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How to Keep Your Pores Clean, According to a Dermatologist

No more random breakouts.
How to Keep Your Pores Clean, According to a Dermatologist
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/yassipressman
No more random breakouts.

Truth is, our pores get clogged—daily. While it's easy to blame dirt, pollution, or even our beauty products for it, but you'll be surprised to find out that they aren't the only ones to blame.

According to Dr. Genevieve Chua of Chi Dermatology, it's normal for our pores to become clogged. As a matter of fact, our pores can be clogged and show us literally no sign of it; and once we don’t apply the necessary medication, they eventually turn into acne, wrinkles, or an entirely different skin issue. So even if you don’t breakout, maintenance is key to having healthy skin.

Other than keeping your hands off your face and quitting that skin picking habit, here are Dr. Genevieve's tips for clean pores all year round:

1. Stay consistent with your skincare routine.

After a long day of being out and about, your pores would have already picked up enough dirt that could result to blemishes if not removed. Hence, Dr. Genevieve says that using a mild cleanser is essential for maintaining clean and healthy pores. That said, avoid overwashing (cleansing more than twice a day), since this will lead to either irritation or dryness. Simply cleanse after a humid day and before you go to bed, and you should be good to go.

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2. Keep clay masks on standby.

If you’re on a budget, but still want to keep your face glowing, grab a clay mask from your local drugstore. Clay masks are known for their natural ability to draw out impurities from the skin. It’s safe, easy, and will absorb those unwanted oils in a 10-minute session.

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3. Remove your makeup thoroughly.

Every time you sleep with makeup on, all that product will mix with the sweat and bacteria your skin collected throughout the day. It's also incredibly drying for your skin, since it hasn't had a fresh layer of moisture for an extended time. So before you snooze off, make sure to cleanse thoroughly and moisturize.

4. Exfoliate weekly.

On top of cleansing your face daily, exfoliating weekly is highly recommended to loosen up your pores and keep them clear. This will get rid of any dead skin cells that might clog them and lead to breakouts.

You may ask your dermatologist for exfoliating products, such as products containing salicylic acid. This beta-hydroxy acid is notorious for penetrating pores and unclogging them, making it excellent for exfoliation. Its chemical composition allows it loosen dead skin cells and dissolve black and white heads.

5. Try stronger exfoliants.

While exfoliating acids may sound intimidating, desperate times do call for desperate measures. Don’t worry, when used right, no harm should be done.


Retinoic acid and benzoyl peroxide are two potent ingredients that can effecetively unclog pores by preventing dead skin cells from congesting the pore, and instead push them to the surface. These acids will also help your other skincare products to absorb better. It's completely normal for first-timers to experience dryness and redness, but applying every other day should build your skin's tolerance eventually.

Above everything, be sure to consult with a dermatologist before making any impulsive decisions, especially if you’re planning to use strong acids. Using the wrong products will do you more harm than good in the long run, so consulting a professional before anything will ensure you're in good hands.

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