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Clogged Pores: Why You Get Them And How To Get Rid Of Them

Even if you don’t suffer from acne, you can still have clogged pores which can lead to sporadic blemishes or blackheads. If you want to get rid of pore clogs, our guide can help you reduce the occurrence of clogged pores and give you the glowing, healthy skin you deserve.

Below, we share all things pores including the tried-and-true ways of giving your face a thorough cleansing, the best products to achieve and maintain radiance, and other tips for glowing, clean skin.

What Causes Clogged Pores?

Sebum is an oil produced by our sebaceous glands. Sebum is the waxy, oily substance that protects and helps regulate the intake of water through the skin. It also helps to keep our skin moisturized and hydrated. Sebum is vital for keeping the skin healthy. However, too much sebum can lead to oily skin, clogged pores, and acne.

Generally, sebum production is affected by hormones in our body known as androgen’s (sex hormones). Testosterone is thought to increase sebum production, while estrogen helps to decrease sebum production. Sebum is a wonderful thing. However, like everything else is life, there is such an idea as having too much of a good thing.

Sebum changes with age, sex, hormonal issues, diet, and other factors. For instance, during puberty, hormones cause the levels of sebum to spiral out of control, which leads to spots and pimples of all kinds. Women who are pregnant, menstruating, nursing, or going through menopause are likely to see drastic changes in sebum production and secretion.

Clogged pores are the result of dead skin cells, bacteria, and environmental debris mixing with sebum and getting trapped in your skin. When pores are clogged, it can result in blackheads, whiteheads, and acne, while also making your pores appear larger and leading to an overall dullness in your skin’s complexion.

Whether your pores are full of sebum plugs (sebaceous filaments), or a combination of sebum, dirt, and dead skin (clogged pores and congestion), or an oxidized pore plug (a blackhead), the difference in terminology isn’t that important, because they’re all treated similarly. Which leads us to what you really came here for…

What Gets Rid of Clogged Pores

Steam

Steaming is a part of many facial treatments focused on addressing pore blockages. A specialist uses a skin steamer to fuse warm, moist air onto your face. This helps to open your pores making extractions much easier and more effective (more on this below).

After the pores are open, your skincare specialist can also better, and more easily apply treatments like masks and moisturizers because they’re absorbed more deeply into the skin. This may offer better results.

Extractions

If your pores are clogged, the simple reality is you’re in need of a professional facial with extractions. You should schedule a facial that provides deep cleansing working to remove dead skin cells, excess residue, and dissolves blackheads to reduce congestion and breakouts, such as our Purifying Facial.

As much as skincare companies want you to believe it, products will NOT remove plugs and blackheads. When there’s a blockage of hardened oil that is impacted deep in the pore, it must be gently extracted. Depending on how quickly they come back or how many of them you have, you may need to get this done every two weeks for a while until you can get ahead of them.

During our Purifying Facial, your skincare specialist will perform skin extractions using a metal extractor tool and/or their hands, manually applying pressure around clogged pores to extract the content of blackheads. Extraction can also be performed using an Ultrasonic Peeling Spatula and/or Vacuum Extraction. A Peeling Spatula is essentially a device that uses ultrasonic vibrations to deep-clean, exfoliate, and extract impurities from clogged pores, helping your topical products penetrate deeper in the process. Vacuum Extraction is a gentle and effective treatment method for deep skin cleansing. Vacuum extraction is performed with small glass tubes, that can extract blackheads and extra sebum from the pores. This process is painless and less invasive than standard extractions.

Even if you don’t suffer from acne, you can still have clogged pores which can lead to sporadic blemishes or blackheads. If you want to get rid of pore clogs, our guide can help you reduce the occurrence of clogged pores and give you the glowing, healthy skin you deserve.

Below, we share all things pores including the tried-and-true ways of giving your face a thorough cleansing, the best products to achieve and maintain radiance, and other tips for glowing, clean skin.

What Causes Clogged Pores?

Sebum is an oil produced by our sebaceous glands. Sebum is the waxy, oily substance that protects and helps regulate the intake of water through the skin. It also helps to keep our skin moisturized and hydrated. Sebum is vital for keeping the skin healthy. However, too much sebum can lead to oily skin, clogged pores, and acne.

Generally, sebum production is affected by hormones in our body known as androgen’s (sex hormones). Testosterone is thought to increase sebum production, while estrogen helps to decrease sebum production. Sebum is a wonderful thing. However, like everything else is life, there is such an idea as having too much of a good thing.

Sebum changes with age, sex, hormonal issues, diet, and other factors. For instance, during puberty, hormones cause the levels of sebum to spiral out of control, which leads to spots and pimples of all kinds. Women who are pregnant, menstruating, nursing, or going through menopause are likely to see drastic changes in sebum production and secretion.

Clogged pores are the result of dead skin cells, bacteria, and environmental debris mixing with sebum and getting trapped in your skin. When pores are clogged, it can result in blackheads, whiteheads, and acne, while also making your pores appear larger and leading to an overall dullness in your skin’s complexion.

