How to Unclog Pores...The Right Way
What Causes Clogged Pores?
Before you can learn how to unclog your pores it’s good to know what causes them in the first place, to help you avoid this situation next time. We share the five main causes of clogged pores here! Note: Picking at or squeezing clogged pores in hope of purifying them is a one-way ticket to Disaster-town. Not only will you run the risk of pushing the clog even further into your skin (hello, breakouts!) but you’ll also likely cause scarring. Whatever you do, keep those hands off your face…unless, that is, you’re using them to follow the steps below!
Step 1: Pair a Charcoal-Formulated Cleanser with a Clarisonic
If you have yet to become acquainted with charcoal in your skin routine, there’s no better time than now. If you are bothered by clogged pores, look for a cleanser formulated with charcoal, like Garnier Clean+ Pore Purifying 2-in-1 Clay Cleanser/Mask. The creamy kaolin clay-based formula can help wipe out toxins and give your complexion the clean look and feel it so deserves. It works great on its own but to up the ante a bit (and give pore-clogging dirt and filth a real kick in the behind), pair the cleanser with a sonic cleansing brush like the Clarisonic Mia 2. Two speeds—delicate and universal—help loosen and remove unwanted dirt and oil, cleansing the skin six times better than hands alone. You’re well on your way to unclogged pores!
Step 2: Exfoliate
To help keep dead skin cells and sebum from clogging your pores, it’s important to exfoliate regularly and resurface your skin. Choose between a chemical exfoliant—think: glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid—or a physical exfoliant—think: salt or sugar scrubs—to help reduce dullness, excess sebum, and dead skin cells to reveal brighter, more polished-looking skin. The jury’s still out on how often one should exfoliate, so stick to a schedule that works best for your skin without causing irritation. If you’re an exfoliation newbie, once per week is a good place to start. Below are two products we recommend you try!
To use, smooth a pad gently over cleansed skin at night. Be sure to use it in tandem with SPF or an SPF-packed moisturizer, as newly-revealed skin may be sensitive to sunlight.
Physical: Kiehl’s Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub
To use, dab a small amount of scrub onto clean skin and gently massage in upward circular motions, concentrating on areas of congestion. Remove with a damp, lukewarm facial cloth or sponge.
Step 3: Apply a Clay Mask
Last but not least, it’s time to mask. Clay masks are ideal for drawing out impurities from clogged pores. Vichy Mineral Pore Purifying Clay Mask formula boasts not one but two earth clays—kaolin and bentonite—to help decongest pores and remove excess oil. Aloe vera extracts and Vichy Thermal Spa Water help hydrate, soften, and soothe skin, as well as strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier and protect it against environmental aggressors.