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You’ve most likely heard of clogged pores and probably realize that they have something to do with your breakouts. But do you know what causes clogged pores, how to clean your pores, and how to prevent clogged pores? You’re about to find out!
Before we dig in to how to get rid of clogged pores, it’s important to know what pores (and clogged pores!) actually are.
Pores are tiny holes in your skin that help oil (aka sebum) reach the surface to protect the skin and seal in moisture. As your skin sheds dead cells and produces oil, these dead cells, along with other substances, can get trapped in your pores, clogging them. Clogged pores can even be combination of excess dead skin, oil, bacteria, makeup residue, and even pollutants from the environment.
So what do clogged pores look like? A clogged pore will look larger than it usually does and feel bumpy. Or, you’ll see blackheads (an oxidized pore plug), a white- or skin-colored bump, or just an overall dull complexion. It may even appear as though you have little dots all over your face.
As you just learned, the mix of extra sebum and dead skin cells usually leads to blocked pores. However, there are additional factors to consider that likely lead to clogged pores.
Blocked pores don’t always lead to acne, but they certainly can. When bacteria starts to feed on the dead skin cells and oil that are trapped in your pore, it swells and gets inflamed. When your body sends white blood cells to fight the intruder and infection, that’s when the redness and inflammation increases, and you’ll sometimes see a white or yellow pus-filled head form.
Now that you’ve learned what clogged pores are and what leads to clogged pores, it’s time to find out how to clean your pores. To unclog pores, it’s all about the ingredients!
Glycolic acid is a superstar when it comes to unclogging pores as it’s able to infiltrate skin cells and dissolve bonds that hold excess sebum, dead skin cells and dirt together. The Revitalizing Toner in the Proactiv® Solution Acne Treatment System has glycolic acid as its main ingredient – so you can say goodbye to your days of clogged pores!
Adapalene is another ingredient that serves as an ideal clogged pores treatment. Previously available only by prescription, this retinoid works at the cellular level to help treat and prevent clogged pores like blackheads and whiteheads and prevent future breakouts. It can also help increase the rate of cell turnover. All this helps prevent blockages that can lead to clogged pores. More great news? Adapalene is the star ingredient in our ProactivMD® 3-Piece System!
What else can you do to clean your pores, or at least unclog them a bit and reduce their size? Here are some things you can do at home:
Now that you’ve got a handle on how to help unclog your pores, how do you keep them that way? Here are some lifestyle adjustments you can follow to help keep your pores in the clear:
Whether you’re genetically predisposed to having large pores and producing excess oil or your hygiene habits are leading to clogged pores, there are products that can help clean out your pores and easy lifestyle adjustments that can help keep your pores in the clear!
Try Proactiv+® — for dry or sensitive skin — featuring micronized benzoyl peroxide to dive directly into pores and help kill acne-causing bacteria while minimizing irritation.