Clogged pores are among the most common causes of multiple skin issues, including acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and rough skin texture. Almost all skin types have to deal with this issue. Buildup in the pores can give you uneven skin texture and make your face appear dull. This article discusses safe methods to unclog the pores to give you soft, smooth, and radiant skin. Keep scrolling to know more.
In This Article
What Are Skin Pores?
Pores are small openings on the skin surface that release sebum and sweat. The skin has two types of pores – oil pores and sweat pores. The oil pores are connected to the sebaceous glands and are present on the entire skin, except the palms and soles. The sweat pores are invisible to the naked eyes and are present all over the body. They are connected to the sweat glands. Now, let’s understand the causes of clogged pores.
What Causes Clogged Pores?
When we talk about clogged pores, we refer to the oil pores and not the sweat pores. The oil pores sweep out the dead skin cells, dirt, and sebum. However, sometimes, they may get trapped in the pores and clog them. That is when your skin breaks out. Several factors may cause clogged pores, like:
- Dirt and pollution
- Hot and humid weather (may cause sebum accumulation)
- Touching your face (can transfer dirt)
- Excessive sweating and oiliness
You can easily assist the skin pores to stay clean and prevent clogging.
How To Get Rid Of Clogged Pores
1. Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliation helps get rid of the dirt, sebum, and bacteria trapped in the skin pores and improves the skin texture. You can use products that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, retinol, and AHA-based cleansers. They also speed up the cell regeneration process and keep your skin soft, smooth, and youthful.
2. Use Facial Pore Strips
You can buy nose strips and pore strips for the rest of the T-zone. These pore strips can remove accumulated dirt, debris, dirt, and oil from the skin and help minimize the appearance of enlarged pores.
3. Apply Clay Or Charcoal Masks
Clay and charcoal masks are great for removing dirt and debris from the skin pores. They absorb excess sebum and impurities to give you clear and bright skin.
4. Try Facial Steaming
Steaming helps loosen the dirt, impurities, and dead skin cells in the skin pores and cleanse them. Facial steaming is often followed by facial treatments in salons. You may also apply an exfoliating facial mask after steaming.
These are some methods you can try at home. However, if it is a recurrent issue and you have acne and pimples, you can consult a skin care specialist and go for the following treatments.
Treatments To Unclog The Skin Pores
1. Facial Extraction
Trained estheticians perform facial extraction. They use sterile instruments to extract plugs of sebum and dead cells that clog your pores. This treatment procedure can help you get rid of whiteheads, blackheads, and acne. While you can buy facial extraction tools from the market, it is not advisable to attempt this treatment at home as it may cause injury and scarring.
2. Chemical Peeling
Superficial to medium depth chemical peels can unclog the pores and help get rid of acne. Chemical peeling is performed by a dermatologist using medical-grade chemicals, including salicylic acid, glycolic acid, kojic acid, phenol, mandelic acid, trichloroacetic acid, and Jessner’s solution.
These chemicals remove dead skin cells and minimize clogged pores and acne. You may also use low-strength OTC chemical peels. However, they may not be as effective as the medical-grade professional peels.
Microdermabrasion (MDA) is an epidermal resurfacing procedure that aims to slough the top layer of the skin, remove dead skin cells, unclog the pores, and improve skin texture. This minimally invasive procedure is performed using a pen-like microdermabrasion device with a rotating crystal tip.
To prevent your pores from getting clogged, you can follow these tips:
How To Prevent Clogged Pores
1. Use Non-Comedogenic Products
Always use oil-free and non-comedogenic skin care and makeup products. They do not contain occlusive ingredients (like mineral oil and petrolatum) that can clog the pores and cause breakouts.
2. Remove Makeup Thoroughly
Remove all makeup before going to bed. Otherwise, it may choke the skin pores and cause breakouts.
3. Avoid Touching Your Face
When you touch objects and surfaces and then touch your face, you transfer the dirt and impurities to your facial skin. These impurities can clog your pores.
4. Sleep On Clean Sheets
The pillowcases and bedsheets accumulate dirt and dust every day. Also, they can harbor a lot of bacteria transferred from your hair and skin. Not changing them increases the risk of exposing your skin to bacteria and impurities, leading to clogged pores.
5. Follow A Proper Skin Care Routine
Wash your face with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water twice every day. This will help cleanse the sweat, dirt, and excess oil accumulated on your face and reduce the chance of clogged pores.
6. Avoid Skin Irritants
Chemicals like alcohol, artificial fragrances, dyes, and preservatives can irritate the skin. If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, use products that do not contain any of these harmful chemicals. Avoid all possible irritants.
7. Minimize Friction Or Pressure
Friction (from wearing tight masks and anything that rubs against the skin) may irritate the skin. Moreover, the pores can accumulate dirt, sebum, and oil and cause breakouts. Wear breathable fabric that does not sit tightly on your skin.
Scrubbing vigorously can also aggravate the breakouts. Use mild exfoliators. If you have sensitive and acne-prone skin, avoid using harsh physical scrubs. Use gentle and circular motions to cleanse the skin.
8. Do Not Squeeze Or Scratch The Clogged Pores
If you have acne or clogged pores, avoid the tendency to scratch and squeeze them. This can increase inflammation and lead to blemishes and scarring.
Despite taking proper care of your skin, if you still experience breakouts and clogged pores, consult a dermatologist.
When To Seek Help
Consult a dermatologist if your home remedies for clogged pores and preventive measures are not working or the situation is worsening. The dermatologist will assess your skin and the condition of the clogged pores and recommend solutions.
Make sure to seek medical help if you find that your clogged pores are causing skin inflammation, redness, itching, or turning into pus-filled lesions.
There are several ways to unplug clogged pores. However, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. You have to take a call based on your condition. Follow the tips shared in the article to prevent clogged pores and reduce their occurrence. However, if you have acne-prone skin, you must work with a dermatologist to assess the issue and follow a proper treatment to keep your skin healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can people with dry skin type have clogged pores?
Yes, any skin type can develop clogged pores.
How to unplug pores on the nose?
Use a nose strip to unclog the pores. You can also use AHA-BHA-based cleansers to clean the pores.
Do clogged pores go away on their own?
> No. If left untreated, clogged pores can develop into acne.
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