Sebaceous Filaments Treatment – How to Dissolve Sebum Plugs in 5 Steps

Last updated on: October 21st, 2019

Sebaceous filaments are a combination of sebum, dead skin cells, bacteria and a single hair follicle. You probably recognize sebaceous filaments or “sebum plugs” when you look closely at your pores in the mirror. And, if you’re like most people, then I bet you don’t like them. But, that’s also why today, I’m giving you a sebaceous filaments treatment that makes it easy to dissolve your sebum plugs in 5 simple steps.

Sebaceous Filaments Treatment How to Dissolve Sebum Nose Main Featured Image Health and Experiences

So, if you’re ready to clean up your sebaceous filaments, and temporarily shrink your pores, then you’ll want to read through this quick guide until the very end.

Here’s how to dissolve your sebum plugs in 5 simple steps:

Step 1. Start with a 2% BHA

Sebaceous Filaments Treatment How to Dissolve Sebum Plugs Paula's Choice BHA

Paula’s Choice 2% Liquid BHA is a high-quality salicylic acid that almost immediately breaks up your sebaceous filaments and exfoliates them. This helps you easily clean out your pores, regardless of your skin type.

Keep in mind that sebaceous filaments and blackheads are not the same thing. Everyone has sebaceous filaments.

So, the goal here is to clean out your pores, temporarily minimize the size of your pores, and make your skin look a lot healthier.

This 2% beta hydroxy acid (BHA) product simply helps you unclog your sebaceous filaments, and enables your skin’s natural sebum to flow more freely. You’re going to love it.

Pro tip: Use BHA first in your skin care routine (if you hope to clear up your sebaceous filaments, at least). Keep the BHA on your skin for about 20 minutes. This gives your skin more than enough time to fully absorb the BHA. You can cut the amount of time that you keep the BHA on your skin to about 15 minutes, if you’re in a hurry. The most important thing to keep in mind here is that you need to keep the BHA on your skin before moving on to the next step (do not rinse it off yet).

Step 2. Add in a clay mask

Sebaceous Filaments Treatment How to Dissolve Sebum Plugs Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay might seem like an old-school skincare product passed down from your Native American grandmother. But, the benefits of this product are actually pretty tremendous.

By using this healing clay on your face (while you still have 2% BHA on your skin) – you will help to pull the oil, bacteria and sebum from your pores.

Make sure to keep this clay mask on for about 15 minutes. You’ll feel it tingling and tightening on your skin.

Once you wash the clay mask off of your face using warm water, you’ll probably notice that your pores appear much cleaner, and your face looks a lot better.

Now, after washing your face, you should dry your face extremely well. You’re going to have to cleanse your face in a moment, so your face should be nice and dry.

Pro tip: You will need to mix the Aztec Secret clay with apple cider vinegar (ACV) – exactly as the directions on the jug explain. The apple cider vinegar will not interfere with this particular skin care routine in any way.

Step 3. Use a deep cleansing oil

Sebaceous Filaments Treatment How to Dissolve Sebum Plugs DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is an amazing oil cleanser from Japan that consists primarily of olive fruit oil.

I love olive fruit oil as a pore-enhancing ingredient because it’s regarded as a healthy dietary oil that’s great for your skin.

Some people actually recommend using a cleansing oil that’s made with mineral oil. But, I’m personally not a huge fan of mineral oil, because it’s a relatively low-quality ingredient that many people choose to avoid. However, if mineral oil works for your skin, then you’ll probably be perfectly okay.

Anyway, the key point here is that you want to apply your Deep Cleansing Oil to your face (your face should be dried off at this point). Keep the Deep Cleansing Oil on your face for at least 10 minutes.

After waiting at least 10 minutes – you’ll be ready to gently massage your face for a few minutes.

By massaging your face with the Deep Cleansing Oil still on, you will literally feel your sebum plugs coming loose.

Amazing, right?

In other words, massaging the cleansing oil on your face for a few minutes will help you get rid of any lingering sebum, dirt and other bacteria that’s been stored away in your pores for quite some time.

