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Your pores are essential to healthy skin, but they can also be a major source of frustration and embarrassment. Think of your pores as a pathway that oil must travel through in order to reach your skin. A sebaceous (oil) gland at the bottom of your pore produces your skin’s natural oil, which is necessary to keep your skin moisturized and once the gland has produced sebum, it is secreted through the pores. However, those with acne-prone or oily skin face an overproduction of sebum, which causes the pores to increase in size. Other causes of enlarged pores include sun damage and the natural aging process. Keeping your pores clear and clean is one of the most important things you can do to keep your skin healthy and balanced. Find out what cleansing ingredients are most beneficial at penetrating into and cleaning out your pores.
Perhaps the most well-known pore clearing ingredient is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is often used in acne treatments, but you don’t have to suffer from spots to use this pore opening cleanser. Salicylic acid is a keratolytic beta-hydroxy acid and it is incredibly effective at removing dead, dry skin cells that clog the surface of the pores. As it removes the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, salicylic acid penetrates into the pore and cleans it out, removing excess oil, dirt, dead skin cells and any other debris that is trapped there and that may cause breakouts.
Another skin cleansing agent that is beneficial for clearing out your pores is the antioxidant vitamin C. Vitamin C is a natural antibacterial cleanser which is especially helpful if you need to get into your pores in order to fight acne or breakouts. When you cut an apple and expose it to air, it turns brown and the same thing happens to the oil trapped in your pores. When the oil in your pores oxidizes, it turns into the pesky blackheads you see and because vitamin C fights free-radical damage, it helps to prevent oxidation of the sebum in your pores.
Retinol (vitamin A) is one of the most effective exfoliating ingredients that you can use on your skin. It is available in both over-the-counter and prescription strengths, and it fights everything from acne to signs of aging. Retinol exfoliates your skin and increases the rate of cell turnover for younger, healthier looking skin. In addition to exfoliating your skin, retinol is able to unblock pores and to deep clean them. Over time and with continued use, retinol helps to shrink the appearance of pores making them both clearer and smaller (assuming the enlarged, open pores are not caused by genetics).
Looking for cleansers that contain the above ingredients will help to open your pores and allow these ingredients to penetrate into your skin for a deep clean. Remember that it is important to follow any instructions on the packaging to avoid causing further damage to your skin. Also, while it is crucial to deep clean your pores, you want to avoid washing or exfoliating too frequently because this will dry out your skin and your pores will respond by producing more oil. Wash your face using a cleanser containing any of the above ingredients twice daily to see the appearance of your pores improve.