If you’ve found yourself searching for the answer on how to unclog pores, you’re far from alone. Clogged pores are a common skin care concern that can be a major pain, and knowing how to handle them can be a challenge, too.
What Are Pores?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), there are little pockets called sweat glands in the middle layer of your skin (the dermis). These glands make sweat—as you’d expect—which goes through little tubes and comes out of tiny holes called pores. Pores play an essential role in keeping our bodies cool (through sweat) and flushing out toxic substances the body doesn’t need. And when those pores get clogged they can lead to breakouts and severe acne.
4 Common Causes Of Clogged Pores
If you’ve been experiencing breakouts, it could be due to clogged pores. Read on to find out more about these common causes and products you can use to help purify the skin.
1. Dead Skin
The skin goes through a frequent cycle of shedding and creating new skin cells. And according to the Mayo Clinic, pores can become clogged due to dead skin cells accumulating on the skin’s surface. As you get older, your skin’s ability to shed those dead skin cells from the skin’s surface slows down, which can lead to buildup if not exfoliated. So make sure to use an exfoliator two to three times a week.
#2. Excess Oil
Your skin has sebaceous glands, which create natural oils (aka sebum) that are meant to nourish the skin. In a perfect world, sebum would simply keep the skin soft and hydrated. However, there are times when sebaceous glands can become overactive, leading to an excess amount of oil being created. This can then cause dead skin cells to stick together instead of shed off. So be sure to use the right facial cleanser to reduce excess oil.
#3. 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. And 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. Then, that excess oil can clog your pores. The AAD also suggests that scrubbing your skin too frequently can cause irritation, leading to inflamed, more noticeable pores. So make sure you cleanse twice a day (once in the morning and once before bed) and pay attention to your skin when you exfoliate. If you notice some irritation, reduce the number of times you exfoliate per week.
#4. Using The Wrong Beauty Products
Sad as it is to say, some of your favorite beauty products may be to blame for your clogged pores. So look for products with non-comedogenic formulas, which are created with ingredients that won’t clog pores.