Each and every one of us has experienced congestion. Because of our familiarity with clogged pores, it tends to become easy for us to blame our skincare products or makeup for causing that. But, they might be innocent, you know? It could just be your skin that is clogging up itself.
It is never a good out to scratch out the surface of your skin. The scratching business comes under dreadful care tips that a lot of people focus on. Today we’ll be diving deeper into the root cause of what causes clogged pores and how you can unclog them without making your skin suffer.
What are Pores?
Pores are small vacancies through and over your skin that capture dust and foreign particles into them from time to time. Which is why it is necessary to cleanse the pores on regular basis. You have pores, we have pores, and even a newborn baby has pores. Everyone on this planet has pores. It is where your hair grows out, but pores are also a pathway for your sebum (also known as your skin oil) that travels from underneath your skin to outside the surface of your skin. This allows you to naturally lubricate, moisture, and protect your skin as well.
Now, the problem occurs when our pores get clogged.
How Do Pores Get Clogged?
Clogged pores are probably the most straightforward thing to understand. It is basically your pore lining or the pathway/tunnel for your sebum getting clogged up. Whether there is an overgrowth of keratin, skin cells blocking the pathway, or there is dirt from the pollution that’s blocking on the other side of the tunnel. This is why your sebum gets trapped underneath the skin, and that will eventually manifest into whiteheads and blackheads, or closed comedones and open comedones. When your skin decides to send white blood cells to help, that is when the inflammatory acne would happen.
Causes of Clogged Pores
Most of the time, we assume it is the products we are using on our face, be it skincare or makeup. We also accuse the sweat, dirt, and pollutants. But what we do not think about is that it could be our own skin that is the culprit.
These are not the root causes of what triggers clogged pores, and for any skincare or makeup, ingredient to become even a little bit comedogenic it generally requires at least 40 to 50% of concentration.
Now, the root cause number one for your clogged pores is thickened and waxy sebum. Your own oil can become a blackhead on your face. If you have never heard about the concept of Lipid Peroxidation or Squalene Oxidation, we’ll explain it. In simple words, it is your skin’s natural oil getting oxidized by UV exposure, environmental stressors, or anything that causes oxidative stress.
There is something called Squalene in our own natural oil and accounts for about 11% of the main components of our natural oil. It serves several other purposes, such as natural moisturizing your skin, making your skin feel really soft, flexible, and supple. However, this natural organic compound is very prone to oxidation and is unstable. Once this compound does get oxidized, it becomes comedogenic. A tip to avoid it from getting oxidized is to wear your sunscreen every day. In a study, researchers did an experiment of extracting and isolating a human Squalene sample, which was exposed to UVA radiation for about five hours. It was noticed that pore-clogging was triggered by the radiation and had increased significantly.
Moreover, the compound Squalene is also known to take away some vital antioxidants from your skin that naturally occurs, including vitamin E. So to balance that, you must add antioxidants back into your routine. Adding them back will allow your skin to have the ability to fight back against free radicals and to slow down the oxidative stress to prevent squalene from oxidizing.
The second root cause of clogged pore can be dysfunctional skin cellular turnover. Going back to the pore tunnel, if constant dead skin cells are being built up on the other side of the tunnel and they do not know when to leave it becomes an issue. Your sebum has nowhere to exit from. Now, there is another thing called Hyper-Keratinization, which is an overgrowth of your skin cells. Since there are plenty of new skin cells growing inside and outside the pores, it creates a traffic jam.
Another cause for congestion is – overproduced sebum. When there is limited space in the pores, but there is excess oil to be pumped out it causes a blockage. This typically occurs during your menstrual cycle.
Home Remedies for Clogged Pores
Since we’re all stuck at home and going outside seems to scare you, you can still get pore strips at home. Sure, you can always order readymade ones, but a DIY strip will not only be fun, but it would save you the money you spend! It is easy because all you will need is tissue paper and an egg. So, first, you will break the egg open and separate the whites and yellows. Then you will place the tissue wherever you see the congestion and brush over the egg white on it. You will have to let it stay for a few minutes, and you’ll notice how it dries up just like a purchased strip. Once fully dry, peel your homemade strip off slowly and watch all the blackhead come out with it.
Aloe Vera is an extremely helpful product of nature for our skin. There isn’t a single skin related problem this plant cannot solve! So, another way of unclogging your pores and making your skin look healthy and smooth you must applying aloe to your face every night. Since it is a natural product, it will leave no side effects on your skin.
