How to Get Rid of Clogged Pores - Unclog Pores the Right Way
What are Clogged Pores?
Pores are tiny holes in the skin that secrete oil and sweat - these pores have a tendency to get clogged when dead skin cells, sebum, and dirt get trapped in your skin. Though you should shed most of that gunk, sometimes a portion gets stuck. For most of us, clogged pores have been the bane of our existence since we first looked in the mirror as teens and saw them (and the requisite blackheads) staring back at us.
Unlike mortifying teen glasses, acne and braces though, it's pretty much impossible to grow out of big pores. What you can do is make sure they're clean and free of the debris that makes them more visible. Before you start loading up on all the pore-hiding primers and concealers that money can buy, read this.
What Causes Clogged Pores?
There are a lot of elements that factor into clogged pores, so the fight needs to be against both internal (hormonal changes) and external (air pollution and environmental contaminants and pollutants).
According to our BelleCôte Estheticians, these are the most common culprits:
Pores can become clogged due to dead skin cells accumulating on the skin’s surface, especially, as you get older. This can lead to buildup if not exfoliated.
Your skin has sebaceous glands, which create natural oils called sebum that are meant to nourish the skin. In a perfect world, sebum would simply keep the skin soft, supple, and hydrated.
However, there are times when sebaceous glands can become overactive, like during puberty, leading to an excess amount of oil being created. This can then cause dead skin cells to stick together instead of shedding off, clogging the pores.
Greasy particles from smoke can easily land on your skin. Aside from the other adverse effects smoking has on your health, it also contributes to clogged pores.
During stressful times, our bodies produce stress hormones in excess. This, in turn, triggers sebaceous glands to produce extra sebum.
Over-Cleansing And Over-Exfoliating
Cleansing and exfoliating should play an essential role in your skin care routine, but too much of a good thing can turn bad. If you cleanse or exfoliate too much, you may risk stripping your skin of its natural oils, which can cause your oil glands to overcompensate and create even more oil, exacerbating the problem.
Using The Wrong Beauty Products
You should only buy products (makeup and skincare) with non-comedogenic formulas that are created with ingredients that won’t clog pores.
As if we weren't already concerned about fine lines, aging also causes pores to look bigger. Collagen and elastin fibers and GAGs glycosaminoglycans (essentially the packing material in our skin) become depleted.
This diminishes the strength of your skin and the support around your follicles. The skin around your pores then begins to sag, which in turn makes your pores look rounder and more obvious.
Unclog Pores the Right Way!
Back away from the magnifying mirror!
The worst way to deal with a clogged pore that won't budge is to DIY it, tempting as it is to get your fingers in there and squeeze it out. Trying to extract them at home can lead to hyper-pigmentation, permanent scarring, and additional breakouts.
If you are not using a cleanser, start immediately!
Use a mild cleanser twice a day like our Marine Volcanic Mud Cleanser. Put it on and keep on your skin for 1-2 minutes; this way, the cleanser penetrates into your skin much deeper to soften the pores. Rinse with room temperature water and unclog with ease.
*BelleCôte Esthetician TIP: If you have especially large pores, add a little exfoliator to your cleanser. Follow with a toner with salicylic or azelaic acids like our Azelaic Toner.
A nasty combination of dead skin cells, sebum, and dirt builds up in pores over time. If you don't regularly (2-3 times per week) exfoliate your face, this mixture will just stay inside those pores which then stretch out to fit it, causing blackheads and breakouts.
Use a gentle exfoliator with ingredients like glycolic, salicylic, mandelic, and lactic acids - try our Organic Seaweed Exfoliator that contains three of those powerful ingredients.
This treatment is simply heaven - steam helps your pores to open, revealing blackheads, dirt, toxins, and extra skin oils. Steaming is something you can do at home with a towel and a pot.
Boil water in a saucepan and when it starts to boil, shut off the heat and place your face just above, covering your head with a towel just like you would if you had a cold. Rinse with room temperature water.
Marine Clay and Charcoal Masks
Apply masks after steaming for an added boost - your skin absorbs them more deeply when your pores are open, and this can, and usually does, have better results. Marine clay and charcoal masks do all the heavy lifting for you as they remove toxins, dirt, and pollution from pores.
The healing clay in the mask detoxifies skin, bringing impurities to the surface and brightening the skin. Activated charcoal, now popularly used in facial and body cleansers, scrubs, and even masks, can also produce visible results. You should NEVER make your own charcoal mask at home - this can be dangerous and can cause irritation of the skin.
Try our Black Mud Nourishing Mask with pure activated charcoal instead. Rinse and admire!
*BelleCôte Esthetician TIP: If you have oversized pores, you have to tackle them in every step of your skin care routine. To prevent drying and to optimize the benefits of your face mask, make sure to follow up immediately with a toner (we recommend our BelleCote Marine Collagen Anti-Aging Toner) and a moisturizer.
Avoid Pore Strips and other home extraction methods.
You’ve already learned in our blog, How to Get Rid of Blackheads that picking, scratching, and popping any form of acne is a no-no. Still, it can be tempting to employ some form of extraction to clear clogged pores on cheeks and nose.
