What are the Best Tips for Clearing Blocked Pores?

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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 27 August 2019
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One of the best tips for clearing blocked pores is using a makeup remover if you are wearing foundation or powder. It is also a good idea to wash your face twice a day with a cleanser containing ingredients meant to clear pores of dirt and bacteria. It may also be helpful to use facial scrubs, toners, and pore strips to unclog blocked pores. Any serums, lotions, or makeup applied to your face should be noncomedogenic, which will help to prevent blocked pores in the first place, thereby making cleaning your pores easier and reducing blemishes.

If you wear makeup, use a gentle makeup remover prior to washing your face. Foundations and powders block the cleansing agents in face washes from clearing out clogged pores, and washing your face while still wearing makeup can actually push the makeup into your skin. Removing makeup prior to washing will increase the effectiveness of your face soap.

Once you remove your makeup, use an oil free cleanser to clear out your pores. Face washes containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or retinoids are typically the most effective because these ingredients open up the pores and dissolve the dirt and bacteria inside of them. Warm water is also advised because the heat relaxes the pores and enables the cleanser to penetrate the skin; very hot water can irritate your skin and should be avoided.


While beneficial for unclogging blocked pores, facial scrubs should only be used a few times a week to avoid irritation. If you decide to use a scrub, make sure to thoroughly cleanse your face beforehand to avoid pushing any dirt into the pores. Scrubs can help to unclog pores by removing dead skin cells resting on top of the pores, thus allowing dirt and particles to wash away.

Toners, especially those containing glycolic acid, may be helpful in unclogging blocked pores as well. Glycolic acid acts as a gentle exfoliant and also helps to dissolve pore blocking particles. To avoid irritation, toners should only be used once a day or every other day. They are most effective at unclogging blocked pores when used on freshly cleansed skin.

Pore strips can effectively unclog blocked pores, although they may be irritating for sensitive skin. These strips are usually applied while your face is still wet. Once a strip dries on your face, it should be quickly removed, thereby pulling out dirt and impurities. Pore strips should only be used one to three times a week.

Once your skin is cleansed and your pores are clear, it is important to prevent clogged pores in the future. Serums, lotions, and makeup that are labeled as noncomedogenic can help with prevention. These products are commonly sold for acne prone or sensitive skin, although they can be helpful for anyone looking to unblock pores and achieve clear skin.


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