Here's the thing about the nose area ..... for many people, sebum production tends to be really, really high there. Even if the pores are free of deep comedones, they can still fill up very rapidly with superficial plugs of waxy sebum. When the sebum oxidizes, it looks like blackheads.
Even when GC and mandelic acid had gotten my skin completely bump-free, I still got congested pores on my nose. Low-dose Accutane is the only thing that has provided long-term relief, and I know that's not for everyone.
But here are a couple things that should improve the appearance of the nose pores:
-- Use a silica bead scrub. Vivant makes a really good one. (www.betterhealthyskin.com) Be gentle but persistent with it; I find that as it exfoliates, it also clears away most of the oxidized sebum, which really improves the appearance of the pores.
-- Use the Vivant mandelic acid. I use the 9% toner, followed by the 15% serum most days (unless I start peeling a lot). For me, the pore-tightening effect is almost instantaneous. This is an expensive product, though, so you may want to try a sample size first.
If you have really deep blackheads on your nose, not just superficial sebum plugs, then salicylic acid might be a better way to go than mandelic; it penetrates and exfoliates more deeply. Paula's Choice 2% BHAs are an excellent product and probably the best place to start. For the nose area, I'd recommend using the liquid formulation. And if that doesn't do the trick, Diana Yvonne makes a good 5% SA product.
Hmmmmm .... I certainly never suggested going about things in such a way.
First of all, my personal recommendation for mandelic is the Vivant 15% serum and 9% toner. Other people have preferred the others, but Vivant is my gold standard.
Second, a month is not long enough to judge results, especially if you are constantly switching products. Any new regimen needs to be used consistently for at least 6 weeks, preferably 8-12.
Finally .... I don't know how long you used Green Cream, but again, it takes time to work. 12 weeks is the average for topical retinoids.
I am fully aware that my favorite products do not work for everyone, but I also think people need to understand that it is incredibly important to use them properly and with the right expectations. This isn't an overnight cure by any means. You have to be patient and determined, and you have to constantly pay attention to what is going on with your skin.
If you aren't getting solid plugs out when you squeeze the bumps, this is probably not a clogged pore problem. It sounds more like an irritation problem, or perhaps a fungal infection (see pinned post at top of forum).
That Neutrogena wash is a problem for a lot of people, btw. My suggestion would be to find something more gentle and pH balanced.