In recent years, there’s been an uptick in masks, pore strips, and extraction tools that promise to clear your pores; although pore strips may help remove gunk, they can also remove elements that actually help your skin - this includes natural oils and hair follicles. Removing all of these elements can cause your skin to dry out and become irritated.
Natural Home Remedies
There are some DIY natural remedies for clogged pores that work great, are safe, and don’t require anything other than some common household items.
The key here is not to do it too much, as some of these ingredients can harm the skin if left for too long. But, if you use them correctly, they will clean your pores in no time!
First, mix two teaspoons of this epic ingredient with one teaspoon of water - this should make a paste. Then, gently massage it onto your face (don’t leave it on for longer than five minutes). You can do this once a week but don’t overdo it.
Cut a lemon in half and run it over your problem areas. Leave it on the skin for about five minutes, and then rinse it off with cold water. The acidity of the lemon can help break up old skin cells, dirt, and grime that have accumulated over time.
Don’t leave it for longer than five minutes, because it can irritate your skin and possibly cause other problems.
This herb is known to pull impurities and toxins out of your skin and it’s incredibly effective. Put a handful of parsley in a pot of water, bringing it to a boil. Let it cool, then dip a clean washcloth into the water, squeeze out excess moisture, and place it on your face for about 10-15 minutes. Wash your face afterward.
This treatment can actually be repeated every other day, as it has numerous benefits and is gentle on the skin.
*BelleCôte Esthetician TIP: A parsley compress also reduces puffiness around the eyes!
BelleCôte Regimen to Unclog Pores at Home
- Clean with Marine Volcanic Cleanser for deep pore cleaning.
- Tone with Azelaic Toner to shrink pores.
- Hydrate with Marine Moisture Gel with AHA acids or Day Light Moisturizer with Stem Cells.
Exfoliate 3 times a week using our Organic Seaweed Exfoliator with Mandelic, Lactic and Salicylic acids.
For medium pores use BelleCôte Collagen Tightening Mask twice a week.
For large pores and breakouts use Black Mud Nourishing Mask twice a week.
Marine Volcanic Mud Cleanser
A deep pore cleansing mud, this professional formula is recommended for normal to oily and problematic skin. The lightly foaming cleanser is gentle yet unsurpassed in its deep cleansing properties. It is designed to control oil and shine while reducing breakouts, and diminishing pores and blackheads.
Use before bedtime and in the morning. Smooth over wet face and massage firmly with circular motions concentrating on oily parts. Remove by splashing your face with warm water, then thoroughly rinse with cold water.
Marine Volcanic Mud, Marine Volcanic Ashes, Organic Tea Tree Oil, Calendula, Peppermint, and Camphor.
This exclusive product with Azelaic and Salicylic acids discourages the formation of blemishes and blackheads. An ideal formula for women and for men, this product reduces oiliness and instantly shrinks the appearance of large pores and the redness of irritated skin.
It’s dual action formula that draws out excess oil and clears congested pores for clean and clear skin. It proves to be a perfect toner for the face care routine, especially for someone who is looking to minimize pores, reduce oiliness and get rid of blackheads.
Use after cleansing in the morning and evening. Generously moisten a cotton pad and pat on the face, concentrating on problem areas.
Avoid the eye area. For salon settings: recommended use after extractions.
Azelaic acid 10%, Salicylic acid 2%, Organic Tea Tree Oil, Allantoin, Calendula, Echinacea.
Gentle Exfoliator for all skin types. Willow Tree (Salicylic) and Lactic Acid along with vitamin C complex delicately remove excess oil, dead and damaged cells, and unclog and clean pores.
Bisabolol and protein-rich algae extracts hydrate and soothe the skin. Laminaria Extract brightens the skin. Mandelic Acid gives the finishing touch by removing stubborn debris and leaving the skin radiant with a smooth and youthful glow.
Massage gently into the skin using circular movement with wet hands. Afterwards, remove with lukewarm water or warm towel for best results.
Marine Collagen, Laminaria Extract, Organic Seaweed Micro-Polishing Bits, Mandelic Acid, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Vitamin C and Shea Butter.
For all skin types, especially with signs of blackheads, large pores and sagging. It refines and closes pores while tightening and brightening the skin immediately.
Apply to clean skin. Remove with a hot compress after 10-12 minutes. The steam will help release peptides and enzymes into the skin.
Marine Collagen, Marine Elastin, Marine Peptides, Green and Brown Algae (Myorelaxant), Laminaria Complex, sea water, Sea minerals and oligo elements.
This gifted mask is a FACIAL in a JAR. It heals breakouts and shrinks pores, infuses the skin with essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins, exfoliates, purifies and nourishes at the same time, flashes away toxins, extra dirt, and pollution and gives a 3-days glow!
Apply to clean skin. Do not use around eyes. Remove the mask with a hot compress (facecloth) after 10 minutes. The steam will help release peptides and enzymes into the skin.
Organic Seaweed, Dead Sea Black Mud, Black Seed Oil, Linoleic Acid, Marine Volcanic Ashes, Activated Charcoal.
Clogged pores can be troublesome, but with regular care and the right products, your skin will be clear in no time! Try our simple BelleCôte Regimen above or find a regimen that works for you, but washing your face twice a day, applying toner, using exfoliator and appropriate masks is A MUST to keep your pores unclogged. Do your homework!