You already know the story.
You buy pore strips, and pull a bunch of white gunk out of your skin (like the picture above).
Or maybe you got a facial, or used a charcoal mask.
But the next day your pores looks the SAME.
That's because nothing is being extracted from your pores with strips (or very little).
I know it looks like your pores are being cleaned, but it's only pulling out the sebaceous filaments in your skin.
Sebaceous filaments are those tiny blonde hairs on skin that hold sebum which protects you from infections.
Pulling those out can cause permanent damage to your skin - they are NOT meant to be pulled out.
Pores on the other hand, are a completely different thing.
The Truth About Your Pores
The truth is that your pores require MUCH more pressure to push out what's inside.
You might get a few small ones out, but it's not worth the damage you'll be doing to your skin.
It can only be done with your fingernails or an unclogging tool, which I'll talk about in a second.
If you want to know more about why pore strips don't work then you can read this post.
Otherwise let's get started,
How I Unclogged My Pores and Shrank Them
Clogged pores aren't something to joke about - at least for me they aren't.
Acne is one thing, but it's another story when you see A LOT of dark colored dots on your face (and they're not blackheads).
It's almost worse than dealing with a bad breakout because you know they won't disappear within a week or so (like breakouts do).
The feeling is beyond miserable - but I don't need to describe it because you already know what I'm talking about.
Don't worry though,
I didn't write this blog for sympathy - I wrote it because about 5 months ago I learned how to unclog and shrink the pores on my nose, cheeks and forehead (and anywhere else on my face).
And it happened quickly too.
Within the first few days I couldn't stop checking the mirror because of how much smaller my pores were (it was awesome).
Now I'm at the point where I'm just trying to help others with the same issue, because I know how much it sucks (you're welcome in advanced).
I'm going to tell you exactly what is clogging your pores, and why it's happening.
Then I'll explain how to unclog your pores, and how to minimize them.
So let's get going,
What are Clogged Pores?
Acording to this article Dr. Yuri Kim explains her stance - how clogged pores aren't caused by anything out of the ordinary (like acne might be).
She says that pores on face skin become clogged from things like dead skin cells, oil from your hair, excess sebum production or even just dust and dirt.
The problem she explains is that most people don't have a daily exfoliating routine.
Apparently if you're acne prone and you don't wash your face enough then more bacteria will grow inside your clogged pores.
What Happens if You Don't Unclog Your Pores?
Eventually if you don't do anything, they'll turn into blackheads (which are even worse).
If you still don't do anything, some of them will eventually turn into pimples.
Your body basically has an alarm system specifically made for pimples forming.
It works like this,
Your immune cells are currently living next to your skin cells (side by side).
This also means inside your pores.
When your pore starts filling up with too much sebum, dirt, and dead cells - it becomes a dinner plate for bacteria growth.
That's NOT the problem though.
Your body is more than capable of handling this bacteria growth WITHOUT forming pimples.
But only if you have a strong immune system (which acne sufferers don't have).
If you're acne prone, this is what happens next -
Once your immune cells detect this new bacteria growth inside your pore - they instantly relay the message back to your brain.
Then your brain tells your body to start producing MORE sebum.
The new sebum production is directed to be released inside the exact pore which is being attacked by the bacteria.
That's when a pimple starts forming.
You can read the full battle between sebum and bacteria here if you want
So Why Your Body Knowingly Creates Pimples?
It does this because it uses sebum to trap the bacteria and slowly push it out of the pore, and also to protect your cells.
The picture below might help you understand better (the bacteria are the red dots).
To prevent the bacteria from penetrating your pore and entering your body (like the picture shows) - sebum will force it out through the opening.
It's pretty cool actually (besides the part where pimples form on your face obviously).
But if it weren't for sebum, we wouldn't be able to survive long at all because our skin would have no second defense against invading bacteria and other unwanted intruders.
You can read this if you want to know how sebum fully protects your body from infection.
Now let's get down to the important part,
How Antioxidants Clear and Shrunk My Pores?
Over a year ago I cleared my acne with an antioxidant treatment (I used Derma Drinkables because it's the strongest one, but there are others too).
My entire journey is here if you feel like reading it.
And yes, I'm also writing a few blogs for them since I offered in exchange for a few extra packs of drinkables that I can save in case of emergency.
But I'm not biased.
As long as the treatment your using is able to somehow control your sebum output, then you'll won't have a problem.
Like the evidence shows, controlling the sebaceous glands is the key to having clear skin.
This was the 1st step in the process I accidentally took though.
Let me say things more clearly,
How to Shrink Pores
Antioxidants literally made my pores shrink (and unclogged them).
And it happened during the first week I was taking them.
Not only that, but they fixed the bad texture of my skin - which I had been trying to do since I was 17.
I had also been trying for years to shrink my pores, but never with any luck.
I was straight up jealous of people who had tiny pores on their face, especially on their nose.
The first thing I did when meeting someone was check out the texture and pore-size of the skin on their face (tell me that's not pathetic).
But everyone hates large pores on their face (it's not just me I would think).
The Next Step Was Learning How to Unclog Pores
I knew that antioxidants were responsible for shrinking my pores, but it didn't solve my entire problem
Even though my pores were much smaller and less noticeable, they still were semi-clogged with a dark colored spec - just like before, only nowhere near as large.
They weren't blackheads though - because I know what blackheads look like and they're much bigger than what I had.
But once I unclogged them, it was something special.
Learning how to minimize my pores was amazing, but now my skin actually looked the way I've always wanted it to because they were also completely clear.
