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Clogged pores? 5 esthetician tips for clearer skin

Clogged pores? 5 esthetician tips for clearer skin

Let’s talk about pores. Yes, those tiny openings on your face that somehow take center stage, becoming the unsung villains of your skin care routine. But let’s not be too quick to judge; trust the pros – they’re not all bad! 

Large, noticeable pores aren’t necessarily negative. Pores secrete oil that provides your skin with a natural layer of protection and hydration. Despite this benefit, pore size is often scrutinized. 

“Speaking as someone who has had both acne-prone and oily skin, I can tell you first-hand that larger pores can give skin a rough, orange-peel texture,” said Teresa Stenzel, licensed esthetician and member of the Bioelements Esthetics Insight Circle.

Instead of fixating on pore size, let’s focus on pore health. While genetics can influence pore size, clogged pores can be prevented by understanding their avoidable causes. 

What causes clogged pores? 

A clogged pore is a buildup of dirt, excess oil and dead skin. This buildup can partly be due to a poor skin care routine – or no routine at all. Other contributors include touching your face and stress. 

“Pores can become clogged due to genetic factors or lifestyle habits, such as sleeping with makeup on or neglecting a consistent cleansing, toning and moisturizing routine,” said Stenzel. “Improper exfoliation, using overly harsh products and infrequently changing pillowcases can also contribute to clogged pores.” 

Can pores shrink? According to licensed estheticians, no. Pores don’t have muscles or trap doors to open and close them; they're stationary openings that can appear larger when filled with oil or cellular debris. You can, however, help prevent them from getting clogged and minimize their appearance. 

Ways to help prevent clogged pores

1. Adopt a proper skin care routine

Developing a consistent skin care routine tailored to your skin type and sensitivity level is crucial for maintaining clear pores. Use the appropriate cleanser, toner and moisturizer morning and night to keep your skin clean and well-maintained. 

2. Exfoliate

Regular exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Depending on your skin’s sensitivity level, you can choose between physical exfoliation (scrubs) or chemical exfoliation (products containing ingredients like AHAs or BHAs). 

3. Book regular facials

Scheduling regular facials with a licensed esthetician can significantly improve your skin health. Think of an esthetician as a personal trainer for your skin – they provide treatments that target and clear clogged pores, improve skin texture and prevent future blockages. 

4. Don't pick

Picking at your skin is highly detrimental. It can cause permanent damage, lead to infections and result in hyperpigmentation. Your hands are the dirtiest part of your body, so avoid touching your face unnecessarily.  

5. Add oxygen

An oxygenating formula can be a sneaky sidekick in keeping your pores clear. Acne bacteria thrive in a no-oxygen pore environment. When you introduce oxygen, you help destroy the bacteria breeding ground and keep pores clear. “Oxygen infusion obliterates acne bacteria by flooding the pore with aerobic activity,” said Stenzel. “Oxygen acts as a preventative and antiseptic agent, helping to clean out pores and keep them laying flat by ridding the follicle of debris and inflammation.”

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