"Regular use of chemical exfoliation such as glycolic acid or salicylic and extractions help immensely," says Dr. Guanche. "Regular acne facials or mechanical exfoliation with microdermabrasion by an esthetician also can help relieve buildup in the pores."
But, using a comedone extractor is not only safe and effective, it's also dermatologist recommended. "Comedone extractors are regularly used in extraction treatments at a dermatologists office, so they are good and safe tools to use when dealing with clogged pores," says Dr. Gohara.
The esthetician will prepare your skin with light steam. This softens the plugs of debris and expands pore openings so the clogged material come out more easily. They may then exfoliate your skin. This also helps prepare the pores for easier extracting.
Clogged pores can be the result of your glands producing too much oil. More oil on your skin increases the risk of clogged pores. But lots of other things can lead to enlarged pores, including age, skin products, hair follicles and sun damage.
What does retinol do for your skin? Retinol increases skin cell production (proliferation). It helps unclog pores. Retinol also exfoliates your skin and increases collagen production, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin a fresher, plump appearance.
Get an Extraction from a Professional
"Manual extraction is a physical modality to remove debris from pores, decongesting them, and making them look smaller," says Libby. Austin says he recommends extractions for those prone to acne. "This is a great treatment," he says.
Dead skin cells can build up and clog pores on the nose, which can make them appear larger. Exfoliating — either physically or chemically — can remove these dead skin cells. Physical exfoliation products contain rough substances that remove dead skin cells with gentle scrubbing.
Clogged pores are exactly how they sound — pores that are clogged, often with a mixture of sebum and gunk. While sebum is meant to keep the skin lubricated, it can sometimes mix with the wrong stuff (think: dead skin, bacteria, environmental debris), which can quickly lead to the appearance of congested skin.
Do dermatologists recommend using pore vacuums? In short, yes. Since these vacuums make the process of unclogging pores and clearing skin a lot faster and easier, many experts have given at-home devices an official nod of approval.
Bring It All Together. Retinol and salicylic acid are both big names in skincare right now. Retinol is known for smoothing skin and targeting blemishes, while salicylic acid is primarily used as an exfoliator that unclogs pores.
Hyaluronic acid has properties that prevent clogged pores, which in turn helps to achieve clear and smooth skin. Unclogging of pores also allows oxygen to travel through the skin effectively. A lack of moisture in the skin can lead to the overproduction of oil.
There isn't anything out there that's going to shrink pores instantly, but you can cleanse your pores to remove any dirt that can be making them more noticeable. You can cover your face with makeup to get a temporary impact, but oftentimes this will only clog your pores even more.
The white stuff that comes out of your pores like thin strings when you squeeze your nose is called a sebaceous filament. It's mostly made up of sebum (oil that your skin produces) and dead skin cells. This substance typically collects in pores around your nose and chin.
A pore extractor is a stainless steel implement with a loop on either end. The loop is placed around the clogged pore and the tool is pressed against the skin, thus placing pressure around the pore and encouraging the extraction of anything that may be in the pore.
Clogged pores are caused by an excess of oil and dead cells mixing together in these spaces. The debris within a clogged pore can further develop into a blackhead (if it lies underneath the surface) or a whitehead (if it lies on the surface of the skin).
Usually, clogged pores look like: Whiteheads—this is where the clogged pore closes and bulges out to make a white dot. Blackheads—where a clogged pore closes and looks like a small black dot. Red pimples—this is when bacteria also gets into the clogged pore.
With that said, if you stick with a gentle exfoliating skincare routine, avoid ingredients that are known to clog pores (like too-thick creams and coconut oil), and keep your fingers off your face, you're likely to see an improvement in the appearance of your clogged pores within a few weeks.
It's irreversible damage,” says Dr. Henry. Damaging your skin by squeezing or picking can also cause inflammation, hyperpigmentation and scarring. Squeezing additionally introduces bacteria, oil and dirt from your hands into your pores, which can lead to more blackheads.
Though you may be tempted to squeeze or otherwise get rid of a sebaceous filament, it's best to leave them alone. Squeezing or picking at sebaceous filaments risks scarring and spreading any bacteria that may be in or around the pore to other parts of your face, causing a breakout.
For deep blackheads, dermatologists use photopneumatic therapy. The process involves a combination of intense pulsed light lasers and a hand-held vacuum. Using these together allows your dermatologist to get deep into your pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum.