What are Clogged Pores and What Causes Them?

What are Clogged Pores and What Causes Them?

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It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that we’ll all deal with clogged pores from time to time. Clogged pores are one of the most common skincare concerns. When your pores are clogged, it can make your skin appear dull and leave the texture feeling bumpy and uneven.

Clogged pores are something you can have with any skin type. They’re caused by everything from excess sebum production to forgetting to take off your makeup and dead skin cells getting trapped in your pores. Our pores are one part of our skin that we’ve all been guilty of overlooking when curating our skincare routine.

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The best way to treat and prevent your pores become clogged and enlarged is to focus on cleansing your skin. If you find yourself struggling with enlarged pores and blackheads, you want to start using active ingredients like tea tree oil and retinol to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin.

Understanding what causes clogged pores can help you prevent them from happening to begin with. It’s all about having a consistent skincare routine that uses the right products and ingredients. Read on to find out what clogged pores are, the causes of them, and how to unclog and tighten your pores.

What are clogged pores and the causes of clogged pores?

Clogged pores are caused by bacteria, excess sebum, dead skin cell, and debris that is trapped in your skin. Your pores are part of your skin’s hair follicles and are also known as the sebaceous glands. The pores in your skin work to express sebum onto your skin, which helps to protect and moisturize your skin. Clogged pores can occur everywhere, from your cheeks to your nose or chin.

When your pores become clogged, it can lead to visible sebaceous filaments – a darker form of blackheads. These lines become more noticeable in your skin when your pores are clogged, and your skin is producing too much sebum.

Clogged pores can also be caused by factors that are entirely in your control – such as forgetting to remove your makeup. One of the worst things you can do is to fall asleep with your makeup on, as this can cause your makeup to clog up your pores and leave it feeling dry and looking full.

How to unplug your pores and then tighten your pores

You can alter your skincare foundation to unclog and tighten your pores. It’s not all that different from your usual skincare routine, but the order in which you use your products is the most important factor.

You’ll start by using a gel-based cleanser to gently cleanse your face to remove impurities and dead skin cells. Skip your toner and go ahead with a tea tree oil serum before hydrating with a moisturizer. Instead of finishing your skincare routine here, you want to follow up with retinol and sunblock.

We’re breaking down this ideal skincare routine to help you understand the role that every step plays in unclogging and tightening your pores.

1. Cleanse gently using a gel-based cleanser

One of the best ways to unplug your pores is to use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid. It’s a gentle chemical exfoliant that works deep in your pores to remove bacteria and impurities, including dead skin cells while tackling breakouts.

You want to start your skincare routine by washing your face with lukewarm water before applying a salicylic acid cleanser onto your skin in circular motions. After it creates a lather, rinse your face to remove any excess product.

Cleansing your skin morning and night is the best way to keep your pores clear and remove excess sebum. You can also follow it up with a hydrating toner that will help to balance your skin’s pH level and tighten your pores while catching any dead skin cells or bacteria that your cleanser missed.

2. Treat with a tea tree oil serum

In every skincare routine, your serum is the step that allows you to target your specific skin concerns. One of the most popular ingredients for tackling clogged pores is tea tree oil. It’s a multi-tasking ingredient that is also an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, allowing you to tackle clogged pores at the source while tackling the blackheads that come with it.

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This natural ingredient can penetrate deep into your pores, dry them out, and help to unclog them. You’ll often see tea tree oil included as an active ingredient alongside other exfoliating ingredients, such as salicylic acid.

As tea tree oil is an antiseptic, it won’t clog your pores and is ideal for helping to remove any bacteria or debris in your skin. You’ll get the best results from any serum when you apply it to freshly cleansed skin as it makes it easier for the serum to act.

3. Hydrate your skin with a moisturizer

It’s easy to think that moisture is the very last thing that your skin needs when you’re trying to unclog your pores. However, this is incorrect. Your skin will produce excess sebum if it’s not getting enough hydration. This excess sebum eventually clogs your pores and brings you back to step one.

You want to be using a moisturizer to help hydrate your skin and maintain its moisture balance. Incorporating a moisturizer into your skincare routine will also help you lock in the active ingredients in your serums, including tea tree oil, to help you get the best results. Using a moisturizer after your serum will also help to prep your skin for using retinol.

4. Use retinol

Retinol is one skincare ingredient that everyone is talking about right now – and for good reason. It’s one of the best ingredients that you can use to help unclog your pores. Retinol works by increasing your cellular turnover rate, helping to boost your collagen production while decreasing your oil production.
Over time, it will help to prevent blockages in your pores. You want to be careful when using retinol. It’s proof that you really can have too much of a good thing. You’ll want to ensure that you always follow your retinol up with sunscreen as your skin will be more sensitive to UV radiation after applying retinol. When you start using retinol, you want to start with a lower concentration before gradually increasing it as your skin’s tolerance develops.

5. Apply sunblock

Whatever your skin type and skin concerns are, you want to be using sunblock. It’s one step that all of us have been guilty of skipping from time to time. You want to forget about the common misconception that sunscreen is only for the summer months. Even if you can’t see it, the sun – and its harmful UV rays – are there every day of the year.

What are some methods that you should avoid?

While the internet is a powerful education tool for skincare routines, it’s also full of misinformation. It’s not unusual to see bloggers – and even skincare brands – promoting methods that can harm your skin instead of unclogging your pores.

1. Using baking soda as an exfoliant

One method that you want to avoid is the popular ‘baking soda scrub’. Fans of at-home DIY skincare treatments are no strangers to suggesting baking soda as the best way to cleanse and exfoliate your skin. Instead, you want to leave your baking soda in the kitchen.
Using a baking soda scrub can irritate your skin and strip it of its natural oils, as baking soda has a pH that is too alkaline for your skin. As an alkaline, it strips your skin’s natural protective barrier, leaving it more vulnerable to oxidative stress and environmental factors like UV radiation. While a baking soda scrub might seem like a cheap at-home treatment for unclogging your pores, it’s likely to do more harm than good.

2. Lemon

The other popular at-home method that you want to avoid is using lemon. This fruit is often recommended as a way of diminishing the appearance of acne scarring and to drying your acne. The issue with lemon is that it is extremely acidic. When you put a lemon directly to your skin, you can alter its natural pH balance. Using lemon to try and unclog your pores can dry your skin, cause irritation, and damage your moister barrier.avoid these methods if you want to shrink pores 

You can get some of the benefits of lemon for unclogging your pores by diluting a small amount of lemon juice into water and drinking it as part of your daily routine. As a healthy antioxidant, lemon is a natural ingredient you can benefit from in ways other than applying it directly to your skin.
Clogged pores are something that we all have to deal with from time to time. It’s one of the most common skincare issues and is easier to address than you might think. Using our advice above will help you curate your skincare routine to tackle and prevent clogged pores while avoiding making mistakes with DIY treatments that can damage your skin.