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clogged pores: caused by skin products?

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long story short: I am an adult, I had perfect skin, the last years I am suffering from clogged pores (enlarged pores filled with stuff). This was also the period when I started to use skin products (lotions, creams) and do scrubbing (probably damaging my skin). Since a couple of months I stopped using any skin products (except Retin A gel) and I think my skin is getting clearer with less clogged pores. I do squeeze pores, as I think it's the only way clear them. But the difference with the past is that enlarged pores now shrink or slowly disappear, while in the past with using skin products they would be filled up again within days. So a never ending cycle making any treatment pointless.

My question to others: what is your experience? Could skin products be to blame? Especially on damaged skins or skin with already enlarged pores the lotions or creams actually can penetrate the pores, mixing with the skin sebum, making things worse?

My advice to others with the same problem would be: leave your skin alone, just wash it with some lukewarm water, stop putting anything on your face for some months and see what it does to your skin. Retin A gel (not cream) could be the exception because the gel does not clog your pores but helps unclogging (and it makes squeezing the pores easier).

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Yes. This is my experience exactly. I am an adult. I have very acne prone skin. It started when I was 12. Now that I've figured this out, my skin is starting to look really good for the first time since I was a pre-teen; I cannot use any lotion or cream on my skin-they all clog my pores deeply. I use retin a gel and it does wonders for my skin. Also, I'll use organic aloe vera gel (the kind you keep in the fridge) as a pore toner and as a primer for my powder Everyday Minerals makeup. It soothes the pores and keeps the makeup from settling in them. I wash with prescription Benzoyl Peroxide wash or with gentle castile soap diluted with water to make a cleanser.

I do extractions every couple of weeks with a sanitized extractor tool. Also, I believe from my own experience that large pores can be "exercised" by forcing them to contract. I use ice daily and homemade green clay masks a couple of times a week, and my pores are toning up and looking alot better.

Edited by chinacat

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Yeah, you really don't want to pick clogs. But, I agree that it is better to get the clog out before it stretches the pore or festeres into an infected zit. But, there is a right way to do that by steaming and then using an extractor tool to gently work the clog out of the pore. It's best to have an estetician show you how to do it.

My problem is just pure oil. I am not dry at all. Adding creams and lotions to my already oily skin just totally breaks it out. Even cream Retin A broke me out. Gel Retin A has done wonderful things for my skin though. Some people's skin just can't handle creams and lotions.

Edited by chinacat

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Isnt skin weird!!

I am trying to use minimal products as much as possible and avoid trying lots of different products.

Products for 'oily' skin tend to dry out the skin too much causing you to produce more oil & end up WITH oily skin! & visa versa for dry skin.

So I am using a face wash for 'normal' skin, and it actually leaves my skin 'normal'! I find the same with shampoos - my hair gets greasy quickly but with a shampoo for greasy hair it gets greasier quicker!

I am using retin a each evening which helps a little but its not a miracle worker. It helps dry out the spots and flatten them.

I seem to have an endless supply of whiteheads i dont know why this is - but i keep having to check in the mirror to avoid facing people which whiteheads sitting on my face!

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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thanks for the replies. I agree that skins seem to react differently.

But the point I want to stress is that I now think that if you already have clogged pores, whatever the cause, putting lotions or creams on your skin is counterproductive because stuff needs to get out of your pores, not new stuff from lotions/creams into the pores (that to make matters worse your skin reacts to).

Apart from maybe teenager acne, I think your skin is made by nature more perfect than we realize. We believe the marketing hype that putting all this stuff on your skin improves it. I do not believe this anymore. My skin was at it's best when I didn't do anything with it but splashing it with some water in the shower. Also remember that many skin products are made with as major objective that it feels good on the skin, as that's what people judge it on. But to make it feel nice on the skin, they need to put in tons of chemicals with side effects.

On the topic of extracting pores or picking: It's said that enlarged pores are permanent. I am the proof that that is not true, my skin is returning to how it used to be: very smooth. The problem is that the stuff in enlarged pores can sit very deep. Squeezing it often only pushes out the top part. And because the pores is still clogged at the bottom, your skin simply fills up the pore again. I have not found a good solution for this, but I do think you cannot escape squeezing it. I think the industry should concentrate on this instead of all the topical treatments that in my own experience hardly work.

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Theres a big difference here.

OP CAUSED her skin problems, by using creams and lotions and what not when she didn't need them, therefore causing these clogs and so on

Ashley's skin is different, her skin actually benefits from using SOME products, like a lot of people.

