and/or salicylic acid are a great way to dissolve oil. I love using salicylic acid because it works by breaking down the natural sebum that fills up your pores, which will become sebaceous filaments, if you don’t stay on top of exfoliation.  You can also use manual exfoliation, like a Clarisonic, or mechanical scrubs that have beads designed to slough-off dead skin cells. Both options can be coupled with added active ingredients.

Another great tip is weekly masking. You can choose from clay, enzyme, or detox masks (i.e. activated charcoal) or even a weekly at-home-peel. I love Jan Marini’s Multi-Acid Peel Pads. They are pre-soaked at-home-peel pads, that combine 4 powerful acids: Glycolic, Lactic, Mandelic and Salicylic Acid. They immediately resurface the skin for smoother, more refined texture, reduced appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. Win! Win! Win!!

When you exfoliate, on a regular basis, you are giving those pesky dead skin cells a chance to turn-over which, in turn, reduces the amount of build-up on the skin. Your skin then stays clear and free of debris!

Cheers to glowing skin,


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Jan Marini Hosts a Virtual Skin Care Zoom Event- Please join Us


I am so excited about this event next week! Please join us May 21st this Thursday at 2PM California time for an exclusive live video event on Zoom with Jan Marini. Speak with the experts to learn how you can maximize your skin care results at home.

  • RSVP to reserve your spot- email me today. Limited space
  • Special Savings and a FREE Gift with purchase.
  • Raffle at the end of the video for a FREE GIFT.

Follow me on Instagram and be on the look-out for some fun IG live stories about next week’s video!
If you have any questions, email me for details!

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Skincare Series Skincare Series Part 1: My Facialist Explained to Me Why Your Skin Ages, And The 3 Things You Need To Start Doing About It

cleansing wipes for cleansing skin

The next 2 posts are part of T20S’s Skincare Series! 👐We worked with my facialist, Shari Spakes,  to share everything you need to know about having glowing, like a baby’s bottom skin in your 20s (and beyond). Shari has been featured in publications like Goop and Allure (and is one of the only reasons my skin is in semi-good shape).

I learned SO much about keeping my skin healthy by doing this post with Shari, I can’t wait to hear what you learn too. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with T20S, Shari!  Read More >>

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Hydrating Superstars

Get your softest skin ever

Do you feel like your skin isn’t as soft, smooth or plump as it used to be, regardless of how much moisturizer you use or how naturally oily you are? Then your skin is likely dehydrated! When your skin is hydrated, it exfoliates better naturally and shows fewer fine lines. The most powerful hydrating ingredient is hyaluronic acid as it can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. Because it’s a naturally occurring substance in your body, hyaluronic acid is an ideal hydrator for all skin types, including oily and sensitive. Read More >>