How to clear clogged pores

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.”

lush ultra bland How to clear clogged poresMy 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.

shu uemera cleansing oil How to clear clogged poresNot 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).

physiciansformula makeupremover 300x300 How to clear clogged poresAs 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

consonant foamingface wash How to clear clogged poresI’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.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength How to clear clogged poresOtherwise, 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?


Thursday, November 5/2009 at 7:44 am

Great tips!! I’ve been wanting to try the Kiehl’s Acai cleanser & you’ve confirmed to give it a go. I’m not a huge fan of the Juice products but I believe they’ve been re-vamped from the last time I tried them because the packaging changed a while back.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, November 5/2009 at 9:58 am

Hi Monica! I think you’ll love the Kiehl’s cleanser. As for Juice… I use their cleansing gel sometimes, although I definitely prefer the foam-based cleansers I mentioned in the post. Their cleansing milk is terrible, though—it doesn’t properly clean your face AT ALL. And I’m not a fan of their moisturizer… way too oily.

But now I’m looking at their site and it DOES seem like they’ve either expanded or reformulated a lot of things. Might have to revisit…


Kelly Scott
Sunday, December 13/2009 at 6:23 pm

I haven’t tried the Kiehl’s product, but I am currently using the Consonant Face Wash that I got for my birthday. I LOVE it! It’s phenomenal. I can’t believe how well it removes my makeup but it doesn’t dry my skin out at all or leave it film-y which is what happens with a lot of other products. I was using another product before I didn’t like at all. This one’s a winner.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, December 14/2009 at 11:53 am

I know Kelly – isn’t the Consonant one a great product? I love it too!


Thursday, October 17/2013 at 8:17 am

I’m confused. In one post you say “be gentle with your skin” but here you’re recommending these products one of which has “Full Strength” on the jar. You top the capitalist bullshit meter, bitch


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, October 17/2013 at 1:01 pm

Wow, there’s no need to call me a bitch. This post is from FOUR years ago. Am I not allowed to change my opinions on things?


Leave a Comment