A closer look at the skin on your face will reveal countless tiny pores. These pores are designed to secrete various substances such as sweat to cool off the body, as well as oil to keep the skin from drying up. Unfortunately, particles can get stuck in the pore openings, thus clogging them and trapping the secreted substances just underneath the skin. Other factors such as hormonal imbalances can also increase substance secretions and create similar results.
The clogged pores can get inflamed, causing blackheads, pimples, and pustules. These skin conditions are not only unsightly to begin with, they can also create scars that could take months or years to get rid of. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, which is why you have to get rid of the clogged pores to keep your face clear.
1. Clean Means Clear
Since the biggest cause of clogged pores is debris blocking the pore openings, one of the best things you can do is to always keep your skin clean. Washing your face after spending a long time outside, before sleeping, and when waking up already goes a long way in preventing pores from clogging up as it cleanses impurities that have accumulated on your face.
If you need something more thorough, you should get one of those special pore cleaning kits. The Pore Clean Set from Korean beauty brand Aqutop, for instance, comes with an assortment of moisturizing masks and clay packs to get rid of debris and relieve irritated pores, preventing them from developing blackheads and pimples. Aside from specialized products like this, you should also keep a small bottle of moisturizing facial cleanser or wet wipes in your purse so you can clean your face even when you’re not at home.
2. Exfoliate Every Now and Then
It’s not just the dust that can clog pores. You can be in a totally clean environment and still get clogged pores. This is because even the skin from your own body can be a major cause of blackheads and pimples. Every day, your skin releases sebum and sheds millions of dead cells that can end up clogging your pores. This is why most dermatologists highly recommend regular exfoliation.
Exfoliation works like a more thorough version of cleaning your face. Various exfoliating devices and chemical exfoliators are designed to lift impurities from your skin so they can be more easily removed. However, exfoliation should not be done excessively because it could end up damaging even the healthy skin cells, thus causing even more irritation.
3. Hands Off
Clogged pores can cause all sorts of irritations ranging from itchy to painful. It can be very tempting for many people to start poking, scratching, or prodding their skin to try to relieve the irritation. Unfortunately, hands are very likely to carry bacteria and debris, especially around the fingertips and underneath the fingernails. Touching your face is basically introducing more clog-causing elements to your facial skin.
Things can get worse if a clogged pore already grew into a blackhead or a pimple. If you try to pop a pimple, for example, it releases a substance filled with dead skin cells, pus, debris, and bacteria, which can then come into contact with other pores on your skin and cause a pimple outbreak. So really, unless you’re cleaning your face, there’s not much reason to keep touching it!
4. Mind the Environment
Cleaning your face on a regular basis is important, but you could also do your part by minimizing the amount of dirt that has to be cleaned in the first place. This is especially true when you go outdoors, since your face will be exposed to pollution, dust, and other external elements. Having a simple physical barrier like a scarf between your face and the dirty environment will greatly cut down the amount of debris that can clog your pores.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about your environment, especially in your home. Is it looking a little dusty outside? Make sure your windows are closed to keep the stuff from getting into your home and eventually on your face. Remember that the cleaner the place is, the more pore-friendly it is.
Having to deal with clogged pores is a common problem, but that doesn’t mean it’s unavoidable. Keep these tips in mind and your pores should remain clear and your face free of imperfections.