Why You Need a Gentle Approach for Clogged Pores

Ever spend an hour in front of the magnifying mirror squeezing clogged pores? Or have you tried to use one of those torturous-looking extraction tools, only to get blotchy skin in the aftermath? You’re not alone — it’s all too easy to go on the offensive when you’re up close and personal with your pores. And with the many pore strips and facial steamers and harsh scrubs out there designed to get rid of clogged pores, you’ve got a lot of options to do so.

But consider this: Your pores are actually good! They serve a key purpose in releasing sebum (a.k.a. nature’s moisturizer), impurities, and sweat from skin, which helps maintain healthy skin in the long run. That’s why it’s worth taking a gentler approach to clearing clogged pores and keeping them that way. And, ICYMI, we’ve also been making our own transition by taking words like “poreless” and “flawless” out of our brand vocab, they set unrealistic expectations for you and your skin. After all, your skin needs those pores. Instead, let’s normalize pores, take a kinder approach to dealing with clogs, and generally show skin a little TLC.

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One way to do that is by integrating pore-focused ingredients into every step of your skincare routine. It’s a more maintenance-minded approach than taking some draconian, outdated tool to your face, and can offer benefits to clogged pores without irritation or redness. Here, the best steps to treat clogged pores.

Try a BHA toner

When it comes to pores, beta hydroxy acid (or BHA), which can appear as salicylic acid or a natural source, such as willow bark, has a unique advantage. Unlike alpha hydroxy acids, BHA is lipid-soluble—meaning it can be dissolved by oil. For that reason, it’s uniquely able to dive into pores, where it works its exfoliating magic to clear out both clogs and clog-inducing materials (think dead skin cells, sebum, etc.). Watermelon Glow PHA+BHA Pore-Tight Toner pairs the stuff with PHA, or polyhydroxy acid, which is a gentle cousin to alpha hydroxy acids, for mild exfoliation power. Packed with hyaluronic acid and hydrating cactus water, too, the toner can be used daily to balance skin and prevent clogged pores in the long run.

Use a clay mask

Ever go for a facial and leave with your skin battered and bruised from extractions? That could irritate skin, lead to hyperpigmentation, and even enlarge pores — so you might want to consider a clay mask instead. It’s the no-hands method of cleansing pores that doesn’t harm the skin around it. In fact, our new Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial actively nourishes skin while giving clogged pores the boot. It’s powered by hyaluronic clay, a hyaluronic acid-infused kaolin clay that draws impurities out of pores while simultaneously locking hydration into skin. On top of that, super-fine blueberry seed powder gently buffs skin’s surface, better allowing that hyaluronic clay to better penetrate, and smooths skin. As with BHA, this potent combo of chemical and physical exfoliation helps address existing clogs and nixes clog-causing factors before they can even form.

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Unclog with niacinamide

What can’t niacinamide do? For one, it can fortify the pore walls and, in properly excreting gunk from your pores, can prevent clogged pores from forming. And in preventing clogged pores, niacinamide can also help keep pores from stretching out, which otherwise can give them an enlarged appearance. Secondly, a study in the Journal of Cosmetic Laser Therapy found that niacinamide may also contribute to a lower rate of sebum production — and with sebum being a major player in clogged pores, that’s no small feat. So while Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops is a highlighting serum that can give skin a subtle gleam, rest assured that it’s also working hard to keep pores clear and tight.

Offset those actives

Amidst a pore-clearing skincare routine, don’t forget about your skin barrier. It can buffer the effects of those active ingredients on skin, allowing for their peak efficacy while keeping your skin protected and balanced — so you can use them daily without worry. Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum can help keep things in balance. It contains five ceramides identical to those in your skin for easy recognition, so they can quickly sink in and get to work replenishing and strengthening your skin barrier. 

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