The tiny openings in your skin, commonly called your pores, play a vital role in the health of your complexion and the skin on the rest of your body. The pores allow sebum, the natural lubricant for your skin tissue, to reach the outer layers of your skin, which is the driest portion of your complexion and most in need of regular moisture. The pores also help release sweat, a bodily function that exists in order to maintain healthy internal temperatures.
Since the pores are tiny, open tubules, it is as easy for items to enter them as it is for sebum and sweat to exit through them. Unfortunately, dirt, makeup residue and dead skin cells all have the ability to invade the pores, causing blockages that appear as tiny, black dots on your face. These blockages sometimes harden, forming comedones or blackheads that are difficult to remove. Blocked pores can also harbor bacteria, which cause infections and lead to the appearance of whiteheads or acne blemishes.
Anyone can develop blocked pores, but those with excessively oily skin or enlarged pores due to the natural loss of skin tone that occurs as you age are most susceptible to the problem. Blocked pores are most common on the skin of the nose and in the rest of the T-zone, which includes the forehead and chin, as these regions are often the oiliest parts of your complexion.
Because blocked pores are unsightly and make you more prone to embarrassing, uncomfortable blemishes, treatment is necessary to remove the congestion from the pores and clear the skin. Many people rely on a traditional home treatment that involves placing your face above a pot of gently boiling water. This treatment, called steaming, requires you to place your face over the steam from the pot for a full 10 to 15 minutes with a towel draped over the crown of your head to keep the moisture in. The steam causes your pores to dilate or widen and can loosen some of the debris caught inside of them.
Unfortunately, home steaming can lead to facial scalding if the water is too hot or if your skin is very delicate. If you have oily or mature skin, you may also need to steam your face regularly to maintain the results, which can be inconvenient for your busy schedule. Also, steaming is often ineffective at removing the hard deposits that are associated with blackheads.
Many women prefer over-the-counter beauty treatments for blocked pores because they can be seamlessly integrated into their regular beauty regimens, making it easy to obtain and maintain results. Also, beauty and skin care remedies are much more effective at removing blackheads and don't pose a risk for dangerous skin burns. A wide variety of over-the-counter skin care solutions are available for blocked pores, allowing you to fight clogs with every step of your beauty regimen.
Effective cleansers are vital to treating blocked pores as they remove the dirt and impurities that can exacerbate already congested skin. When treating blocked pores, it is crucial that you select a deep-cleansing formulation that actually penetrates the pores to sweep away dirt and oil rather than only providing a surface clean.
There are many cleansers which contain a host of ingredients that offer deep cleansing benefits that are ideal for those suffering from blocked pores due to aging skin or excessive oil production. Salicylic acid opens the pores, allowing the formula to penetrate into their tiny openings and remove dirt and oil. The natural acid also eliminates bacteria to cure the infections that cause acne and exfoliates the skin to prevent dry cells from entering and re-blocking your pores. Antioxidants present in some cleansers give you the added benefit of protection from wrinkle-causing free radicals in the air, while popular natural extracts strengthen your skin to minimize your pores.
Toners help balance the oil content of your skin, eliminating excess levels present in the T-zone area and making skin blockages less common. The best toners for treating skin congestion are those that contain additional supportive ingredients to specifically refine the pores.
Many purifying toners were created to address problems with clogged pores. Typically toners for blocked pores offer the benefit of salicylic acid or other beneficial exfoliating acids such as lactic acid. Other ingredients soak up excess oil naturally and stimulate the pores, causing them to open and release the dirt and oil deposits that they harbor. Typically toners will also soothe redness and minimizes irritation, which are common problems for complexions with severely clogged pores.
Because dry skin cells are one of the most common culprits of blocked pores, exfoliation is necessary to effectively treat the problem. Exfoliation speeds up the natural skin cell turnover process, removing dead skin cells before they can invade your pores. Many effective exfoliators on the market today were created to help those suffering from congested skin.
Exfoliators often contains granules or beads, which create friction to gently lift away dead, dry skin cells. These exfoliating agents have the added benefit of causing the mouths of the pores to widen, allowing the formula to enter the pores. Once inside the tiny openings, the exfoliator eliminates oil and lifts away clogs, including difficult-to-treat blackheads. Aloe vera can also be useful in providing a cooling, soothing finish on the skin.
Moisturizing is vital for all skin types. Even if you're battling clogged pores, you'll need to continually replenish the natural moisture content of your skin to prevent dryness and irritation; however, you must use caution when selecting moisturizers and avoid products that will further clog the pores.
Opt for a moisturizer that can reduce the oil content of your skin and replenish lost moisture. This will give your skin the hydration that it needs to look its best without exacerbating the problem of congestion. There are many multi-tasking hydrators which tighten and mattify while also balancing the skin.
Masks that dilate the pores and promote cleansing are vital to any regimen for treating skin congestion. Allowing your skin to benefit from the right blends of ingredients for an extended period of time speeds up the treatment process and allows you to enjoy clear, clean pores much faster.
Deeply purifying treatments make for the perfect mask solution for blocked pores, particularly in the T-zone area. These masks reduce oil levels on your face and exfoliate dead tissue, while traveling deeply into the pores to loosen clogs. Then, when you wash away the mask at the end of the treatment period, the dirt and debris that was lurking in your pores is whisked away with the mask. When used weekly, you'll notice a dramatic reduction in the appearance of clogged pores, even those caused by blackheads.
Skin care treatments round out a complete regimen for eliminating blocked pores. The right treatments can greatly boost the overall effectiveness of the cleansers, toners, exfoliators and masks that you use to clean and purify your pores.
Purifying night treatments often contain natural ingredients that penetrate the outer layer of your skin to reach your pores. While you sleep, essential oils such as ylang ylang, tea tree leaf oil and other natural extracts, dissolve blockages and balance the tone of very oily and combination skin. Many formulas are developed to work all night long, making your skin clearer and more refined when you wake up.
Many pore minimizers were designed specifically for blocked pores in the T-zone area. These products rely on effective ingredients to strengthen and reshape the tubes located inside of your pores. This effectively shrinks your pores, while purging the dirt, oil and dead skin contributing to blockages.