29 Nov 2018

How to Get into ‘Pore Heaven’ – Your Guide to Clean Pores

Pores, we all have an interesting relationship with them. One of those ‘yeah, we talk, but it’s complicated’ kind of relationships. Trying to keep your pores clean at all times is a full-time job that is worth committing to, but boy can it be a tiring one. Want to learn how to achieve perfect, poreless skin? Watch and learn – but also, take the words ‘poreless’ and ‘perfect’ with a grain of salt, because getting into ‘pore heaven’ is not an easy ride.

Check the ingredient list – Always

Potassium Chloride, chlorella, carrageenan, do any of these ingredients ring a bell? Probably not, just like 95% of your favorite products’ ingredients list. The reason why it’s important to keep an eye out on how your skin care products are formulated, is because beauty companies can throw around the words ‘non-comedogenic’ and ‘non-acnegenic’ all they want, but the ingredients lists often prove otherwise. Good thing you don’t need your Master’s in chemistry to figure out every ingredient. There are websites and apps where you can simply copy and paste the ingredients or scan the product, and it will tell you whether it contains pore-clogging ingredients. If yes, ban those products from your routine.

Gelcream - pores

Acids and purifying ingredients – name a more iconic duo

With heavy makeup days, oil build-up and pollution, your pores still risk getting clogged no matter how clean you try to keep your skin care routine. Therefore, you need a plan B to tackle those blackheads and closed comedones. Exfoliation, or chemical exfoliation to be precise, is a good way to dissolve the nasty build-up in your pores. Look for products that contain salicylic acid, this acid is oil-soluble, which means that it easily penetrates into the skin. Besides acids there are other ingredients that can help you achieve the skin texture of your dreams, such as retinol or certain clay masks that draw out all the impurities. It’s about finding the ingredients that work well with your skin type.

Tom Newton - pores

When in doubt, reach out to a pro

Oftentimes you’ll notice that some blackheads take forever to clear up no matter how much you take care of your skin. These are the stubborn kind and will probably only clear up when extracted by a pro. “Can’t I just extract the blackhead myself?” You could, if you really know what you’re doing. Extracting a blackhead needs to be done in a hygienic and careful way so you don’t leave unnecessary scars on your face. Good timing is key too. If you want to extract it too soon, you’ll most likely end up making it worse, turning the blackhead into an inflamed pimple.


Did you know that there are two types of ‘clogged pores’? You can either be struggling with open comedones, which we all know as blackheads. Or you could be dealing with closed comedones, these are the flesh-colored bumps that make your skin texture appear uneven. Both are a result of trapped skin cells and oil build-up, but unlike closed comedones, blackheads turn into a black/brown color because the oil-plug is exposed.

Bella Hadid Facial Mask Pores

The only time shrinkage is a good thing

Have you heard? Pores are multitalented, not only can they get clogged, they can also appear a lot larger than they should. The bad news is, there’s no such thing as actually shrinking your pore-size. The good news is, with the use of the right ingredients, you can minimize the look of large pores. Again, retinol is a good option, but so is niacinamide for example.

When it comes to makeup application, there are hundreds of primer options that will ‘fill up’ your pores. This masks their appearance and will also prevent your foundation from slipping into your pores.

Like I mentioned before, keeping your pores clean at all times is constant work. Start by going to the foundation of it all. Check your makeup and skin care ingredients and try to get rid of as many harmful products as you can. And step two is to make sure you add one ingredient to your routine that will tackle any oil build-up that will lead to clogged pores.

Photo credits: Tom Newton, Gelcream, Bella Hadid

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