How to Get Rid Of Clogged Pores
Congested skin is no fun. Are you doing these four things that can clog pores and cause dry skin, breakouts, and even infections?
1. Build-up of Dead Skin and Oil
Sebum, the oily substance that is excreted by the sebaceous glands, provides a lubricating and waterproof coating to the skin and hair and transports nutrients like vitamin E to the skin’s surface. Sebum also helps cleanse the skin by helping to excrete dead skin cells from the body through the pores.
When the pores are blocked, the buildup of oil mixed with dead skin and other debris can occur. Meanwhile, the sebaceous glands are still producing oil, and the body is busy sending new skin cells to the surface and attempting to push out dead skin cells and impurities in the process. When nothing can break through the result can be pimples, whiteheads and blackheads or skin becoming inflamed and infected. All this gunk can also stretch the pores, making them even more prone to blockage. Pores can become enlarged, ruining the smooth look, feel, and texture of the skin.
2. Improper Cleansing
To avoid the accumulation of dead skin cells, regular deep cleansing, including exfoliation, is a must. Due to improper cleansing, makeup (especially waterproof and long-lasting makeup), sunscreen, and other products can accumulate and mix with dirt and oil. In addition to regular daily cleansing, schedule in a more thorough cleansing, either by getting professional facials or using at-home products and methods that penetrate deep down into the pores to clear them and prevent build-up, such as:
- Effective cleansers formulated for your skin type
- At-home microdermabrasion kits to exfoliate and buff away dead skin cells
- Sonic skin cleansing using rotating and oscillating brushes (such as the Clarisonic) that can help deep clean and increase the effectiveness of cleansers as well as moisturizers More about physical exfoliation.
- Facial steaming to remove impurities and make it easier to remove blackheads
- Facial peels and masks to help dissolve dead skin cells and avoid congestion See more about chemical exfoliation.
Just be sure not to overdo it. Over-cleansing and over-exfoliating the skin can also lead to dry or irritated skin and pose problems.
3. Dry Skin
When the skin becomes too dry, the body will compensate for the lack of moisture in the skin by producing more oil. It’s also possible that excessive loss of skin moisture can cause the lower layers of the skin to work overtime, speeding up the process of sending healthy skin cells to the surface, resulting in the blockage caused by oil and skin as mentioned above.
Facial washes and other products that contain harsh ingredients that dry out and irritate the skin can be the cause. This also often occurs when using products meant to dry out oily skin, especially by individuals who aren’t seriously acne-prone but use a harsh ingredient like benzoyl peroxide which can lead to dry, red and irritated skin.
If you suffer from dry skin, you can also read these articles for tips for preventing dry and ashy skin.
4. Using Products That Can Clog Pores
In addition to using products with ingredients that can irritate and inflame the skin, some products dehydrate the skin. Some examples are alcohol and sulfates, which dry out skin by stripping it of natural oils, causing the skin to produce more oil or other ingredients that cause flakiness, all of which mixes with oils and impurities and clog pores. Sodium chloride (salt) which is often used for exfoliation, can potentially clog the pores by drying out the skin. Highly emollient ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil are typically fine for normal to dry skin types but can cause problems for some people who have acne or are acne-prone.