Pores are tiny openings in the surface of the skin that lead to canals known as follicles. Each follicle contains a hair and oil gland, which helps keep the skin lubricated. Pores become clogged when these glands produce too much oil and the follicle accumulates dirt and bacteria. Clogged pores are the primary cause of acne, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and lead to whiteheads, blackheads or cysts. To avoid blemishes, keep your pores clean and clear of debris. Home remedies can typically help clean out your pores, but consult a dermatologist if your breakouts become severe.
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An herbal steam opens the pores and allows for deep cleaning. The American Herb Society recommends combining 1/2 cup each dried calendula, dried lavender, dried rose petals and dried chamomile. Mix the herbs together, and measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture. Pour four cups boiling water over the 1/2 cup of herbs, and steep for about 20 minutes. Strain the liquid into a large bowl, and position your face about 12 inches above the water. Make a tent over your head with a towel to catch the steam, and stay in place for three to seven minutes. After steaming, wash your face with an exfoliating scrub or face wash to clean out your open pores, and follow with a toner or astringent to close the pores again.
Tomatoes can help cleanse and rejuvenate your skin when used as a homemade facial treatment. The Holistic Online website suggests using tomato slices to remove dead skin, unplug pores, and restore the skin's natural pH balance. For the best results, slice a ripe tomato and rub a slice directly over your skin, concentrating on the areas where blocked pores occur most frequently. Allow the residue to remain for two to three minutes, and rinse with warm water. The tomato opens pores, which makes them more receptive to cleansing. Wash your face as usual just after rinsing away the tomato, and follow with a toner or astringent.
Homemade sugar scrubs help clean out pores by gently exfoliating and removing dead skin cells and bacteria. In the book “Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, Rinses and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends,” Lauren and Janice Cox recommend making a simple sugar scrub by combining 1 tbsp. granulated sugar, 1 tbsp. baking soda and 2 tbsp. water. Stir together until a thick paste forms, and massage into damp skin. Allow the mixture to sit for two to three minutes, rinse well with warm water, and pat the skin dry. If you're prone to acne, use 1 tbsp. honey and 1 tbsp. water instead of 2 tbsp. water.
Applying a warm compress to your skin for a few minutes will open pores for easier cleaning, according to Michael DeJong and Anthony Vavasis in the book “Clean Cures: The Humble Art of Zen-Curing Yourself.” Soak a clean cotton cloth in warm water, wring out any excess, and apply directly to your skin. Leave the compress in place for two to three minutes, and remove. Wash your face immediately with an exfoliating face wash, or use a simple homemade scrub. Rinse with cool water, and follow with an astringent or toner to close the pores.