This is going to feel really good.

Plus, by dissolving your sebum plugs, this will temporary shrink the size of your pores, and make your T-zone look a whole lot better in a matter of minutes.

So, once you’re finished massaging your face and cleansing your sebaceous filaments – just rinse the sebum and dirt off of your face with warm water. Then, proceed to the next step.

Step 4. Make sure to moisturize

Sebaceous Filaments Treatment How to Dissolve Sebum Plugs CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is an amazing and wildly popular choice of moisturizer because it works really well.

In fact, there’s a decent chance that you currently own or have used a CeraVe product in the past.

Either way, the point of using a good moisturizing cream is to hydrate your face after using products like 2% BHA, clay masks and cleansing oils. By this point, your face is likely craving some healthy hydration. And, I know of no better way to deliver clean moisturizing power than by using CeraVe.

If you skip this step, then there’s a good chance you’ll end up with dry, itchy skin. So, feel free to generously apply this moisturizing cream to your face, and enjoy the luxurious hydration.

Step 5. Don’t forget sunscreen

Sebaceous Filaments Treatment How to Dissolve Sebum Plugs La Roche-Posay Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

La Roche-Posay SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen is a quality physical (not chemical) sunscreen that consists of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

It’s extremely important that you use a good mineral-based sunscreen while you’re treating your sebaceous filaments, because certain skincare products can make your skin a lot more sensitive to sunlight.

Even if you don’t think that you get a lot of sun – you’d be surprised by how the harmful UV rays in sunlight can impact you while you’re driving, relaxing outside, or walking around town. It’s best to protect your pores from further damage right now, and invest in a quality sunscreen that you can wear every day.

Final tips for making the most of your sebaceous filaments treatment

Sebaceous Filaments Treatment How to Dissolve Sebum Nose Picture

My routine for clearing up sebaceous filaments should be extremely effective.

But, this guide isn’t the end-all for skincare.

So, there are a few other tips and tricks that you should keep in mind while you’re keeping your pores clean and good-looking…

You should probably ditch the pore strips

Pore strips feel amazing. I would know. I’ve used them far too often. But, pore strips are also pretty harsh on your skin. Pore strips can actually damage your skin, and cause your pores to appear larger than normal for quite some time (or even permanently). This is difficult to fix. So, you might want to ditch the pore strips for good this time. When done properly, chemical exfoliation (as recommended in this guide) is gentler on your skin, anyway.

This sebaceous filament treatment can be done in the morning or night

If possible, it’s a good idea to perform this sebaceous filament treatment in the morning.

But, I also realize that this treatment will take up about 30-45 minutes of your time. So, you can absolutely get away with doing this treatment in the evening, if you prefer.

Be extremely careful about massaging your face with the Deep Cleansing Oil on

Massaging your face with the Deep Cleansing Oil and removing the sebum from your pores is probably the most exciting part of this guide. But, you have to make sure that you gently massage your face during this time period, and make sure that you massage your face for no more than 5 minutes, max. If you’re too rough with your facial massage, you can potentially cause varicose veins, which are expensive to repair.


If you’ve followed each of the five steps in this short guide, then you should be left with clean, clear and noticeably smaller-sized pores for at least a little while.

In fact, cleaning your sebaceous filaments and minimizing the appearance of your pores should keep your T-zone looking great for about one week.

Remember – it’s important to keep in mind that sebaceous filaments are entirely natural. So, if you hope to keep sebum plugs away – then you’ll have to repeat the steps in this guide one or two times per week.

But, that’s perfectly okay. Because, it takes work to look really good.

And, when you see how amazing your nose looks and feels without sebum, you’ll never want to stop following this skincare routine.

Kasey Taylor (Health and Experiences)

Kasey Taylor (Health and Experiences)

I'm Casey. I created this website to give people practical solutions to every day problems they face. When I review a product, I don't just read about it. I order multiple items to compare and see what works best.

