how to keep your pores clear and un-clogged all year round
The most common skincare goals? Clear skin with no visible or clogged pores. #skincaredreams.
While we doom scroll the internet for the answers to our pore-prayers and miracle-cure skin products, let's just pause and ponder, is it possible to be poreless? Absolutely, no.
As dermatologist Dr Kathleen Alpapara explains; "Pores are tiny openings, 0.1 -0.6mm wide, that naturally exist on the skin's surface, where hair follicles come out. What is attainable, instead, is having unclogged and minimal pores, which can make your skin look clearer and smoother. And trust me; pore strips are not enough!"
Dr Alpapara takes us through some tips to help you start your journey to clear skin.
How to Minimise Your Pores
Visible skin pores are 0.2mm-0.6mm wide. Pores that are 0.3mm-0.6 mm are considered enlarged pores. There are a few reasons why pores become enlarged. Excess oil production and ageing are some of the causes. Clogged pores filled with blackheads also look larger. Some studies even associated gender as an influential factor, for example, men were shown to have more visible skin pores than females.
Tips on how to have less visible pores.
Reducing facial oiliness.
Avoid products that are thick and heavy. Instead, use products that are lightweight. They may have ingredients like retinol (vitamin A), niacinamide (a form of vitamin b3), alpha hydroxy acids (like lactic and glycolic acids), salicylic acid, and witch hazel.
Make Non-Comedogenic your MVP
If you have a dry skin type with visibly enlarged pores, stick to serums or oils with low comedogenic ratings like grapeseed, hemp, sweet almond, sunflower, or humectants like glycerin when choosing moisturising products.
Prevent photoaging by using broad-spectrum sunscreens, wide-brim hats, and protective clothing. Avoid chronic sun exposure and frequent use of tanning beds. As we age, the elastic fibres, needed for pore structural support weaken, making them lax and appear wider.
You may also use products rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin c. A great source of natural vitamin C comes from Kakadu Plum which has the highest recorded natural amount of vitamin C of any food in the world. Its high concentration of Vitamin C helps combat hyperpigmentation and acne scarring and has amazing brightening and anti-aging properties.
Lighten Up Brightening Serum
What causes clogged pores?
Some skin concerns can cause the appearance of large pores. In acne vulgaris, open comedones or blackheads make the pores open and look larger. Another is the presence of sebaceous filaments, which appear when sebaceous glands release oil excessively. Enlarged pores are usually on the nose, and the nearby cheeks are caused by too much oil production. Multiple hairs that grow from a single pore lead to blocked pores. This condition is called trochostasis spinulosa, which is often mistaken for blackheads on the nose.
Your skincare routine might be causing you clogged pores. Skin care products or cosmetics with the following ingredients can lead to clogged pores. These include isopropyl myristate and its analogs, such as isopropyl palmitate, isopropyl isostearate, butyl stearate, isostearyl neopentanoate, myristyl myristate, decyl oleate, octyl stearate, octyl palmitate or isocetyl stearate, propylene glycol-2 (PPG-2) myristyl propionate, lanolins and D & C Red dyes.
Some other elements that cause clogged pores include;
- Dead skin cells: Dead skin cells can build up if you don't properly wash your face.
- Skin's natural sebum: Aka oil. If you have an oily skin type it can cause congested pores.
- Environmental toxins: Unavoidable everyday toxins like air pollution.
- Comedogenic ingredients: Check the products you are buying to ensure the ingredients are non-comedogenic
Why Your Pores Aren't Clear. What are some signs of clogged pores?
1. To put it simply, everyone who has acne-prone skin has clogged pores. So signs that point out to having pimple-prone skin are also signs of someone with clogged pores.
- an oily skin type
- presence of whiteheads and blackheads
- pimple breakouts
2. Multiple hairs coming out of a single pore, especially on the nose, can appear as blocked pores in a condition called Trishostasis spinulosa. This can be mistaken for blackheads.
3. Senile or solar comedones occur in aging skin. These are deep-seated blackheads and whiteheads with other signs of aging, such as skin laxity, wrinkles and fine lines, and dull and pale skin.
How to clean & unclog your pores the right way/ 5 methods to unclog pores
If you think you are doing yourself any good every time you squeeze clogged pores, that is absolutely wrong. You might be damaging your skin more than you can ever imagine.
First and foremost, some comedones are located deeper in the skin. The incomplete removal of comedones still leads to breakouts. Forcing blackheads off your skin may cause wounds and unwanted acne scars. Unclogging pores requires more than squeezing their contents out.
You may use chemical exfoliants with alpha hydroxy acids every 2 to 4 weeks to soften and easily remove dead skin cells, dirt, excess oil and comedones for less congested skin.
Skincare products with salicylic acid which is both a keratolytic and comedolytic, can not just remove the uppermost layer of dead skin cells but also comedones and further prevent clogged pores.
Pore strips can help with instant overnight unclogged pores, however, keep in mind this is not a permanent solution.
Use a clay-based face mask like our Rose, Hemp and Cactus Face Masks every week or fortnight to help draw out the impurities of your skin.
Use a gentle foaming facial wash. Vigorous scrubbing of your face will not make your skin clearer and smoother, especially if you have sensitive skin.
For dry skin, use oil-in-water emulsions or moisturising gels instead. Avoid comedogenic greasy products.
Try our gentle Powdered Cleanser - Cleanse Dust:
Gently steaming the skin can open up pores so you can then apply treatments or gently exfoliate and cleanse your skin to treat clogged pores.
Topical and oral retinoids can help unclog pores, clear acne, and control sebum production. You may want to visit your trusted dermatologist at some point for a more appropriate skincare routine.
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