At one point I was borderline in tears from being so excited (again pathetic - I know)
Alright here it goes,
How to Clean Pores
It's a little different for each part of your face I've learned.
Don't get me wrong, they're pretty much the same (just a slight difference).
I'll go through each of my pore cleaning routines below so you don't get confused.
Here we go,
How I Handle the Clogged Pores on My Nose
Since the nose is the most common area for people to have pore issues, I'll start there.
The person in the photo has medium to larger sized pores (a bit smaller than mine are).
Nose skin is thinner than the rest of the skin on your face.
That's probably why it's more vulnerable to clogging.
Bare with me here - I know some parts of my regimen might sound odd, but they work.
I used to do this about once a month.
It's pretty straight forward,
Step 1 - Push Out the Sebum
In the mirror - squeeze your nose, and try to squeeze out the clogged pores like they were individual pimples.
Not too hard though, don't act like you're trying to destroy your nose.
Squeeze just enough to extract the pores with the most build.
You don't need to pop everything, just the ones that come out easily like the girl in the photo.
Except you would do it over your full nose or wherever you needed to.
Here's the thing though,
They're not going to come out THAT easily.
It might hurt for like 2 seconds before the sebum actually comes out.
You might want to use toilet paper too, because your fingers will get to slippery to grip your nose (gross I know).
Step 2 - Wipe Surface
Next you'll want to gently wipe off the surface of your nose with a piece of toilet paper.
Don't wipe too hard because you'll smear the sebum back into your pores.
Step 3 - Pat Dry
Then you should wet a piece of paper towel, and dab your nose a few times (it should be wet, not damp).
Then your nose dry with a dry piece of paper towel.
Step 4 - Wash Your Hands
Wash your hands with some antibacterial soap.
Then dry them off with some paper towels.
This will stop anything from transferring to your nose or face again.
Step 5 - Exfoliate
Now we're going to add some face wash exfoliator.
I usually use something with 1-2% salicylic acid, but some people are against it (seems to work fine for me)
For about 30 seconds you should gently rub your nose in small circular motions.
Going over the same area more than a few times is a good idea.
Step 6 - Rinse with COLD water and Moisturize
Now it's time to rinse your nose.
Make sure to use an oil-free moisturizer once your finished also.
If you're not drinking enough water, OR not using moisturizer - your skin will become dry.
If your skin is dry then your pores will tighten.
This article explains how if your pores are tightened it causes them to become more easily clogged.
Step 7 - Ice Cube
This one is weird but it's crucial.
Take an ice cube and gently rub it all over your nose.
This will bring down and potential inflammation.
Step 8 - Wash Hands Again
You're just going to wash your hands once more, and dry them with a paper towel.
Step 9 - Clean Up Your Face
Finally, you just need to wash the lower half of your face (cheeks, mouth and chin).
Only because you probably spread some nasty pore junk around your face by accident.
What About the Clogged Pores on My Forehead?
The pores on my forehead weren't nearly as clogged as my nose.
I think that goes for most people too.
I only need to clean them once every 2 months or so.
They never hurt either.
Usually I do about half the steps I do for my nose - if that.
In a nutshell, I just squeeze, wipe, exfoliate, rinse, ice, and dry.
I can do it so quickly now that it probably takes me about 30 seconds (no exaggeration).
But cleaning the pores on my nose will usually take me a few minutes.
For The Clogged Pores on my Cheeks?
My cheeks are a bit worse than my forehead, but still nothing like my nose.
But I only need to do them once a month luckily.
The only difference between my routine for my forehead is that I have to squeeze harder (don't squeeze too hard though, if nothing comes out then you should just give up).
To be honest, it doesn't feel great (it really hurts).
Since your cheeks have more padding, you have to pinch twice as hard to get the sebum out.
Not to mention, it takes twice as long to come out.
Sometimes I only get a few, but still that's enough for me.
When Should You Use The Pore Unclogging Tool?
I'm sure you've seen it somewhere before.
You can see it unclogging in action from this video.
It looks like this if you've never seen it,
I know that some videos like this one make it look like they'll work for everyone's skin.
But I think they only work for certain cases.
For me personally - my nails just work 100 times better.
The tool will literally cut my skin before it can extract from my pores.
Sometimes it works well for the edges of my nostril area, but that's about it.
How Often Should You Routinely Unclog Your Pores?
This really depends on your own skin.
If your pores fill up faster than mine, than maybe you could cut my routine time in half.
Or maybe your pores don't become clogged for another month, and you only have to do it once a month.
You'll just have to see for yourself.
Find a Long Term Solution
The bottom line is that your pores are going to become clogged again if you keep using this routine.
You'll at least be able to unclog them, but still it's better to fix the problem all together by stopping the source of it.
Also they won't shrink as much without stopping the cause of the problem.
From my experience, acne might be a sign of a chronic inflammation condition.
If you don't believe me, you can read the evidence here.
I know that something like this might not be curable, but it can definitely be treated and kept 100% gone with the right treatment (if your lucky you'll grow out of it).
For me it was an oral antioxidant treatment.
I'm not saying it will work for everyone, but I wouldn't doubt it from what I've seen.
As long as the treatment you're using is able to somehow control your sebum output, then you'll be alright.
But the routine I just showed you will clear your pores immediately, and then you can worry about the long term afterwards.
A Final Thought
Now you have everything you'll need to know.
Just remember not to pinch your skin too hard, or you'll end up with a mark or even a scab.
Not too softly either though, or there won't be enough pressure.
After a few times you'll be able to do it without even thinking about it.
Good luck and please remember to be careful!