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Marci Barriss - April 10, 2017 Reply

I am noticing a lot more of these on my scalp. I was wondering if the treatment is the same as for the face?

    HealthAndExperiences - April 11, 2017 Reply

    Hi Marci,

    Thank you for your comment 🙂

    That’s very interesting to hear! Have you used any new shampoos or hair products lately that might be irritating your scalp?

    I would probably try something a little bit more soothing for your scalp, maybe like a neem oil treatment. Neem oil feels amazing, and it seriously soothes my scalp whenever I use too much product in my hair.

    So, I would recommend using either pure neem oil on your scalp, or a neem shampoo/conditioner. “TheraNeem Gentle Therape” is my favorite neem-based shampoo and conditioner (TheraNeem is organic and feels really good).

How to Oil Cleanse Hair - 5 Best Cleansing Oils That Restore Your Hair - April 20, 2017 Reply

[…] actually recommended DHC Deep Cleansing Oil in a previous article for treating sebaceous filaments – because it’s an amazing product for dissolving the sebum plugs on your […]

Leana - August 30, 2017 Reply

Great article! I get the annoying plugs on my forehead all the time until i get a facial and have them extracted they pretty much stau put.
Do you put the bha on a clean face or a dirty face? For example if i am doing this at night time, would i shower first and then apply the bha, mask, face wash & then moisterize?


    Kasey Taylor (Health and Experiences)
    Kasey Taylor (Health and Experiences) - September 1, 2017 Reply

    Thx so much for the comment!

    I put the BHA on dirty 😉 This routine works great at night.

    And yes, you can shower first if you want, because that would definitely help you pop open your pores before doing the full routine!

Frank - September 5, 2017 Reply

so I’m doing this once a week, but my question is should I be washing my face everyday? and what’s a good routine for daily face cleaning? I have a really oily face and sebacious filaments.

    Kasey Taylor (Health and Experiences)
    Kasey Taylor (Health and Experiences) - September 16, 2017 Reply

    Hi Frank. Thanks so much for your comment.

    Yes, you can absolutely still wash your face everyday, but I wouldn’t use anything too harsh if you’re following this treatment plan.

    If you have an oily face and sebacious filaments, then I would recommend something like KOSE cleansing oil (which works extremely well for oily skin) followed by Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream. And don’t forget to use a mineral-based sunscreen (I’m not a fan of chemical ones).

    But overall, I find Japanese cosmetics to be really effective for oily skin (and just really effective in general)!

    I hope this helps you. I wish you the best of luck!

Kira Miftari - September 19, 2017 Reply

Great idea, thnx for sharing! 🙂 I am a bit confused about the progression – do you rinse your face after the Aztec Clay, or do you apply the cleansing oil and massage it with the clay still on? TIA!

Midori Sugiyama - October 6, 2017 Reply

Would it be more effective if you steam your face before the BHA if you have extremely large pores that are filled with sebum plugs that are so hard because they’re very old? Or would that be too much?

    Kasey Taylor (Health and Experiences)
    Kasey Taylor (Health and Experiences) - October 6, 2017 Reply

    I’m always in favor of steaming your face whenever possible 🙂 It’s super healthy for you. In fact, I wish I had a sauna hehe.

    So, to answer your question, I don’t think that will be too much at all. I think it will help if anything!

    I wish you the best of luck Midori!

      Midori Sugiyama - November 20, 2017 Reply

      Thank you! I tried steaming my face before the full routine & it definitely helped shrinking the pores on my nose. It was amazing. However, at the end, my face was very dry and in need of a generous amount of good moisturizer even more.

Lauren - April 29, 2018 Reply

Hello, thanks for sharing this regimen. I’m starting it this week.
I just want to be sure there is no toner, correct? I don’t feel like I need one but it’s always been recommended to treat the sebaceous filaments (although I still have them, so I’m not convinced of it). But just wanted to ask here to see what you thought.

Jyka - September 29, 2018 Reply

Can I use just any carrier oil for cleansing? Like oilive oil or sweet almond oil?

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