We all have pores on the surface of our skin, but you may notice that you have large pores or more visible pores, especially if you have oily skin. Pores are small openings in your skin that play an essential role in releasing sweat and oil onto your skin’s surface. Over time, high levels of these oils can lead to pore buildup, which can lead to clogged pores and give your skin a dull appearance. By adding the right habits and products to your skincare routine, you can minimize pore buildup and help improve your skin tone and texture.
Pore buildup tends to be a combination of dead skin cells, sebum, dirt, and pollutants that clog your pores and can impact the look and feel of your skin. Face makeup, such as foundation, concealer, or blush can mix with sebum and make its way into your pores. If you forget to remove all your makeup at the end of the day, it can leave behind residue that may seep into your pores overnight.
While almost every part of the body has sebaceous glands that create sebum, your face tends to produce more of this natural oily secretion. When exuded in the appropriate amount, sebum can help keep your skin well hydrated and protected. However, many people secrete too much or too little sebum due to genetic and environmental factors. Without a proper skincare routine, low sebum levels could lead to dry skin patches, while high sebum levels can lead to pore buildup, which can make your skin appear dull or uneven.
If you have pore buildup, there are several steps you can take to remove sebum and other pore-clogging material to help you achieve a smooth, healthy-looking complexion.
The first step in removing buildup from your pores is to choose the right cleanser for your skin type. People with naturally oily skin are more likely to develop buildup, so it's key to find a face wash that deep cleans your skin without stripping away moisture.
Jelly cleansers are gentle on the skin, so they are less likely to strip skin when addressing buildup and clogged pores. While many people are familiar with the feel of milky or gel cleansers, jelly cleansers have a unique bouncy texture that make your daily washing routine a fun experience.
To remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, use an exfoliant to gently resurface your skin. Physical exfoliants, such as face scrubs, are textured with small granules to slough off patches of dead, dry skin, and pore buildup. In general, exfoliating can be done two to three times a week, but how often you should exfoliate also depends on your skin type.
A brightening mask can help smooth out your skin, deep clean your pores, and remove dead skin cells from the surface. Just like with exfoliants, you can use face masks one to three times a week.
Blackheads tend to appear from clogged pores and oxidized sebum. Aged, air-exposed sebum hardens and darkens to form a blackhead. Although it's tempting, avoid squeezing your pores to get rid of blackheads. Instead, try a pore strip to safely and instantly lift away blackheads without damaging your skin.
While the methods explained above can help you remove buildup in your pores after the damage has been done, it is often much easier to prevent pore buildup. To keep your skin clean and looking noticeably smooth, make a habit of giving your pores extra attention during regular cleaning.
Refining your skin routine and making sure you stick with it are essential to minimize the appearance of pores and keep them clear of sweat, excess oil, and other debris. Follow these tips for the best results:
No matter your skin type, daily face washing is essential for avoiding dull skin and blackheads. You should wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, to clean off substances before they have time to settle and harden in your pores. Washing more than this could dry out your skin and cause irritation.
At the end of the day, make sure to take off all traces of makeup on your eyes and skin. Use a cleanser that is strong enough to remove makeup, or use a makeup remover before washing your face.
When choosing makeup and face cleaning products, choose non-comedogenic products designed specifically with your pores in mind. These products won’t clog pores, and can be a good choice for oily skin.
Exfoliants are an effective prevention method for reducing pore buildup. Use a scrub a few times a week to keep the surface of your skin smooth and free of dead skin cells.
About once a week, use a clay or charcoal mask to help absorb excess oil and purify your pores. If you have sensitive skin, always test the mask on a small section of your skin to see if you have a reaction before using it on the rest of your face.