Are you using the most effective method?
Pores are the tiny openings through which the oil, or sebum, produced by your body is transmitted to the surface of your skin. Your pores can become clogged for a number of reasons – excess oil resulting from hormonal changes, dry skin, a buildup of dead skin cells, or dirt and oil becoming stuck beneath the surface.
When the skin closes over the top of a clogged pore, you get a pimple – aka a closed comedone. When it doesn’t, you get a blackhead – aka an open comedone. There is a specific set of rules for popping pimples, but there are many ways to unclog pores and get rid of blackheads. We’ve scored each so you can minimize pores with minimal effort.
There’s something oddly rewarding about peeling off a pore strip and examining all the gunk you’ve just pulled out of your face. But their effectiveness holds far less satisfaction. Pore strips contain water-activated ingredients that adhere to the top layers of dirt, oil and dead skin cells. What you see in the marvelous display of debris on a used strip is merely what’s on the surface of your skin. So, while they’re undeniably fun and cost-effective, pore strips are not the best long-term solution for eliminating clogged pores.
Pore Score: 4/10
Where sheet masks lock moisture in, clay masks soak up excess oil in the hopes of cleaning out pores. Unfortunately, this method can strip your skin of necessary moisture, so stick to proven formulas that contain ingredients like sulfur, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, and only use once a week.
Pore Score: 5/10
Choose a scrub with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid. The exfoliators help remove the top layer of dead skin cells, dirt and oil, and the salicylic acid will help draw out impurities from deep within clogged pores. But don’t go overboard trying to see results faster; you can damage your skin scrubbing too hard or too often. Scrubs are a once-a-week only kind of method.
Pore Score: 6/10
A comedone extractor unclogs pores in a precise manner – aka without using your fingers. The small loop targets whiteheads, while the flat loop helps get rid of blackheads. It is undeniably effective, but the technique can be difficult to master. If done wrong, you might do more harm than good, leaving scars or forcing impurities deeper into the pore. Translation: do your homework before you decide to go down this route.
Pore Score: 8/10
Facial Cleansing Brush
Keep your pores from clogging in the first place by adding a sonic face brush to your cleansing routine. The T-Sonic pulsations of LUNA exfoliate dead skin cells and lift away impurities that can clog your pores. It’s gentle enough to use twice a day every day, so it’s like giving yourself a mini-facial at home.
Pore Score: 9/10
The most effective way to extract gunk from clogged pores is to schedule an appointment with a professional. They know exactly how to get rid of blackheads, and can do so without damaging the surrounding skin while you lay back and relax to soothing spa sounds.
Pore Score: 10/10
Katie Steadman is a native Texan roaming Asia with a penchant for writing, and solving sudoku puzzles at breakneck speed.