7 Brilliant Ways to Unclog Your Pores
On any given day, your skin is battling sweat, pollution, and pore-clogging face makeup. We'll be the first to admit that keeping pores spick-and-span is work. Playing the "ignorance is bliss" game is one strategy, however we propose a more proactive approach (more on that later). But first let's look to what the experts say about how to unclog your pores.
Dr. Karen Hammerman of Schweiger Dermatology Group revealed one of the most affective ways to get rid of the dreaded clogged pores is using a vitamin A derivative [retinoids], as it's "the best way to clear clogged pores and prevent blackheads from forming."
And Dr. Jessica Weiser of New York Dermatology Group agrees: "Retinol is the best way to clear clogged pores and treat blackheads. While prescription-strength retinoids are the most effective, using an over-the-counter retinol can also be helpful to alleviate skin congestion."
To help, we've compiled a list of all the best DIY pore-unclogging treatments, plus, the best over-the-counter products too. Keep scrolling for all the best at-home, off-the-shelves and professional remedies for clogged pores.
The garnish actually makes an amazing pore-decongesting treatment—who knew? As a natural astringent, parsley effectively pulls out toxins and other skin-clogging impurities. Take freshly washed parsley and submerge it in a bowl of boiling water. Let it soak until the water has cooled. Then dip a washcloth into the water and place it on your face for 10–15 minutes. Repeat this ritual every other day.
Your standard household baking soda makes for an easy deep pore cleanser that gently exfoliates. Mix two teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water to make a paste. Use circular motions to gently massage the mixture onto your face. Leave it on the skin for about five minutes, then rinse clean. Do this once a week to remove dead skin cells and balance the skin.
Yes, the pore strips you remember from back in day really do get the job done. Bioré’s Deep Pore Cleansing Strips (£11) are made with selective bonding agents that act like a magnet, locking into and lifting away deep-down dirt and buildup from your pores.
The power of regular exfoliation can never be overstated. It's one of the simplest and most fundamental ways to unclog pores and keep them that way. If your manual exfoliators aren't cutting it, try the combination of cleansing device with a chemical exfoliator. Grab your Clarisonic Mia (£99) or a konjac sponge (we love this Konjac Cleansing Sponge, £8) and use it with an acid cleanser, like Peter Thomas Roth's Glycolic Acid 3 Percent Facial Wash (£33) or Dermadoctor's Ain't Misbehavin' Medicated AHA/BHA Acne Cleanser (£24). The cleansing device will help those exfoliating acids get even deeper into pores.
Activated charcoal is a skincare superstar for congested complexions. It attracts toxins and absorbs up to 200 times its weight in impurities. The activated charcoal paired with sebum-clearing clay in Origins' Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask (£23) works magnetically to draw out excess oil, pollutants and other waste materials that get trapped inside pores.
For years, you've been warned against picking your skin. The one exception to the hands-off rule is to go pro. When your pores seem to have reached the point of no return, turning to an esthetician or dermatologist for professional pore extraction can make a world of difference. They know which pores can be addressed and which ones to leave alone (a differentiation lost on many untrained eyes). They also know how to do it right to avoid injuring and further inflaming the skin (another difficulty with at-home extractions).