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Clogged Pores

Clogged pores, also known as comedones, can be a precursor to bigger skin problems, most notably acne. Comedones are simply hair follicle pores that are obstructed by dead skin cells and an oily substance called sebum. Sebum is a sticky, oily substance produced by sebaceous glands that line the hair follicle. It normally keeps skin moist and supple, but too much sebum can cause problems too.

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When the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, it blocks off the pore opening and dead skin cells and other debris accumulate causing a blockage. If the clogged pore becomes infected or inflamed, it can lead to the familiar papules and pustules we know of as acne. At other times, pores can be obstructed without becoming inflamed. In this case, they appear as blackheads or whiteheads on the surface of the skin. All occurrences are considered unsightly and unpleasant, which is why there’s so much focus on treating them.

What Causes Them?

Clogged pores are usually caused by the overproduction of sebum. Sebum has the useful purpose of providing the oils needed to keep skin well moisturized. But when sebum production goes into overdrive, it can cause comedones and, even worse, acne. Excess production of sebum is often triggered by hormonal changes. That’s why clogged pores and acne are so common in adolescents as their hormone levels fluctuate around puberty.

According to research, some people have larger sebaceous glands. This predisposes them to comedones and acne. People with clogged pores and acne usually also have a rapid build-up of skin cells around follicles that causes them to become blocked. In addition, there’s a genetic component to clogged pores and acne. It runs in families to some degree.


Fortunately, there are ways to treat clogged pores and reduce blackheads, whiteheads and acne. Start by cleansing skin twice a day with a mild cleanser, but never use an abrasive cleanser or hot water. This can irritate skin and increase sebum production. Choose a cleanser which contains salicylic acid. This will allow for a deep cleanse without irritating the skin or stimulating excess oil production. The cleanser will help slough off surface skin cells that can clog pores. Salicyclic acid is a proven effective treatment for comedones.

Follow up by applying a mattifier to oily areas and areas with comedones. Choose one that contains salicyclic acid along with ingredients that ease irritation, clarify skin and reduce pore size. Your pores will look visibly smaller after using this type of product consistently.

Many cosmetic products contain ingredients that can clog pores and worsen comedones. Always look for skin care products and make-up that is marked “non-comedogenic” clearly on the label. There is a long list of cosmetic ingredients that can trigger comedones. Learn to recognize them when choosing products you apply to your skin.

In more severe cases, especially when acne is also a problem, comedones can be treated with prescription-strength topical retinoids such as Retin-A. Retinoids help to increase the rate that surface skin cells are shed, and it reduces their tendency to stick together. This diminishes pore obstruction. Unfortunately, many people cannot tolerate topical retinoids because of redness and skin irritation. That is why it is a good idea to try products containing salicyclic acid first. They may cause mild skin irritation but not to the same degree as retinoids.

If you have clogged pores and comedones, avoid wearing hats, scarves or helmets that touch your face, and don’t pick at your skin. This will only make the problem worse and can trigger acne outbreaks.

The Bottom Line?

Clogged pores are a common problem in adolescents, teens and adults. Fortunately, there are treatments such as salicyclic acid that can make comedones far less of a problem.


Clogged Pores Products

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A powerful skin detoxifying regimen to clear and reduce pores.
$169.00 $203.00 value
1.00 ct | CS106
In Stock
Moisture replenisher with vitamin-E and marine extracts.
2oz | SK015
In Stock
Gently removes impurities, excess oils, and makeup.
8oz | SK021
In Stock
Weekly hydroxy acid deep pore cleansing masque.
2oz | SK012
In Stock
Designed for congested and/or rough skin, this scrub provides intense and even exfoliation.
5 oz | SK071
In Stock
Detoxify, purify and refine.
$65.00 $79.00 value
1ct. | CS107
In Stock
A multi award-winning mask that decongests pores, combats puffiness and reduces redness.
3.38oz | EO007
In Stock
Multi-benefit serum combats skin eruptions, unclogs and refines pores.
1oz | KU006
In Stock
This non-foaming Glycolic Facial Cleanser from Anthony skincare contains just the right amount of Glycolic Acid.
$70.00 $100.00 value
32 oz | AN143
In Stock
Remove oil and build up with this gentle cleanser.
180ml | CL015
In Stock
Includes the Refreshing Gel Cleanser and two Sensitive Brush Heads.
$69.00 $79.00 value
In Stock
A dual-action device that uses sonic waves to purify pores and massage products into skin.
1ct. | BS185
In Stock
A multi-sensory cleansing experience, to achieve super amplified, deep cleansing, yet gentle results.
1.7oz | GG005
In Stock
A 3-in-1, no-rinse treatment that deeply cleanses as it gently exfoliates and conditions.
4oz | NV235
In Stock
This formula removes the accumulation of dead surface cells, refines the pores and eliminates impurities.
1.9oz | TX006
In Stock
Removes makeup and impurities while softening and smoothing.
4oz | ZB012
In Stock
This cleansing oil gently purifies and melts away all traces of makeup, leaving skin clean, clear and supple.
3.4oz | EH035
In Stock
Includes the Refreshing Gel Cleanser and two Normal Brush Heads.
$69.00 $79.00 value
In Stock
Removes pore-clogging impurities and helps calm and reduce inflammation and redness.
3.53oz | KV010
In Stock
Exfoliate, detoxify, and gently remove impurities for softer, smoother skin.
1.7oz | LX008
In Stock
Four replacement brush heads for any Clarisonic Device.
$75.00 $108.00 value
No Longer Available
Stimulate skin cells with this hand held electrotherapy tool.
No Longer Available
An invigorating gel cleanser that contains a powerful blend of pore refining ingredients.
6oz | CS108
In Stock
This foaming gel cleanser removes excess oils, unclogs pores and purifies the skin.
4.7oz | FC028
In Stock

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