Hell, benzoyl peroxide got me clear, along with really heavy moisturizers and drying cleansers, but my skins better than it has been in a long time.

Everyones skin is different, so trying to argue about who's right is just a waste of time.

Also, picking DOES cause scarring, and even DEEP clogs will fix themselves eventually, if you do it right, and it's a lot safer and better for your skin to let them fix themselves.

Also, messing with the skin in any way, weather it be from a tool or just fingers, is considered picking, and are both equally harmful, despite the tool being -made- for the job.

/end rant.

Edited by SocialAnxiety

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i know every one says not to squeeze, but i cant even last a day without doing it....it gets so itchy and irritating and if there is a whitehead hanging off my face its impossible to just leave it there!

reading around apparently the best way to prevent whiteheads is to use a deep pore wash. But obviously this is going to be quite irriitating for those of us with sensitive skin. However i guess once a week or something might help?

Im starting to wonder if retin a is helping my skin at all. It seems to help whiteheads surface quicker overnight, but my skin looks pretty horrendous /botchy/sore/scabby from using it. And this seems to be continuous rather than just the initial breakout.

Maybe should just put the aha on then leave the juicy ones ALONE!

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Guest Timehealsall
long story short: I am an adult, I had perfect skin, the last years I am suffering from clogged pores (enlarged pores filled with stuff). This was also the period when I started to use skin products (lotions, creams) and do scrubbing (probably damaging my skin). Since a couple of months I stopped using any skin products (except Retin A gel) and I think my skin is getting clearer with less clogged pores. I do squeeze pores, as I think it's the only way clear them. But the difference with the past is that enlarged pores now shrink or slowly disappear, while in the past with using skin products they would be filled up again within days. So a never ending cycle making any treatment pointless.

My question to others: what is your experience? Could skin products be to blame? Especially on damaged skins or skin with already enlarged pores the lotions or creams actually can penetrate the pores, mixing with the skin sebum, making things worse?

My advice to others with the same problem would be: leave your skin alone, just wash it with some lukewarm water, stop putting anything on your face for some months and see what it does to your skin. Retin A gel (not cream) could be the exception because the gel does not clog your pores but helps unclogging (and it makes squeezing the pores easier).

scrubbing as in exfoliating or what?

i know every one says not to squeeze, but i cant even last a day without doing it....it gets so itchy and irritating and if there is a whitehead hanging off my face its impossible to just leave it there!

reading around apparently the best way to prevent whiteheads is to use a deep pore wash. But obviously this is going to be quite irriitating for those of us with sensitive skin. However i guess once a week or something might help?

Im starting to wonder if retin a is helping my skin at all. It seems to help whiteheads surface quicker overnight, but my skin looks pretty horrendous /botchy/sore/scabby from using it. And this seems to be continuous rather than just the initial breakout.

Maybe should just put the aha on then leave the juicy ones ALONE!

hey, have you scarred from your squeezing?

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no doubt in my mind lotions and creams cause clogged pores washing with lukewarm water and leaving your skin alone is problably the best regiman

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I am not a doctor, and I cannot judge skin conditions from others. But let me say this: with the level of progress I am now making, I am convinced my clogged and enlarged pores problem was entirely my own making. And I do think I am not alone on this.

To SocialAnxiety: no offence, but if I look at the skin regime you follow (and the same applies to some other recommended regimes I read here), I simply cannot believe this is good for your skin. Now I do understand that some of these chemicals can suppress acne related problems (for example by killing bacteria) but that does not mean it's actually good for your skin.

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I am not a doctor, and I cannot judge skin conditions from others. But let me say this: with the level of progress I am now making, I am convinced my clogged and enlarged pores problem was entirely my own making. And I do think I am not alone on this.

To SocialAnxiety: no offence, but if I look at the skin regime you follow (and the same applies to some other recommended regimes I read here), I simply cannot believe this is good for your skin. Now I do understand that some of these chemicals can suppress acne related problems (for example by killing bacteria) but that does not mean it's actually good for your skin.

Frankly, neither is gigantic pimples scarring and clogging and ruining my skin.

I've honestly never tried the -water only- method, because i LIKE applying these things to my skin, and if it makes me prematurely age, or get wrinkles early (which it shouldn't) then so be it! i'd rather have some smile lines then acne.

And a lot of things aren't neccesarily -Good- for you, and people still do them and end up fine and without problem.