Whether your pores are full of sebum plugs (sebaceous filaments), or a combination of sebum, dirt, and dead skin (clogged pores and congestion), or an oxidized pore plug (a blackhead), the difference in terminology isn’t that important, because they’re all treated similarly. Which leads us to what you really came here for…

What Gets Rid of Clogged Pores

Steam

Steaming is a part of many facial treatments focused on addressing pore blockages. A specialist uses a skin steamer to fuse warm, moist air onto your face. This helps to open your pores making extractions much easier and more effective (more on this below).

After the pores are open, your skincare specialist can also better, and more easily apply treatments like masks and moisturizers because they’re absorbed more deeply into the skin. This may offer better results.

Extractions

If your pores are clogged, the simple reality is you’re in need of a professional facial with extractions. You should schedule a facial that provides deep cleansing working to remove dead skin cells, excess residue, and dissolves blackheads to reduce congestion and breakouts, such as our Purifying Facial.

As much as skincare companies want you to believe it, products will NOT remove plugs and blackheads. When there’s a blockage of hardened oil that is impacted deep in the pore, it must be gently extracted. Depending on how quickly they come back or how many of them you have, you may need to get this done every two weeks for a while until you can get ahead of them.

During our Purifying Facial, your skincare specialist will perform skin extractions using a metal extractor tool and/or their hands, manually applying pressure around clogged pores to extract the content of blackheads. Extraction can also be performed using an Ultrasonic Peeling Spatula and/or Vacuum Extraction. A Peeling Spatula is essentially a device that uses ultrasonic vibrations to deep-clean, exfoliate, and extract impurities from clogged pores, helping your topical products penetrate deeper in the process. Vacuum Extraction is a gentle and effective treatment method for deep skin cleansing. Vacuum extraction is performed with small glass tubes, that can extract blackheads and extra sebum from the pores. This process is painless and less invasive than standard extractions.

Regardless of the method utilized, after the extraction the skincare specialist applies an antibacterial or antiseptic to bring the skin back to its natural pH and prevent breakouts. They may also apply soothing masks or other treatments.

It’s important to leave extractions to a skincare professional. “Popping” pimples on your skin at home can actually damage pores and lead to more breakouts, or worse yet scarring.

Cleanse Twice Daily

Using the right skincare products for your face consistently is the best way to reduce clogged pores and keep your complexion glowing. Washing your face with a gentle cleanser that isn’t oil- or alcohol-based in the morning and at night can help remove the sweat, bacteria, excess sebum and dead skin that clog pores. The following methods are recommended for washing oily skin:

• Wash with a gentle soap using cold or warm water.
• Avoid soaps with fragrances, added moisturizers, or harsh chemicals, which can irritate or dry out the skin, making it respond by creating more sebum.
• Avoid loofahs and rough washcloths, as added friction may stimulate the skin to make more oil.

Choosing the right facial cleansers may work well for some people. A 2015 study found that a mild facial cleanser made with sodium laureth carboxylate and alkyl carboxylates was effective for tackling moderate facial acne. We recommend Environ SebuWash Cleanser, a medium strength, low foam cleansing gel that helps to gently remove excess surface oils and environmental debris without drying out the skin allowing it to retain its natural acid balance.

If you have the habit of going to bed with your makeup on, stop it… your pores are paying the consequences! Going to sleep with a clean face is absolutely vital if you want your skin to be healthy and avoid breakouts. While we sleep, the body repairs the damage that occurred during the day. Stress, pollution, and the sun are just some of the everyday offenders that will prematurely age your skin, cause breakouts, clog pores, and create dull, lifeless skin.

The next time the idea of skipping your nightly cleanse crosses your mind, remember this…. if you leave makeup on your face at night, you inhibit your bodies ability to effectively repair itself the way it needs to. This will lead to clogged pores today, loss of elasticity, and older-looking skin in your future. That’s some serious motivation for starting and sticking to an evening cleansing routine, no matter what time your head hits the pillow.

Pat the Face Dry

When drying the face after washing and using toner, people should gently pat their skin dry with a soft towel.

This should be done with care, however. Pulling down on the skin with a towel, or using a rough washcloth, is not advised, as it may stimulate the skin to create more sebum.

Exfoliation

The term “exfoliation” is used to describe a treatment that cleanses the skin and removes dead skin cells. This can help unclog pores.

There are different types of exfoliation, including mechanical and chemical.

Mechanical options include:

• Brushes
• Scrubs
• Cleansing cloths

Some scrubs can be harsh on the skin. Try products that use synthetic beads if you have sensitive skin.

Chemical options include:

• Alpha hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid)
• Beta hydroxy acids (like salicylic acid)
• Retinols

Work with a licensed esthetician if you want to try chemical exfoliation.

Some of them can be harsh or drying, so it’s important to get help from a professional. They can also help you determine how often to use these treatments.

