Reader Melissa left a comment on this post the other day and I decided to give it its VERY OWN post (instead of just leaving my response there in the comments box, where possibly nobody will find it).
Here's what she said:
"I’m so glad that you posted about this product [Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Facial Makeup Remover Lotion]. I saw it at Shoppers and was tempted to give it a try. I’m using Ultrabland from Lush as a makeup remover/precleanse. It is an oil based product and Lush uses parabens, as well as ’safe synthetics’. Those points made me think of finding an alternative product, especially since I think it’s contributing to some whiteheads I have on my face that don’t seem to want to disappear."
My answer (slightly expanded because now I have more room to blab on about this topic):
Lush's Ultra Bland Cleanser is supposedly a cult product, although I didn't feel the love when I tried it. What scares me is that it contains peanut oil and beeswax cream, two ingredients which just might be causing those whiteheads.
Not that I think a more liquidy, oil-based "precleanse" product would necessarily be any better. (Examples: Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil or Dermalogica PreCleanse) I know these manufacturers always SAY these products won't clog pores or break you out, but I've heard mixed reviews. It seems to be a matter of trial and error and using the right oil for your skin type (mineral oil seems to be particularly problematic). In fact, you might even be able to use oil from your kitchen! Check out this thread on the oil cleansing method on the Essential Day Spa forum (a GREAT place to dig around if you're looking for real-life testimonials).
As for the Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Facial Makeup Remover Lotion, I'm not sure that it would make a difference either way with whiteheads as it's still quite creamy—although yes, it IS more natural.
Good Cleansers for Clearing Clogged Pores
I'm thinking the problem might, in fact, have to do with your cleanser not getting everything off at the end. In this case, you might consider stepping it up with a foam- or gel-based cleanser. Three of my favourites (all foam-based) are Kiehl’s Acai Damage-Minimizing Cleanser, Consonant Body Organic Foaming Face Wash and Aveda Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser. All are natural (the Kiehl's product is certified organic), and they give a very thorough clean without stripping.
Otherwise, you might consider some sort of toner or weekly peel to gently exfoliate and prevent clogged pores. Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Peel is good (and natural) and they also make a Blemish Clearing Serum that might help—I've found it to be very mild and it doesn't cause flakiness.
Makeup Tips for Clogged Pores
Last thing: if your whiteheads are coming out on your cheeks, check your blush. I used to get these when I used "stain" blushes (like Vincent Longo's). I switched to a mineral powder (I usually wear Dr. Hauschka or Jane Iredale now—I save my NARS Orgasm for special occasions) and guess what? No more whiteheads.
Anyone else have any anti-clogged pore tips for Melissa?