How to Clean Clogged Pores

Clogged pores are a nuisance that prevent people from having clear skin. They can lead to whiteheads, blackheads, enlarged pores and inflamed pimples. Clogged pores are a result of rapidly regenerating skin cells that don't shed in time. Thus, they clog skin pores and hair follicles. It only takes contact with dirt or bacteria to cause the clogged pores to become inflamed and turn into painful and embarrassing pimples.

Things You'll Need

  • Salicylic acid gel, lotion or cream
  • Salicylic acid scrub
  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Blackhead remover gun
  • Cotton swab


    • 1

      Apply gel, lotion or cream containing salicylic acid every night before bed. Salicylic acid controls the growth of skin cells, thereby cleaning out and preventing clogged pores. Apply a thin layer all over your face or on the areas that have the most clogged pores, such as the nose, chin and forehead.

    • 2

      Exfoliate with an oil-free scrub that contains salicylic acid. Neutrogena's Acne Stress Control Scrub has tiny beads that help remove dead skin cells, dirt and oil. This scrub should be used only 2 to 3 times a week to prevent skin from over-drying. Apply a dollop of the scrub onto slightly damp skin, and massage in a circular motion. Rinse off with warm water.

    • 3

      Apply tea tree essential oil onto your skin with a cotton swab. Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic and antimicrobial agent that helps clean clogged pores, preventing the occurrence of blackheads, pimples and other acne. Dip a cotton swab into the tea tree oil and smooth it over the areas with clogged pores.

    • 4

      Get a microdermabrasion treatment. This is an acne-clearing and pore-unclogging treatment that is best done by a professional. There are several brands of home microdermabrasion kits, but if this is your first time, it's best to have it done by a skilled esthetician. A mechanical device is used to strip away dead skin cells and clean clogged pores. One treatment will keep your pores clean and clear for up to 6 months. Repeated treatments (at least twice a year) are needed to prevent pores from becoming clogged again.

    • 5

      Use a blackhead remover gun to clean clogged pores. A blackhead remover gun is like a vacuum with powerful suction cups that massage the skin to open clogged pores and clean out hardened dirt and oil. Steam your face (or press a warm washcloth over your face) for about 5 minutes to make it easier to remove the blackheads. Turn on the battery-operated remover gun and press the tip onto the area with the clogged pores. Slide over your skin until you have treated all the clogged pores. Wash the tip with soap and water, and store for future use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult your dermatologist if your acne or clogged pores worsen, or if you have any adverse reactions to the above treatments.
  • Don't pick at your clogged pores with your fingers; this may lead to scarring or worse acne infections, by spreading bacteria from your fingers onto your skin.
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