Clogged pores? Here’s how to clean them efficiently
Clogged pores? Here’s how to clean them efficiently

Clogged pores? Here’s how to clean them efficiently

5 minutes read

Not sure where to start when it comes to banishing your blackheads and blemishes? It’s probably best to start with your clogged pores. 

While spots can be spurred on by anything from hormones to stress, blocked pores are another big culprit. But how do you get rid of clogged pores once and for all? Here’s everything you need to know…  

What are clogged pores? 

Pores are tiny openings in the skin through which your body releases sebum and sweat. When pores are clogged, the most common causes are dirt, excess oil and dead skin cells being trapped within these openings. This can leave skin looking lacklustre and blemished.  

There are also other factors that cause clogged pores, such as pollution, stress, spot-picking and a skincare regime that’s too harsh for your skin. Not to mention the havoc caused by not removing your make-up properly…  

However, there is a difference between clogged pores and enlarged pores — and you should try and identify what you have before using a targeted treatment. Although the two are often related, clogged pores are usually caused just by excess oil and dirt — while enlarged pores are caused by factors such as skin damage, age, sun damage and your choice of skincare. 

One of the leading causes of acne — clogged pores on the face or body can lead to breakouts and other skin conditions if they are not dealt with.   

Clogged pores afro woman looking in the mirror close up

How do you unclog your pores? 

Luckily, there are ways of unclogging your pores, to send you on your way to better, more glowing skin.  

“I recommend skincare treatments that contain salicylic, glycolic or lactic acids for treating blocked pores,” says aesthetician Shane Cooper. “All of these acids are good at removing dead skin cells and increasing cell renewal, which cleanses your pores in the process,” he adds. 

There are also some other products to incorporate into your skincare routine that will go hand-in-hand with these skincare acids. “Cleansing your skin thoroughly, or even sometimes double cleansing is important to maintain clean pores,” Cooper says. “A deep cleanse with a gentle foaming cleanser, followed by a water-based toner and an active ingredient is the best way to combat blocked pores. It’s also important to drink lots of water daily and look after your gut health, as both things can play a part in the health of your skin,” he adds`.  

Read more: Everything You Need To Boost Your Collagen 

What do clogged pores look like? 

Clogged pores can present themselves in several ways, ranging from small pimples to full-on breakouts. The most common signs of blocked pores are:  


These are usually small, slightly raised dark bumps found on the skin. Put simply, they are pores clogged with hard sebum and other dirt or debris. When they reoccur, they are considered as a mild form of acne, and are most seen on the face, back, neck and chest — although they can show up anywhere!   


When a pore is clogged at its opening, a whitehead will form. Otherwise known as acne vulgaris, they are caused by oil and dead skin cells totally closing off a pore, leading to a small pus-filled blister. Whiteheads are usually pores clogged with hard sebum that is attempting to escape through the surface layer of the skin.  

Nodules and cysts (cystic acne) 

A cyst or a nodule is the most severe result of a clogged pore. They can appear as red, angry-looking boils that are either filled with pus or lurking below the skin’s surface.   

Which parts of the body are most prone to clogged pores? 

Clogged pores can occur on any part of the body; however, they are most found on the face, neck, back, shoulders, scalp and chest.  

5 effective clogged pore treatments you can try today 

RE-MOVE Purifying Cleansing Gel, £18 

The perfect option if you want a cleanser that will get to work deep within your pores and eliminate dirt and excess oils in one application.  

Clogged pores RE-MOVE Purifying Cleansing Gel

Zitsticka Pore Vac Mask, £30 

A targeted treatment in the form of a rich clay mask, packed with acids to polish, balance and cleanse away impurities. 

Zitsticka Pore Vac Mask


Odacité Clogged Pores Serum Concentrate, £32 

This clever concoction works to bind to impurities and excess sebum in the skin to help flush out any toxins or blackhead-inducing debris. 

Clogged pores Odacité Clogged Pores Serum Concentrate


Dr.Jart+ Pore Remedy PHA Exfoliating Serum, £35 

Replace your normal serum with this if you want to target clogged pores and blackheads. It contains 7% polyhydroxy acid that also gently exfoliates and rids the skin of any impurities.  


Clogged pores Dr.Jart+ Pore Remedy PHA Exfoliating Serum

What not to do when trying to unclog pores 

Although it may be tempting to follow that DIY hack you’ve seen online to unclog your pores, it’s best to check whether it’s safe for your skin first.  

Make sure to avoid over-cleansing your skin, as this can strip it of its natural oils and send sebum production into overdrive. It’s also important to ensure that you are not exfoliating too aggressively or using too many treatments at once. Although you may feel like your skin is benefitting from being treated, targeted treatments can be strong and can result in your skin becoming dry, inflamed and sensitive due to overuse.    


How do you unclog your pores? 

A fail-safe way to unclog your pores is to follow a regimented skincare routine. Cleansing properly in the morning and evening, removing make-up and treating your skin with products for your skin type will help to keep it in good condition.  

How can I naturally unclog my pores? 

There are several natural purifying ingredients to look out for when trying to keep clogged pores at bay. Try products that contain apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, tea tree oil, honey and witch hazel. 

Will fake tan clog my pores? 

Fake tan products typically do not clog pores, as they are designed to be lightweight and non-comedogenic (meaning they don’t block pores). However, it is important to make sure you choose a product that is specifically labelled as non-comedogenic to minimize the risk of clogging pores, as well as effectively removing fake tan when not wanted.  

Why am I getting clogged pores? 

Anyone can get clogged pores, but it tends to be more common in teenagers and young adults. This is because the skin produces more oil during puberty. Anyone with an oily or combination skin type can also be more prone to clogged pores. 

Read more: Do You Have Rosacea? Here’s Your Treatment Plan 

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