Incorporate Salicylic Acid Into Your Routine

To prevent your pores from becoming clogged again, you’ll want to use an ingredient that can penetrate into the pore lining and keep it clean. Salicylic acid is excellent for this because it’s an oil-soluble, keratolytic beta-hydroxy acid famous for its ability to help clear out impurities.

Rather than reaching for cleansers with salicylic acid, we recommends topical products you don’t wash off your skin. We suggest using serums (like her BHA Clarifying Serum), acid toners (just wipe them on clogged areas), and masks, noting that even though they’re rinsed off after five to 20 minutes, they can still be effective since they get fully absorbed into the pores.

Made with a trio of balancing and pore-clearing ingredients—willow bark extract, niacinamide, and zinc—Versed Just Breath Clarifying Serum is an editor favorite for fighting congested pores. We especially love the dreamy formula that feels like a cooling water gel as a refreshing way to keep acne at bay.

How to Prevent Clogged Pores

After your extraction facial, you’ll want to take steps to help prevent, or at the least delay your pores from becoming clogged again by doing the following:

• follow a daily skincare regimen
• look for a face wash that’s labeled “won’t clog pores” or “noncomedogenic”
• remove makeup at the end of the day
• exfoliate regularly
• avoid touching your face
• drink lots of clean water and stay hydrated

It may sound strange that having less moisture leads to an oily complexion. But when your body is running low on hydration, it works to produce its own in the form of sebum oil. This usually appears on your face, but it can affect the skin’s sebum production throughout your entire body. So it’s important to stay well hydrated over the course of the day and we recommend drinking lots of clean water throughout the day. Health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember..

As far as products are concerned, you’ll want to use an ingredient that can penetrate into the pore lining and keep it clean. Salicylic acid is excellent for this because it’s an oil-soluble, keratolytic beta-hydroxy acid famous for its ability to help clear out impurities.

Rather than exclusively using cleansers with salicylic acid, we recommend you also incorporate topical products you don’t wash off your skin. We suggest using Environ SebuWash Cleanser, serums acid toners like SebuTone Clarifier (just wipe them on clogged areas), and masks such as SebuClear Masque (even though they’re rinsed off after five to 20 minutes, they can still be effective since they get fully absorbed into the pores).

Increasing cellular turnover is just as important as clearing clogged pores and this is where Retinoids comes into play. Retinoid is a blanket term that covers both retinol and Retin-A both of which are forms of vitamin A and a class of anti-aging compounds used in skincare. They help fight acne, reduce wrinkles, stimulate collagen, and promote cellular turnover.

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that is added to topical skincare products to promote skin renewal, reduce acne, boost your skin’s collagen production and more. It also functions like an antioxidant to help address free-radical damage, which leads to the visible signs of aging. The difference is that retinols are gentler versions of retinoids, and you typically don’t need a prescription to use them. We recommend medical-grade vs over-the-counter skin care products containing retinol. Medical-grade skincare products differ from over-the-counter products and those you can buy at places Ulta, Sephora, or standard skin spas in that they contain concentrated levels of active ingredients combined with advanced absorption mechanisms that are capable of penetrating to the deepest levels of skin. Products sold over-the-counter do not affect the skin in biological ways and are unable to penetrate its upper layers. Thus, they are labeled as “cosmetic.” We recommend Environ Concentrated Retinol Serum 1, the first level in the Focus Care Youth Range which contains a starter concentration of vitamin-A.

Retin-A, on the other hand, is a prescription-only retinoid, and thus stronger than anything you can get over-the-counter. It was the brand name used for tretinoin, which was approved over 40 years ago by the FDA to treat acne. Like retinol, Retin-A also improves skin tone, boosts collagen, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and speeds up cell turnover, except it’s a lot stronger, and consequently, more powerful.

Retinoids either one prescribed by a doctor or a medical-grade product help calm inflammation in the skin and prevent cells from sticking together and blocking the follicles. Think of them like pipe cleaners to keep the pores open.

While you’re shopping for those products, go ahead and add a clay or charcoal mask to your cart, which can help absorb excess sebum and help to tone and tighten large pores.

And don’t forget to moisturize and hydrate your skin! Dry skin We recommend Environ Vita-Antioxidant AVST Gel. This soothing water-based moisturize-infusing gel truly feels like a barely there veil of moisture. The best part? While it hydrates it’s also hard at work fighting combat the damaging effects of free radical and improving the overall appearance of the skin.

Unfortunately any unclogging you do achieve, sadly, won’t last long. Our body continually produces oil, so clearing blockages provides only a temporary effect, however, you can delay the process extending the pore clearing benefits of your professional facial by following the recommendations above.

Share The Beauty… Earn Rewards!

At PLEIJ Salon+Spa, we offer a simple and easy referral program to our existing clients (and even non-clients). When you refer a friend who is new to PLEIJ, we’ll give them a 20% OFF GIFT to use towards any service. To say thanks, we’ll give you a 10% OFF GIFT to use toward services or products!

Be sure to learn everything about this awesome program and even send out referrals.

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