But to each his own, you guys use your water/natural solutions, and i'll use my BP.

Good day

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I concur, lotions and creams despise my skin, especially if I use them following an exfoliating treatment. Jojoba oil has been my replacement moisturizer for two months, and my skin loves it. I also use Retin A micro.

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Theres a big difference here.

OP CAUSED her skin problems, by using creams and lotions and what not when she didn't need them, therefore causing these clogs and so on

Ashley's skin is different, her skin actually benefits from using SOME products, like a lot of people.

Hell, benzoyl peroxide got me clear, along with really heavy moisturizers and drying cleansers, but my skins better than it has been in a long time.

Everyones skin is different, so trying to argue about who's right is just a waste of time.

Also, picking DOES cause scarring, and even DEEP clogs will fix themselves eventually, if you do it right, and it's a lot safer and better for your skin to let them fix themselves.

Also, messing with the skin in any way, weather it be from a tool or just fingers, is considered picking, and are both equally harmful, despite the tool being -made- for the job.

/end rant.

I agree with everything in your rant :)

Btw, I wasn't arguing, or trying to at least. I was just trying to say that products are not always the cause, because it seemed like the OP was saying that using products is ALWAYS going to cause the problem. Was just trying to make it clear that clogs/blemishes can be caused by both doing too much and using products or by NOT using products at all. Sorry if I ended up looking like I was arguing over who was right!

It didn't SEEM like you guys were arguing, but it seemed like it WOULD turn into one, so i just wanted to lend a hand.

Everyone seems to do that too, if they suddenly realize their acne is caused by diet, SUDDENLY EVERYONES ACNE IS DIET-RELATED and the same with hormonal, genetics, products, etc etc.

Kind of bothers me since everyones base-cause of acne is different, but the out come is the same, and people don't seem to realize that.

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Theres a big difference here.

OP CAUSED her skin problems, by using creams and lotions and what not when she didn't need them, therefore causing these clogs and so on

Ashley's skin is different, her skin actually benefits from using SOME products, like a lot of people.

Hell, benzoyl peroxide got me clear, along with really heavy moisturizers and drying cleansers, but my skins better than it has been in a long time.

Everyones skin is different, so trying to argue about who's right is just a waste of time.

Also, picking DOES cause scarring, and even DEEP clogs will fix themselves eventually, if you do it right, and it's a lot safer and better for your skin to let them fix themselves.

Also, messing with the skin in any way, weather it be from a tool or just fingers, is considered picking, and are both equally harmful, despite the tool being -made- for the job.

/end rant.

I agree with everything in your rant :)

Btw, I wasn't arguing, or trying to at least. I was just trying to say that products are not always the cause, because it seemed like the OP was saying that using products is ALWAYS going to cause the problem. Was just trying to make it clear that clogs/blemishes can be caused by both doing too much and using products or by NOT using products at all. Sorry if I ended up looking like I was arguing over who was right!

It didn't SEEM like you guys were arguing, but it seemed like it WOULD turn into one, so i just wanted to lend a hand.

Everyone seems to do that too, if they suddenly realize their acne is caused by diet, SUDDENLY EVERYONES ACNE IS DIET-RELATED and the same with hormonal, genetics, products, etc etc.

Kind of bothers me since everyones base-cause of acne is different, but the out come is the same, and people don't seem to realize that.

That's true. It's like saying "Hey, I discovered that x caused y health problem, it must for everyone else as well!" even though there are so many factors. It's okay to voice your experience, but it's important to make sure others know that it's not a sure-fire solution/reason and that there are other things out there to consider!

I find it really annoying when people tell me "hey, change your diet to clear your skin", but I know it doesn't affect my skin, and if I say that, some will be like "yeah, but it probably IS affecting your skin." :rolleyes:

Oh well.

I recently learned i was lactose intolerant (No idea how i didn't know this before, i ate cheese and milk with EVERYTHING) and that dairy breaks me out pretty bad. (Go figure) but otherwise diet doesn't affect my acne at all.

Its also partially hormonal, i get a pretty decent breakout around my period, AND to top it all off, its genetic because my mom has adult acne, my dad had it when he was a teenager, my big brother had it for a couple years (still does, but its really mild now, he doesn't even SHOWER that often, and his is better than mine now) and one of my little brothers is starting to get it.

I guess i just got the short end of the stick, BP IS helping, just very, very slowly.

