When you think of clogs, your mind may wander to drains and sinks but — while faulty plumbing may be alarming — we think there’s an even more distressing location for blockage: your pores. These tiny orifices on your skin can attract all types of debris, leading to clogged pores. But how exactly do you get rid of clogged pores? If you’re ready to minimize the appearance of pores and unclog that buildup, here’s our guide to combat your congested pores once and for all.
What Are Clogged Pores? | 3 Methods To Avoid | How To Unclog Your Pores | How To Shrink The Look Of Large Pores
What are clogged pores?
Clogged pores are small dots you see on your skin, which are actually the openings of hair follicles. When impurities settle on the skin, a nasty mixture of dead skin cells, pollution and oil can sink deep into these openings. Pores filled with debris can lead to blackheads, whiteheads and blemishes — blocked ducts that look dark on the surface. Blackheads are small, open pores that are filled with oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. They can look black because of the oxidation of these cells. You can spot blackheads on the face (especially the nose), but they can also appear on the back, chest, neck, and arms. In comparison, whiteheads are also caused by pores filled with dead skin cells, oil or dirt but these pores are closed rather than open. This buildup causes a whitehead to form on the skin, which is usually white or a light color. Whiteheads are often accompanied by other types of acne, such as blackheads, papules and pustules.
3 Methods To avoid
Through specific skin care products and spa treatments, you can clear clogged pores effectively. But there are some trends that people use at home that cause more harm than good.
1. Pore Strips
When you suffer from clogged pores, it may be tempting to resort to options like pore strips, a strip of material with an adhesive that pulls out skin cells and blockage. However, many beauty experts don’t recommend these products for blackheads. “I’m always wary of pore strips because while they [may] be fun, you risk damaging the skin and thus, [making] your pores bigger,” dermatologist Jennifer Herrmann, MD tells Byrdie. Herrmann explains, “Although they are marketed well, most aren’t powerful enough to ‘clean’ pores.”
These sticky strips may irritate your skin, leading to inflammation, especially for sensitive or rosacea-prone skin types. Although these strips may remove some surface debris, they could also worsen the problem by causing dirt and impurities to settle even deeper into the pores. Plus, the superficial action of pore strips removing skin cells means that perfectly healthy skin cells are ripped away along with dead skin cells.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda to remove pores is a DIY method that has gained popularity but is ineffective in removing the buildup clogging your pores. By putting baking soda on your skin, you’re adding on a product that generally irritates the skin. Baking soda can strip the skin’s natural barrier, leaving your skin dry, itchy or vulnerable to environmental stressors.
Lemon is another ingredient that can really irritate your skin due to its acidity. Some people apply lemon to dry out their breakouts and hopefully unclog their pores, but lemon only leads to irritation, dryness and even increased sun damage.
How to unclog your pores
If pore strips aren’t the right choice for you, here are three Eminence Organics exfoliants we recommend using instead:
Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant
A favorite of stars like actress Thandiwe Newton, our Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant uses naturally occurring lactic and salicylic acids to deep clean your pores and remove dead skin cells. Chickpea flour and rice flour gently buff the surface of your complexion and absorb excess oil.
Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant
When you’re getting ready for a professional blackhead extraction from an Eminence Organics authorized spa, our Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant is the exfoliant to turn to. Infused with stone crop, this powder-to-foam product is formulated for desincrustation, a treatment that softens sebum. Its light fizzing action softens the skin and prepares the complexion for a pore-clearing extraction. For even more effectiveness, you can also blend Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant with our Citrus Exfoliating Wash for the ultimate deep clean.
Turmeric Energizing Treatment
If it’s a mask you’re looking for, try our pore-purging Turmeric Energizing Treatment. This treatment gently exfoliates to uncover soft, fresh-looking skin. Paprika invigorates the look of the skin, leaving it soft and glowing, while turmeric visibly brightens the skin’s appearance and reduces the look of puffiness.
How To Shrink The Look Of Large Pores
If you’re looking for a flawless complexion, shrinking the appearance of pores is an important step. Your skin type determines what the natural state of pores will look like. If you have oilier skin, the pores expand and have a larger appearance. If you have less oil, your skin’s pores will barely be noticeable. You may also notice pores if you have congestion built up in your skin. Watch our Lead Skin Care Trainer, Natalie Pergar, as she explains why certain skin types suffer from large pores and what products you need to minimize large pores for healthy, smooth skin.
Ready to unclog your pores and reveal your most radiant-looking skin? Reach out to your favorite Eminence Organics authorized spa and find out more about our exfoliants. Where do you find the worst of your clogged pores and blackheads? Let us know your pore-cleaning complaints in the comments below or join the conversation on social media.
This article was originally written in October 2017.