What Does It Really Mean To Have Clogged Pores?

Clogged pores are the discreet mother of all evils. After all, acne is the result of clogged pores. Wrinkles are also triggered by clogged pores. So, what are clogged pores? According to the Cleveland Clinic, the pores, which are microscopic holes on your skin that secrete oil, are clogged when dead skin cells, pollutants, and oil get trapped in them. Skin cells usually die and fall off, but when surplus oil rises up from the sebaceous gland and mixes with dead cells, the follicular canal is clogged.


Pores that are clogged with oil and dirt also appear larger and more noticeable, says dermatologist Dr. Schultz of BeautyRx. Clogged pores can lead to whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, or swelling cysts. They are commonly found on people's faces but are also found on the scalp, shoulders, and chest. Pore accumulation can happen to any skin type, and is a major obstacle to smoother skin and brighter complexion. To treat acne and blemishes effectively in the long run, you need to know how to unclog pores and keep them squeaky clean. As such, here are some insights into pores and how they should be treated.

Causes of clogged pores and their symptoms

According to Kate Somerville, common causes of clogged pores include makeup residues, hormonal imbalance, excessive perspiration, bacterial skin infection, and oil accumulation in the pores. Dehydrated skin, lack of face washing, and excessive use of anti-aging lotions also contribute to blocked pores. When the pores are clogged, your skin struggles to get rid of excess oil. Numerous studies have shown that people with oily skin are more likely to get clogged pores and acne. However, dry skin is also a candidate for clogged pores. Your body produces more oil when your skin is dry in order to assist it to retain moisture, which can result in blocked pores and skin congestion. Therefore, refrain from overwashing or over-exfoliating your face to avoid overdrying it.


Some daily habits that could be leading to clogged pores, as dermatologist Samer Jaber tells The Healthy, include smoking, sleeping on unwashed bedding, touching the face, sunbathing, and gluing the phone to your face as you talk. Wearing heavy makeup during a workout can trap sweat and germs, resulting in skin congestion and breakouts. While congested pores are common and hard to avoid, they can be managed with a proper skincare routine and healthy everyday habits.

How to prevent and treat clogged pores

Congested pores can be prevented by keeping your face free of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. To dislodge excess oil and pore-blocking skin cells, Kiehl's recommends washing your face twice daily with a mild exfoliating cleanser. After a thorough face wash, apply a mild toner to your face to further eliminate excess oil and impurities as well as minimize the pores. Dehydration can trigger clogged pores, so take care to moisturize your skin with a non-comedogenic moisturizer to keep it hydrated. To keep early signs of aging at bay, always put on sunscreen before going out.


To treat clogged pores, Bioré advises against picking at your pores to avoid enlarging the pores, irritating the affected area, and creating acne scars. Those with an oily skin type and who suffer from a lot of pore accumulation can benefit from a cleanser containing salicylic acid, an oil-soluble ingredient that exfoliates the skin and keeps the pores clear. Retinol cream can also be used to unclog pores and boost collagen production to give you a fresher complexion.

You will never be able to entirely remove excess oil from your pores. However, a well-thought-out skincare treatment may aid in preventing your pores from becoming trapped with oil and impurities.