Getting rid of clogged pores and black/whiteheads

Helllloooooo~ 

I had something else to post today but I decided not to and I'm going with a question I've gotten over the last few posts. In fact, I've gotten this question so many times the past few days, it made my head spin.

 How do I get rid of clogged pores/black/whiteheads? 

Clogged pores, black/white heads and ultimately, blemishes are the bane of life. I don't think anyone will disagree. 

Sebaceous Filaments (SF) on the other handare naturally-occurring tiny hairline formations on your skin that channel oil from your pores onto your skin to moisturize it. Yes, essentially, your body's own moisturizer.

If u have itchy hands like me and have done extractions by yourself before, you would know that extracting a white/blackhead will result in a small plug, but if u squeeze SF, it will just be a string of sebum (damn gross lah I know) 

A lot of products out there claims to get rid of all these all the time but how do we really figure out what works and what not? 

I don't have a miracle product that will solve this issue tho I wish I have but I have a few...suggestions on how to reduce it. 

I will recommend a few products that worked for me, steps to include it in and how to use it. 

 1. Cleansing properly 

Ever since I started double-cleansing more consciously and paying more attention to my cleansing, the amount of clogged pores reduced significantly. 

This takes time and require patience and really should be a habit! Don't do it for like, 2 weeks and give up okay.

Double-cleansing is really only required at night where u have sunscreen, makeup and dirt on your face after an entire day. Y'all know I like to use my Micellar Water but other regular makeup removers will also work. 

I also count on my Foreo Mini a lot to cleanse my skin but because I use that, I have reduced my physical exfoliation because Idw to dry my skin out or irritate it too much. 

 2. Salicylic Acid (Beta-hydroxy Acid BHA) 

BHA is really the one thing I know that can get rid of clogged pores and black/whiteheads successfully, and it even helps in the reduction of Sebaceous Filaments (SF). 

BHA is oil-soluble (compared to AHA) which means it can go deep down into ur pores and unclog those trapped dirt, sebum, and wtv gross stuff that lives in those pores. 

AHA is used more for anti-aging and hyperpigmentation, but I won't be talking about this today. 

Acids are called actives and they contain active ingredients that can target issues. Acids, as their name suggests, are pH-dependent. This is why they are the FIRST product to enter ur skin (if ur routine contains acids) because u dw to have other products' pH messing up the acid's one. 

Also, let your BHA sit for 15-20 mins before u put on other stuff because the acid has a absorption/effectiveness window and letting it work by itself allows maximum effectiveness. 

There's a ton of BHA products in the market. If u have never used a BHA product in your entire life or if u feel like ur skin is sensitive, consider a gentler BHA from Korean brands like CosRx. Korea don't allow BHA to be sold OTC so they use a gentler substitute called Beta-Salicylate. 

If u have stubborn stubborn plugs and you know those gentler products won't work, then consider a proper BHA. 

I would recommend Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid/Gel to start for black/whiteheads. For clogged pores, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo has been shown to be extremely useful for clogged pores. 

Pls pls rmbr these aren't miracle products. Cannot solve immediately but will help in the long run. 

Also, because these are actives with BHA %, it MIGHT cause purging for some as the pores are being cleared. 

(If u think you're 'purging' from a new product, it has to have actives in it. If not, u r probably just allergic to it. So check ur product's ingredients!)

 3. Clay masks 

Clay masks have the ability to draw dirt and nonsense out of the pores so invest in one and do it once a week! Clay masks are definitely drying so make sure u use tepid water to rinse (instead of hot) and hydrate/moisturize properly after. 

I'm personally a huge fan of Origins Out of Trouble/Active Charcoal/Rose Clay mask. There's also a ton of clay masks selling in Watsons nowadays. 

 4. Oil-cleansing 

I just established a new OCM routine after stalking all the different websites and Reddit, and I realized it helped so much more in reducing appearance of my pores. I only do this once in a fortnight. 

Regular emulsifying oils like those from Shu Uemura, Innisfree, TFS, will work well and can be washed off with water. If u have been using a regular oil and ur skin is okay with it, then just use what you've been using. If u r new to this, so start with a emulsifying oil. It'd be easier?? 

Steps I use: (following fiftyshadesofsnails OCM method) 
1. Apply BHA to clean skin for 15-20 mins.
2. Apply clay mask on top (w/on washing BHA) 
3. Rinse mask off after it dries
4. Apply oil onto face and leave for 15 mins and then gently massage (no longer than 5mins)🔺
5. Rinse your emulsifying oil off. If u r using a regular carrier oil, pls make sure u wash off properly so it doesn't get clogged in ur pores. 
6. Carry on with regular skincare routine.

🔺Pls massage gently to stimulate blood flow and not break capillaries. You might feel little grits coming out or NOT. It really depends how clogged ur skin is. I used to get a few when I first started but it has lessen now. It just means ur pores are cleaner. 

I have seen a great reduce in SF and whiteheads using this ONCE IN 2 WEEKS to clear out my pores. This is too harsh for me to do daily. SF will come back lah, no matter what. But using these few steps regularly really helps in keeping my strawberry nose super clean. Even the pores around the sides of my nose and my chin are soooo much cleaner. 

I just did this entire routine on IG story cause I wanted to clean out my pores after typing the above hahaha 

What I don't really recommend anymore: 
• pore strips
• DIY baking soda methods on Pinterest
• extraction (unless done by professional) 
• touching ur face throughout the day

These aren't the best for your skin! It was v hard for me to give up pore strips initially. I was using them for soooo long. But it's been about 2 years?? And my nose is cleaner than ever.