Now that winter is here, you can indulge in steaming. Using steam has several benefits, and one of them is unclogging pores. A part of your skincare regimen should certainly face steaming. This at-home steaming method forces toxins to remove pores, smooth the skin, and prepare for use with a mask or moisturizer. Cleansing with steam increases blood circulation and helps the skin feel fresh and healthy. If you use neem tree leaves for steaming while boiling water, then that’s even better as it will help remove mild acne or other skin problems you’ve faced. It will take care of your clogged pores that can lead to skin infections, acne breakouts, and blackheads. Also, steaming is a big way to release toxins that could be responsible for your skin’s imbalances. Any herbs used in steaming can have a soothing, soothing, and stimulating effect on your skin. Lastly, the absorption of products, such as face masks can make your skin more receptive and effective.
Exfoliation is the removal of old, dead skin off of your face. It can be done physically by either using products or you can just use up whatever is in your kitchens, such as a mixture as simple as sugar and honey. It can also be done by various acids that are applied in a dermatologist’s or plastic surgeon’s office. Since our skin is constantly in the process of being renewed it usually takes about 30 days for our skin to turn over. If you allow the old dead skin to stay on top of your face, then this will give you a dull, lusterless appearance. If you exfoliate this, then you will get a more radiant appearance, and you also get a decrease in the fine wrinkles.
There are many ways you can make a DIY exfoliating face mask.
- Coffee Scrub – If you’re a coffee-lover, you will fall in love with this too. Coffee is full of antioxidants, which makes it a perfect scrub for things like anti-aging, sun damage, and clogged pores. The caffeine in it also increases the blood flow, which promotes cell turnover and aid in brightening up your skin. You’ll be needing a ¼ cup of coffee grounds, preferably organic, and you’ll combine this with two tablespoons of coconut oil, which has several skin benefits of its own. Mix it up and just start exfoliating as you would do with face wash.
- Oatmeal Scrub – If you have dry or acne-prone skin, this oatmeal and honey scrub will work wonders for you. This scrub is not only great for gentle exfoliation, but it is also very healing. Oatmeal contains anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s known for relieving itchy, dry skin. The incorporation of honey to this makes this scrub extra healing as it is antibacterial, and it helps to lock in the moisture. For this, you will have to mix a ¼ cup of ground oatmeal and then add about one tablespoon of honey. This scrub is especially beneficial in the cold winter months!
Products Recommended for Clogged Pores
In addition to home remedies, you can incorporate some products into your skincare routine. The following products are recommended just for clogged pores and are the best three of their kind.
- Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – If you want to get brighter, smoother skin every day then, this iconic exfoliating powder will allow you to do so. This formula includes rice-based powder that activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain, Salicylic Acid, and Rice Enzymes to polish skin to perfection. Besides that, dermalogica uses a skin brightening complex of Phytic Acid from Rice Bran, White Tea, and Licorice. These ingredients assist a balanced skin tone while soothing with properties that aid in neutralizing your skin. This product is made with gentle ingredients so it can be added to your daily routine. Take half a teaspoon of this microfoliant and put in your wet hands, then gently apply to your face in circular motions.
- Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser – A cleanser that is formulated with ingredients sourced from the mouth of the Amazon River, which includes white clay and aloe barbadensis. Aloe barbadensis has been used as an herbal medicine for centuries, and it primarily helps to soothe skin. This daily exfoliating face wash helps remove dirt and oil while visibly minimizing pores. In addition to that, it detoxifies your skin of any pollutants. It is pleasant, and it also does not strip away any necessary oils from your skin. This deep cleanser for pores will leave your skin soft, fresh, and health-looking.
- Aspect Exfol L 15 – Being a lightweight exfoliating serum-containing AHA’s, this serum helps to smooth skin and prepare it for the application of active ingredients. Besides that, this product is an all in one as it not only exfoliates, but it also serves as an antioxidant, soother, calmer, and refiner for your face. It is suitable for all skin types, aging, dehydrated skin, pigmentation, and problematic skin. When using, dispense one pump and apply it to your skin after cleansing and before other serums (if you use any). Another tip by the manufacturers is to always use a maximum SPF while using this product.
Things to Avoid applying on your Face
To avoid making your clogged pores worse, here are a few things you must avoid applying to your face:
- Bar Soap – Most of us have used an ordinary soap to clean our face in a hurry thinking, “what’s the worse it can do?” Well, it can be the worst that you do to yourself. Bar soaps are extremely drying to your skin, and they often contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Now, this is a substance that causes the soap to lather well, and this same lathering substance can leave your skin dry. This, as a result, can trigger dry patches, irritation, and itchiness on your face.
- Petroleum Jelly – We’ve used this product for ages on our lips, and we have also used it as a backup moisturizer on our faces. Now that is a big no-no! The formula for petroleum jelly is thick and sticky, which can clog your pores even more. Moreover, it’s occlusive so, if you have acne-prone skin, you must refrain from putting it on your face.
- Body Moisturizer – A product for your body should remain limited to your body and not go anywhere near your face. Just like petroleum jelly, body moisturizers can clog your pores and trigger breakouts every now and then. It is necessary to separate the products you apply to your face and body.
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