SEAWEED & MINT EXFOLIATING SCRUB
This invigorating cleanser works to clear away impurities from deep within your pores.
Clogged pores can be prevented!
WHY PORES GET CLOGGED
Pores are tiny openings in our skin that allow sweat and oil to escape to cool the body (sweating), release toxins and moisturize the skin (sebum).
The skin has two main glands: the oil gland and the sweat gland. The oil gland secretes sebum and the sweat gland excretes water and trace minerals, such as salts and urea that are being eliminated from the body.
Pores become blocked with excess oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, dirt, air pollution and makeup. These pore blockages are known as comedones. Open comedones are blackheads and closed comedones are whiteheads (pimples).
PROBLEMS WITH CLOGGED PORES
When our pores become clogged, our skin is unable to expel waste, sweat and oil. The result is rough texture, unsightly blackheads, pimples, breakouts and acne, flaking. Often our pores can eventually enlarge, compounding the problem.
5 WAYS TO CLEAR CLOGGED PORES
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells. We can use chemicals to dissolve those dead skin cells and granular products to scrub them off.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), lactic acid, glycolic acid and salycilic acids are all chemical exfoliants that dissolve dead skin. Salicylic acid, in particular, is lipophilic, meaning that it is attracted to and dissolves oily substances- like all that gunk in a clogged pore. That's why we reach for salicylic acid (willow bark being the natural form of it) to treat and prevent breakouts.
- AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids)
- Glycolic Acid
- Lactic Acid
- Salycilic Acid
Physically scrubbing the skin is another way to remove dead skin cells and open those pores. The trick is to get a scrub that works well, but not too well. We want to remove dead skin without injuring our live skin cells. Sugar and salt are larger particles with angular, sharp edges that work best on the thicker skin of our arms, legs, feet, hands and backs. I discourage use on the face, neck and chest though because these tend to be too rough and can irritate and injure the more delicate skin. Instead, opt for something with smaller particles like cleansing grains. Round particles like jojoba wax beads are best for thin and sensitive skin.
- Sugar & salt for arms, legs & back
- Grains & jojoba wax beads for face, neck & chest
- Textured cloths, brushes and loofahs
During a facial treatment, a skincare specialist or dermatologist may offer skin extractions. Using a metal extractor tool or their hands, they manually apply pressure around clogged pores. This extracts the content of blackheads.
Extraction can also be performed on pimples, if the specialist thinks they can be unclogged.
After the extraction, the specialist applies an antibacterial or antiseptic to bring the skin back to its natural pH and prevent breakouts. They may also apply soothing masks or other treatments.
It’s important to leave extractions to a skincare professional. “Popping” breakouts on your skin at home can actually damage pores and lead to more breakouts.
If you’re interested in facial extractions, try professional treatments once a month for best results.
Because steam is intensely hydrating, it softens the top layer of the epidermis, which aids in exfoliating dead skin cells and promoting cell renewal. You can use plain water or explore different herbs to add to your steam.
Many estheticians use steam as part of their facial treatment to soften the epidermis and open the pores before performing extractions. After the pores are open, treatments like masks and moisturizers are absorbed more deeply into the skin.
DEEP CLEANING YOUR PORES
Drawing agents like activated charcoal and clay masks literally pull all the nastiness out of our pores and hold onto it, washing it away when we rinse the mask off.
HOW TO MAINTAIN OPEN PORES
- Wash your face every night.
Use a toner and/or serum with salicylic acid 3-7 times a week.
Try our Yarrow & Willow Bark BHA Toner
- Switch to natural makeup or skip makeup altogether, at least a few days a week.
- Exfoliate 2-3 times a week.
- Don't wear makeup while you workout- sweating clears your pores.
- Treat your skin to regular facials. I like to get one once a month.
- Increase your water intake to one gallon a day- you'll be amazed at the difference in your skin!
Shop the CLEAR Collection
and keep those pores clear!
Angelina Swanson is the founder and chief formulator at aos [ angelina organic skincare ]. A self-described plant chemistry nerd, she's spent more than thirty years researching and developing skincare formulas that keep our skin healthy and radiant.
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