Acne is undoubtedly one of the most common complexion concerns worldwide. Research indicates that up to 80 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 will develop at least a mild form of acne at some point in their lives. While diet, lifestyle, and genetics can all increase the likelihood of developing acne blemishes, all breakouts have the same underlying cause: clogged pores.
Pores are little divots on the skin that secrete sweat and oil (otherwise known as sebum). When a pore is clogged—either due to overproduction of oil or because it’s physically blocked by dead skin cells—a blemish will likely develop.
As severe acne is a medical condition, you should always consult your doctor. Unclogging pores can help to keep transient blemishes, like blackheads, at bay. Thankfully, clogged pores on the face can be managed with a few key skincare products. We’ve put together a simple skincare routine to address blocked pores with just a few Kiehl’s essentials. Read on to learn how to unclog pores and manage congestion for a clearer, healthier-looking complexion.
Step 1: Cleanse and Tone
Preventing congested pores requires keeping the complexion clean and free of build-up. Wash your face twice daily with a gentle, exfoliating cleanser to remove dirt and oil and help slough off pore-clogging dead skin cells. We recommend Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser, which stars Amazonian white clay and helps to absorb excess oil and minimise the appearance of pores. This top-rated cleanser also gently exfoliates the skin’s surface to remove dead skin and other impurities that can lead to breakouts.
After cleansing, replenish the complexion with a mild toner, such as Ultra Facial Toner for Oily Skin Types. This lightweight formula for oily skin removes residue, dirt and oil without stripping skin of moisture and is designed to reduce excess oil for a fresher, healthier-looking complexion. We also recommend Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner. It helps to cleanse and refresh skin, soothing problem skin. Our non-comedogenic customer favourite is suitable for normal to oily skin types, including sensitive skin, and visible blotchiness & surface oil.
Step 2: Correct and Replenish
Several factors can influence how large facial pores appear, including age, skin type and ethnicity. For example, oily skin can make pores more visible. Pores also appear more prominent when they’re clogged, because they stretch to accommodate the contents blocking them. While some of these factors are unavoidable, learning how to clean pores effectively can help you achieve a smoother, clearer-looking complexion.
You can unclog pores and minimise overall oiliness by incorporating a purifying face mask, such as Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask, into your weekly skincare routine. This detoxifying treatment contains Amazonian white clay and helps to clean the skin from pore-clogging dirt, oil, and other impurities.
We recommend using your clay mask twice per week or as needed to refine the skin.
Age-induced loss of elasticity can also influence how prominent pores appear. To help prevent enlarged pores, apply an antioxidant-rich hydrating serum to the face after cleansing and toning (or if you’re masking, after rinsing off your facial mask). We recommend Powerful Strength Vitamin C Serum, which contains an efficacious blend of Hyaluronic acid and 12.5% Vitamin C. This powerful serum firms the skin and visibly reduce the appearance of pores for a smoother, more radiant looking complexion.
Step 3: Hydrate
You may be hesitant to moisturise an oily complexion for fear that doing so will further congest your skin, but actually, the opposite is true. Dehydrated skin often over-produces oil to compensate for the loss of moisture, resulting in excessive oiliness and increasing the likelihood of developing blocked pores.
If you have oily skin or frequently deal with clogged pores, reach for a non-comedogenic moisturiser, such as Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream. The lightweight formula features glacial glycoprotein and desert plant extract and helps to condition skin with up to 24-hour moisture. It absorbs quickly and has a non-greasy, shine-free finish, making it ideal for those with naturally oily complexions.
For around the eyes, we recommend a hydrating eye cream, such as the cult-classic Avocado Eye Cream. It’s formulated with beta-carotene and avocado oil and helps to brighten the appearance of the under-eye area while providing lasting moisture. Dab it on with your ring finger to avoid tugging at the delicate under-eye skin.
Step 4: Protect
We’re betting you already know that sun exposure can cause signs of premature ageing, such as fine lines, wrinkles and sun spots. What you might not know is that it can also cause pores to appear larger. Repeated exposure to UV radiation decreases collagen production, leading to sagging skin and more prominent pores. Sun exposure also stimulates oil production and alters sebum, making it stickier and more likely to clog pores. Protect your complexion with a non-comedogenic sunscreen, such as Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50. This lightweight facial sunscreen has a lightweight, non-greasy finish and helps to protect skin from environmental aggressors including UVA/UVB rays and pollution, which can cause the first signs of ageing. Apply it to your face as the final step in your skincare routine for healthier-looking, clearer skin.