It's normal for your pores to secrete oil -- your skin needs it to stay soft and moisturized. Sometimes, though, that oil gets stuck in your pores. Dirt, dead skin cells and makeup can seep into pores, too, making them look darker or enlarged. If left alone, clogged pores may even cause pimples to develop. Over-the-counter beauty products will help you wipe your skin clean. You can also make your own exfoliating mask with natural ingredients.
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Solutions for Clogged Pores
To keep makeup and dirt from clogging pores, wash your face nightly with a cleanser containing salicylic acid. The acid breaks down skin proteins that can clog pores. A facial-cleansing brush works cleanser more deeply into pores and allows you to remove stubborn debris. Pore-cleansing strips help, too. These strips stick to your skin and remove dirt when peeled away. Ingredients such as glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide and retinoids soften the material in pores, making it easier to remove. If your pores are severely clogged, you may want to see an aesthetician. A professional can give you a facial that gently extracts debris from pores.
Natural Pore-Cleansing Mask
To make your own pore-unclogging mask, whisk one egg white in a bowl until it's frothy. Add 1 tablespoon of lime or lemon juice -- the citrus fruits contain alpha-hydroxy acids, which help unclog pores. Add 1 tablespoon of old-fashioned oatmeal or sea salt for exfoliation. Blend well to make a thick paste, and then smooth a small amount of the paste on your face and neck. Let the mask set for 20 minutes, and then rinse with warm water and a washcloth. Keep leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a month.