Clogged pores occur when skin cells are unable to migrate out of hair follicles, forming plugs of cells and oil within your pores leading to blockages. If the plugs are open to the air, the protein in the skin cells oxidizes and changes color to form a blackhead, and if the plugs are closed off from the air, they form a whitehead, which can lead to more severe forms of acne. Unclogging your pores requires a consistent skincare routine to remove existing pore clogs and prevent the formation of new clogs.
Scrub Away Dead Skin
Buildup of dead skin cells on your face increase the risk of pore clogs, and give your skin a rough, dull appearance. Help unclog your pores and smooth your skin by exfoliating regularly. Choose gentle exfoliants, such as scrubs containing microbeads, or products containing enzyme or chemical exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids. Scrubs and chemical exfoliants will loosen dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, allowing them to be scrubbed away easily. If you have oily skin, you can exfoliate daily, but if you have sensitive skin, exfoliate two to three times per week.
Use Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is an acne medication found in a number of over-the-counter skin products, from cleansers to acne spot treatments. Salicylic acid works by loosening skin cells within each pore, to prevent the formation of clogged pores. Using salicylic acid also constricts pore diameter, preventing the buildup of skin cells and excess oil in each pore, preventing future clogs. Look for products containing low concentrations of salicylic acid for regular use, because it can be drying. If your skin is sensitive, use salicylic acid every other day to prevent irritation.
Purge Your Pores With Clay
Clay masks work to suck excess oil from your pores to treat and prevent clogs. Kaolin clay pulls oils and impurities from your pores, and help constrict pore diameter to give your face a smoother, tighter appearance. There are a number of inexpensive masks available that contain kaolin clay, with formulas geared towards any skin type. If your skin is oily, you should use a kaolin clay mask twice a week, and those with more sensitive skin should use a kaolin clay mask once a week.