Causes of clogged pores and how to treat them
What are clogged pores?
Pores are little opening in your skin that excretes sweat and oil. Clogged pores occur when excess oil and dead skin cells get trapped within your pores and have no where to go. When this mix gets oxidised, it turns black which is also known as “blackheads” or “open comedones”. Whiteheads are known as “close comedones” when air isn’t able to enter the pore.
What causes clogged pores?
There are various possible factors leading to clogged pores such as the overproduction of your own sebum or oil and hyperkeratinisation which when your skin cells become cohesive as if they were being glued together and do not shed off normally. In other words, your skin cell turnover has been compromised.
How do I clear clogged pores?
AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid) help break down the bonds between skin cells on the surface level, shedding off dead skin cells to promote brighter, smoother skin. This will help in normalising your skin cell turnover. Examples of AHAs include mandelic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid.
BHAs (beta hydroxy acid) such as salicylic acid is actually quite similar to AHAs, in the sense that they can help with dull, uneven skin tone, reduce appearances of fine lines and wrinkles, smooth out your skin. But the key difference is that BHA is that it's not only able to work on the surface level, but it's also able to penetrate into the skin and work within your pores. It goes deep to remove excess oil, dead skin cells. Perfect for those of you with oily skin, clogged pores and acne-prone skin.
- Skincare that can help with regulating sebum production
You might want to try incorporating ingredients that can help regulate sebum production. Studies suggest ingredients such as retinol can help with regulating sebum production as well as normalising the skin cell turnover process.
- Diet and acne/oily skin
If you suffer from acne, which is commonly associated with excessive sebum production, you might also want to look into your diet. Studies have shown a link between high glycemic index (GI) foods and acne as these foods increase insulin levels. Examples of high GI food include white bread, instant oats, white rice and sugar.
- Comedogenic products clog your pores – Truth or myth?
Comedogenicity rating basically tells you the likelihood of an ingredient to clog your pores. The higher the rating, the more likely it is to clog your pores. However, studies suggest that for an ingredient to be comedogenic (based on the rating system), it has to be at a high concentration when used in a product. As most products are a concoction of various ingredients, this dilutes the concentration of each ingredient.