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5 Best Products To Unclog Congested Pores

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If you have acne then you must use the right skincare products that won’t further irritate your delicate skin barrier or aggravate your breakouts and make them worse.

Acne or no, the products you use matter especially if you’re dealing with congested pores.

Congested skin or clogged pores is an extremely common and annoying skincare concern.

Clogged pores can be stressful and hard to get rid of but here are five products that can help.

The best products to unclog pores

These are products you can incorporate easily into your skincare routine to help keep your pores healthy and happy.

  1. The Ordinary Peeling Solution AHA 30% + BHA 2%
  2. Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2%
  3. Paula’s Choice Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA + Hyaluronic Acid
  4. COSRX AHA + BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
  5. Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

1. The Ordinary Peeling Solution AHA 30% + BHA 2%

best products for clogged pores

This is a super effective treatment for blackheads, whiteheads, or moderate to severe acne. 

It contains alpha-hydroxy acids that exfoliate the surface of your skin and help to gently dissolve the gunk inside your pores.

It also has BHA that goes deep into your pores to clear away any oil, bacteria and debris stuck in there.

Use it once or twice a week to get the best results without stripping your skin and causing irritation.

Buy it online from SkinStore, Beauty Bay or Amazon.

2. Paulas Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2%

best products for clogged pores

This 2% Salicylic acid solution is ideal and one of the best products to unclog pores if you have oily skin and moderate to severe acne breakouts.

It’s suitable for all skin types, lightweight and won’t feel heavy on your skin.

Buy it now on Amazon.

3. Paula’s Choice Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA + Hyaluronic Acid

best product for clogged pores

Besides containing 2% salicylic acid to help clean bacteria from your pore, this also has hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump your skin and accelerate the healing process.

Buy it online from Amazon.

4. COSRX AHA + BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner

best products to unclog pores

This toner is full of gentle exfoliating and hydrating ingredients.

And with consistent use, after a few weeks, you can have a bright, radiant and glowing complexion.

Buy it online on Yesstyle, Beauty Bay or Amazon.

5. Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

products to unclog pores

This serum is great for all skin types, has a strong combination of exfoliating acids like glycolic, salicylic and lactic, and can help unclog your pores, balance your sebum production, and prevent acne breakouts.

Buy it online from Amazon.

What causes clogged pores? 

Your pores are openings in your skin that release oil and sweat. They’re also connected to your hair follicles.

They get clogged when dead skin cells, excess oil and grime get trapped in your skin instead of shedding into the environment.

When your pores are clogged, this can cause blackheads, whiteheads, acne and a dull-looking complexion.

Having a good skincare routine can help keep unwanted dead skin cells, bacteria and oil from settling in your pores and causing breakouts.

This is the perfect environment for cystic acne to thrive.

Do clogged pores go away on their own?

No, clogged pores won’t go away on their own.

If you have clogged pores, it’s better to be proactive otherwise it can lead to all sorts of issues.

And one of the best ways of doing that is by being consistent and persistent with your skincare routine.

And part of that is having a good skin-friendly cleanser (one that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils) and an exfoliator that works for your skin type to keep your pores clean. 

Product picks:

skincare routine for acne

What does a clogged pore look like?

Clogged pores can make your skin look bumpy, textured, and your complexion look dull and lifeless.

It can also cause blackheads, whiteheads and acne.

How do you get rid of clogged pores?

Not by squeezing. If you’re constantly poking at and squeezing your pimples, the wear and tear will make your pores larger over time and that’s the last thing you want.

To get a handle on clogged pores, you need a good skincare routine. You need a good cleanser and exfoliator.

That’s the first step to getting rid of most skin concerns, including clogged pores.

Exfoliation is super important here but stay away from harsh scrubs.

Those won’t truly get to the root of your problem and will only tear your skin and make things worse. Use a chemical exfoliator instead.


How can I permanently shrink my pores?

Unfortunately, you can’t permanently shrink your pores.

How many you have and the size of your pores is genetic and based on how your glands are made.

Nor can you shrink your pores.

What you can do is make them look smaller with regular exfoliation and following a good skincare routine.

Can you actually unclog pores?

It’s possible to get rid of some of the buildups in your pores but will you be able to get rid of all of it?

Probably not.

You can keep your pores clear with a solid skincare routine and avoid pore-clogging products.

However, because your skin is always producing oil and shedding dead cells there’s no way to keep it completely clean.

Your pores will only fill up again in a few days.

Can unclogging pores reduce their appearance?

Yes and no. There isn’t a way to reduce or shrink the size of your pores.

But be careful because your pores can stretch and look bigger.

If your pores are always clogged, over time the clog changes your pore tissue, enlarging and dilating it.

A regular skincare routine will help keep your pores cleaned which over time will make them appear smaller.

What products should you avoid if you have clogged pores?

If your pores are clogged then it’s a good idea to stay away from heavy creams and lotions because they could potentially clog your pores even more.

The best way to do that is by looking for and using non-comedogenic creams and lotions. This means that the ingredients don’t include anything that’s known to clog pores.

Some of the worst offenders are products with oils and butter categories, like coconut oil and shea butter.

Those are better used elsewhere on your body and not your face.

Studies have shown that a diet high in whey protein (think whey protein bars and shakes) and dairy makes the skin more prone to acne and clogged pores.

Final Thoughts

Clogged pores can be stressful and the cause of skin concerns like blackheads, cystic acne, discolouration and dullness so it’s important to keep them clean.

One of the easiest ways to do that is by taking care of your skin, following a skincare routine and staying away from products with pore-clogging ingredients.

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