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How to unclog pores - my guide

New & clear skin forms from the inside out, therefore my recommendations are based upon stimulating this process:

1. To renew your skin faster : use retinoids as these increase the cell turnover of your skin. If they make your skin flaky: that's a good thing, as this proves your skin is renewing itself. If you don't like flaky skin, use a mild exfoliator (see 2) instead of a moisturizer (see 4) as moisturizing means sticking those dead skin cells back to your skin, something you don't want.

2. Exfoliate = get rid of dead skin that only block your pores. Use salicyclic acid (a BHA) in 2% (mild) to 6% (strong) strength or lactic acid (an AHA) in 5% (mild) to 10% (strong) strength.  Experiment with the strength your skin tolerates.

Salicyclic acid also does its work inside your pores (dissolving keratin plugs or dead skin cells, which are made of keratin).  Urea is another ingredient that in higher than 10% concentration exfoliates your skin.

Do not use mechanical exfoliation, this damages skin

3. Do not use a moisturizers, creams or oils. They seal in the dead skin cells, keratin plugs or anything that is clogging your pores and therefore only work against what you want to achieve with steps 1 and 2. Moreover, it's debatable if you need moisturizer for your skin anyway. For example, I thought I had dry skin, it turned out that I had flaky skin which is different, mild exfoliation was much better for my skin.

4. Use only gels or serums (fluids) with the main working ingredients in sufficient strength mentioned in steps 1 and 2. Everything with too many other ingredients or too thick is only counter productive.

5. Air conditioning and central heating are enemies for your skin because they make the air artificially dry, pulling moisture from your skin. Yes, you could use a moisturizer against that, but see 3. Buy a humidifier  for your home if the relative humidity is to too low (that is lower than aprox. 50%). Better, spend more time outside (that's our natural environment anyway).

It takes time to get clear skin, but I believe these are the right steps that help. Please remember that exfoliation is the natural process of your skin (it renews itself continuously), you want work with this natural process, not against it.

 

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