A key to looking good is feeling great. And what is one of the most important ways to feeling great? Clearing out your pores.
Seriously, what’s more satisfying than knowing that you’re getting all the gross sebum and dirt particles out of there? Nothing, that’s what! Yet, many don’t know how to clean pores the right way; not only how to clean them but also how often you should be doing this, or which methods are best for different skin types.
See! So many questions for such an important topic.
We all want our skin to look and feel flawless, so we’ve cracked down on all the details below.
To get to the meat of how to clean pores, we first need to understand the basics of what pores are and how they work.
What Are Pores?
Pores are minute openings in the skin that open to oil-producing glands. They are most often found on the face, back, and chest – areas with more sebaceous glands.
These tiny openings allow the sebum (oil) to come through. Sebum is that stuff that makes your skin really soft and moist, but it also attracts dirt particles which can cause problems with blackheads and acne.
There are two main kinds of pores: oil pores and sweat pores.
Oil pores are much larger than sweat pores, and often, when talking about cleaning pores, we’re referring to oil pores. These pores are connected to oil glands and are all over your body!
Sweat pores are found all over the body as well, and have a tiny pore opening that’s about 1 or 2 millimeters in diameter. These pores make you, well, sweat.
How Do Pores Work?
The sebaceous glands produce sebum, an oily liquid, that keeps the skin moist and soft. These glands are connected to small canals (pores) in the skin’s outermost layer, and sebum travels through these pores to the skin’s surface.
As we mentioned, the oil our sebaceous glands produce is good for keeping our skin moisturized and looking hydrated. Still, it can cause problems because if it attracts dirt and bacteria, your pores will get clogged, leading to skin that looks dull, bumpy, rough, and acne-ridden, a.k.a congested skin.
When you’re cleansing your pores, you release the built-up sebum and oil along with any grime that has collected in the pores.
But wait, there’s a catch: it can be hard to clean pores properly because sebum flow is not regular, and pores themselves vary in size and shape.
And let’s not forget about the challenges in cleaning pores on different areas of the face.
For example, most people have more oil glands near the nose and forehead than they do around their cheekbones or under their chins. So for some, it can be harder to get all that yuck out of pores here, but easier to get it out of pores, let’s say, around the mouth.
So what’s the cause of extremely clogged pores?
Extremely Clogged Pores
The reasons behind extremely clogged pores are truly endless, ranging from excess oil, dead skin cell accumulation, a bad diet, not drinking enough water, over-cleansing or not cleansing enough, and even stress.
Well, we know we can’t always control the amount of stress in our life. Eating an unhealthy diet and not drinking enough water is pretty self-explanatory as to why they are bad for our skin, but thankfully they can be adjusted relatively easily.
However, what’s this about excess oil, dead skin cell accumulation, and over-cleansing?
There’s an easy way to explain this. Excess oil causes your pores to be over-dramatic about what’s coming through them – meaning they open up wider than usual and are harder to close, leaving that yucky stuff more vulnerable to being pushed into the pore.
Dead skin cell accumulation clogs pores because you’re not taking them off properly at the end of your day. Think of it like a clogged sink – you leave food crumbs in the sink and then wash dishes every single night; eventually, that sink won’t be able to drain because there’s too much build-up (ew, but true).
Over-cleansing can cause pores to become clogged, too. Because you’re stripping your skin of so much oil, your oil glands begin to over-produce oil to compensate, which brings us back to how excess oil can cause clogged pores. If you notice you’re getting lots of forehead acne, you can read our blog about that for tips on how to manage that!
Ultimately, there is a happy medium with cleansing. But, before we can change up your routine, if your pores are already quite clogged up, let’s talk about deep cleaning your pores.
How Do You Deep Clean Your Pores?
An effective method to deep clean your pores is visiting an esthetician and getting a facial with extractions.
Estheticians are trained to see and know what your skin is dealing with and what effective ways and products will help you deep cleanse your pores, factoring in your individual needs. Extractions done by an esthetician are always much safer and much more efficient at getting all the leftover gunk out of your pores.
Once you start getting facials, it’s hard to stop! Your skin is always left with a luxurious feeling, one that is hard to beat. If you’re curious about the best facials for your skin type, you can read up on that on this blog.
However, if you can’t get to an esthetician at this moment in time (or even if you could, but you want to do it yourself), there are some other effective ways of deep cleaning your pores in the comfort of your own home. What are these ways?
How Can I Deep Clean My Pores At Home?
You can deep clean your pores at home by making use of 3 simple things:
- Exfoliation (mechanical and/or chemical)
- Clay masks
- Keeping up with a regular cleansing routine
Exfoliation is where you scrub away the excess oil, dead skin cells, and other pollutants to unclog and deep clean your pores. Exfoliation is vital in helping to stop dead skin cell accumulation and release this barrier that causes your skin to hold in all the dirt, excess oil, and whatnot.
There are many kinds of exfoliators, and they are all summed up into two categories: either mechanical or chemical.
Mechanical exfoliators like face scrubs and vibrating facial brushes are effective for certain skin types. Using these only a few times a week can help to remove build-up and cleanse your skin thoroughly.
Sometimes, mechanical exfoliators on your face can be more harmful than helpful by actually causing microtears. If your skin is fairly sensitive or you prefer not to use mechanical exfoliators to avoid any risk, chemical exfoliators are excellent options.
Chemical exfoliators dive deep into your skin, much further than mechanical exfoliators would, to deep cleanse any acne-causing grime out and away from your pores.
Along with exfoliation, clay masks are a great option for deep cleaning your pores, and Bentonite clay is a top choice.
Bentonite clay draws impurities from your skin, similar to how a magnet works. But, instead of producing heat as magnets would, it absorbs it. Bentonite clay works by pulling out all the excess oil, dirt, and other pollutants that could be clogging up your pores.
This type of clay mask also absorbs excess oils, which is a huge culprit in clogging pores.
Regular Cleansing Routine
In order to deep clean our pores, a regular cleansing routine is vital to avoid build-up and eliminate any leftover traces of dirt clogging our pores. Once you work hard to exfoliate, use clay masks, even get a deep cleansing extraction facial, you don’t want all of that to go down the drain by not regularly cleaning your skin.
Generally, cleaning twice a day (morning and evening) is plenty. After cleansing, don’t forget to use a moisturizer adequate for your skin type to prevent your glands from producing too much oil.
For our skin-loving gurus, you now know just how vital your pores are for your skin’s health, but how easy it is for dirt and impurities to get trapped and clogged within your pores!
Learning how to clean your pores the right way doesn’t take much. As a matter of fact, if you’re cleansing yourself at home- only three things are essential to getting a deep clean: A regular cleansing routing, exfoliation (chemical is a fantastic choice), and a clay mask.
If you can, a deep cleansing facial with extractions is sure to give you a deep clean, especially if you can do so regularly.
Don’t wait! Put these pore cleaning steps into practice now and see how well your skin glows and how much it thanks you for the love and attention.