How to Treat Clogged Pores
Your pores help your skin breathe. Over time, they may become clogged with oil, dirt and other substances. This clogging can result in a variety of skin problems, including acne and blackheads, according to Princeton University's Health Services. Clogged pores may also appear bigger due to the stretching caused by the debris. Prevent potential problems by clearing out the pores with a variety of lifestyle changes and topical skin treatments.
Review the ingredient lists of your skincare products, and stop using anything that contains oils or waxes. These ingredients help moisturize your skin but also can clog your pores, warns skincare expert Paula Begoun. For the best results, she recommends switching any creams you use to serums or gels, as these are lighter and less likely to clog your pores.
Wash your face twice a day with a skin cleanser to help lift away excess oil, dirt, makeup and other potential pore-clogging debris. Avoid washing more often, warns the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. Doing so dries out your skin, which encourages the skin to go into oil overproduction that in turn can make your clogged pores even worse.
Apply a salicylic acid topical ointment. Salicylic acid exfoliates your pores to reduce and prevent clogging, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can even physically dissolve oil plugs. For the best results, Begoun suggests looking for a salicylic acid treatment that contains the acid at a concentration of one to two percent.
Alternate your salicylic acid every other day with a benzoyl peroxide-based ointment. Brown University says it helps to control oil production in your pores, thus working as an effective preventative measure against clogging. It also works as an antibacterial agent, keeping your clogged pores from becoming infected with acne-causing bacteria.
Pat on a liquid magnesium hydroxide ointment or a clay mask once a week. Such products help to soak up excess oil on the surface of your skin and draw out oil from your pores, according to Begoun.
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