Thats another thing, people on here don't stick with products long enough, most of them give an initial purge, and people always stop as soon as that happens, thinking -ZOMG CHEMICALS ARE BAD, THEY JUST MAKE IT WORSE- ...Or, they make it worse and then it would get better if they stuck with it.

Long post is long, i should probably stop now, its like 7am and i'm still half asleep.

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For me and my particular skin type-I have done lots of clean, proper extractions with a sanitized needle and extractor tool and never, not once, has it ever left a scar or an enlarged pore. Ever.

But when I was a teen in the 90s, conventional wisdom was not to extract-so I didn't. Some of the worst advice I've ever followed was leaving clogs and plugs in the pore to fester, inflame, and turn into big infections. From that, I do have a few scars. For some of us, it really is not better to just leave it there.

I wish that when I was in my teens I could have known how to do extractions, it would have saved me a few scars and alot of anxiety.

Extractions really do work for some people when they are done in a proper, sanitary way.

Also, I agree that large pores can be toned up. Mine are looking really good since I've been "working them out". The first step is keeping them clean and not filled with gunk. Then it's a matter of doing things that force them to contract. I use ice (or very cold water) daily, and homemade clay masks (with no chemicals or preservatives) a couple of times a week. My pores haven't disappeared, but they look way, way better.

Also, I've been doing dermarolling once every 6 weeks for the last few months to induce collagen growth and reduce the few scars I have-I think that may be helping the appearance of my pores too.

Everyone's skin is different. The beauty of this forum is hearing different points of view.

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For me and my particular skin type-I have done lots of clean, proper extractions with a sanitized needle and extractor tool and never, not once, has it ever left a scar or an enlarged pore. Ever.

But when I was a teen in the 90s, conventional wisdom was not to extract-so I didn't. Some of the worst advice I've ever followed was leaving clogs and plugs in the pore to fester, inflame, and turn into big infections. From that, I do have a few scars. For some of us, it really is not better to just leave it there.

I wish that when I was in my teens I could have known how to do extractions, it would have saved me a few scars and alot of anxiety.

Extractions really do work for some people when they are done in a proper, sanitary way.

Also, I agree that large pores can be toned up. Mine are looking really good since I've been "working them out". The first step is keeping them clean and not filled with gunk. Then it's a matter of doing things that force them to contract. I use ice (or very cold water) daily, and homemade clay masks (with no chemicals or preservatives) a couple of times a week. My pores haven't disappeared, but they look way, way better.

Also, I've been doing dermarolling once every 6 weeks for the last few months to induce collagen growth and reduce the few scars I have-I think that may be helping the appearance of my pores too.

Everyone's skin is different. The beauty of this forum is hearing different points of view.

I'm glad it works for you, but sadly the majority of people don't know how to do it correctly, and even professionals aren't perfect and can mess up your skin.

and MOST people do scar from acne, picking, popping, extractions and so on, so its just easier to recommened everyone avoid it altogether, if someone said -Oh well i've never scarred from popping my zits- because they have skin that doesn't scar easily, everyone and their mother will break out the needles and start jabbing.

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The problem is: we do not really know what works or not. It's all trial and error, not scientific, what most people on this board do or claim. Myself included.

I tried a lot of products and treatments and many times I thought I found the cause or solution. But later I found out I was wrong (again). The biggest mistake people make with skin is this in my opinion: if skin appears to improve at the outside, people think a product or treatment works. But for me that turned out to be a lie. The problem under my skin only got larger: clogged pores and more sebum production. The treatment of trying to control it than becomes its own source of the problem.

The second problem is that it can take years for skin to recover, I am still struggling with this. Most people do not have that much patience. They try a treatment, if that doesn't work, they try something else next month. Or they use 2, 3, 4 or who knows how many different products and treatments at the same time. How can you possibly tell what actually works if you do this?

For many people on this board their skin has become an obsession and their skin treatment a complete mess. You may not like I say this, but I am convinced that if nature had intented we did put all this stuff on our skin, it had done this on it's own. Think about it: even water is an enemy of your skin, our skin is designed as protection against water or the environment, among others by having a protective layer of skin oil and sweat. And what do we do? we scrub/exfoliate, use masks, wash our face with soaps, do peelings, and all of this is much more harsh on your skin than simple water. Your skin was not designed for this. I guess my story of leaving your skin alone is especially meant for people with good skin (I had perfect skin on the past), but I am afraid they don't read this board.

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