When pores are clogged, it can result in blackheads, whiteheads, and acne. You can tell if your pores are clogged if you notice whiteheads, blackheads, or an overall dullness to your skin's complexion. Environmental factors also contribute to clogged pores.
The pores on our face, just like our ear canals, are designed to clean themselves. So for most people, leaving them to their own devices is fine, and just cleansing the face is enough.
They form when pores get clogged by dead skin and excess oil," says board-certified dermatologist Raechele Cochran Gathers, M.D. "Blackheads are often very stubborn, and while they generally do go away, it can take months or even years for them to go away on their own."
Exfoliate dead skin cells
Use an exfoliating product two to three times a week to help get rid of dead skin cells that may be clogging your pores. The key here is to massage the product onto your nose and let the product do the heavy lifting — scrubbing the exfoliant into your skin will only cause further aggravation.
A clogged pore can look like a black spot, called a blackhead, or it can look like a white or skin-colored raised bump called a whitehead. A pimple or acne cyst, on the other hand, has more bacteria and inflammation inside of them and can have pus, redness, and swelling.
Clogged pores are a common skin condition caused by a buildup of dead skin cells, oil or dirt. Clogged pores can lead to acne, but they're fairly easy to treat. Regular cleansing with non-comedogenic skin care products usually resolves clogged pores.
Extractions: Using special tools, dermatologists can safely extract plugs of sebum, which could cause blackheads or whiteheads, from the pores. A person should not attempt to do this at home. Skin peels: A dermatologist can use chemical skin peels to treat dull or rough-textured skin.
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.
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.
If a blackhead is close to the surface of your skin, it's more likely to go away on its own. However, some blackheads can be deeply embedded in your skin. Deep, embedded blackheads are less likely to go away on their own. If you have embedded blackheads, a dermatologist or medical aesthetician can remove them.
Use an exfoliating scrub or chemical exfoliant 2-3 times a week to give the skin a deep clean and clear out the pores without stripping it of any natural oils. Clay masks are ideal for clearing out the pores, they can remove oil, dirt and dead skin that is found deep inside the pores.
So how do these pores become clogged? There are three main culprits: excess oil (sebum production from sebaceous glands), dead skin cells, and over-cleansing. Over time, excess oil and dead skin will begin to accumulate on the skin's surface.
Do you see distinct dots? If you do, your pores are probably on the larger side. Check for large, visible pores on your forehead, chin, and nose, too. If your pores are mostly large across these areas, you have oily skin—because the pores are bigger, more oil comes out of them.
Melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, can collect in the healing area and cause it to heal as a dark spot. If you have a pimple, blackhead, or acne and dark spots occur after it is gone, it is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Keloidal scars can form from acne.
Via Refinery29, Elizabeth Tanzi, M.D., agrees that after the clay mask brings all the junk to the surface, physical massage can "indeed dislodge clogged pores and whatever's inside them."
“Gently press on each side of the blackhead until it begins to release,” she says. “Apply slow and even pressure, and once you are able, lightly pinch the tweezers and pull the blacked out material from the skin to extract it. If the blackhead does not release easily, do not continue to attempt the extraction.”
During extraction, the therapist uses a special blackhead tool to apply pressure to your nose to loosen and release the sebum from your pores. After the facial you may notice a bit of redness from the pressure, but this dies down within the day.
This type of acne develops when oil (sebum) and dead skin cells combine to form a plug that clogs your pores. Sometimes, cleansing and exfoliating may be enough to loosen the plug and draw it out. But if the plug hardens, or it's too deep to access, you might not be able to remove the blackhead on your own.
Because the pore gets stretched out of shape, it will fill back up again even after it is emptied. These stubborn pores are most likely to occur on the face, chest and back. However, they can also emerge on the ears, neck and scalp.
Use Products With Salicylic Acid
One go-to ingredient for eliminating blackheads is salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that increases cell turnover and unclogs pores, says Saedi. Suozzi adds that the acne treatment can help dry active acne lesions because it is a mild chemical irritant.