Clogged Pores Be Gone

Clogged Pores Be Gone

San Diego Acne Clinic & CLEARSTEM Skincare know how frustrating it is to battle with clogged pores. You’re probably doing everything to avoid clogging your pores, but somehow you keep waking up with new breakouts. Lame is an understatement. So here are some tips to help avoid breakouts:

1. Wash off yo make-up girl! (And you hip, gender-fluid boys)

You don’t need to be a dermatologist to realize sleeping in your make-up is probably a bad idea. We’ve all been there when you get home from a long day or night out and all you want to do is hit the sheets and never get back up. But before you do, wash your face, even if it’s only 10 seconds! Leaving make-up on overnight can lead to inflamed, dull skin the next day as well as massively clogged pores. While you sleep, there are multiple hormones secreted in your body to help your skin heal and repair. When you sleep in make-up, your skin cannot fully rejuvenate itself. Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Lancer of Beverly Hills says, “Just like our internal organs, our skin is always at work. Skin is made up of water, protein, lipids, and different minerals and chemicals. Skin is also covered in pores, which allow us to sweat and secrete sebum, a natural lubricant that moisturizes skin and removes dead skin cells and other irritants from our pores. When you apply makeup, you block your pores from releasing sebum, which may lead to visibly larger pores and acne.”


You have to let your body do its amazing work of healing and repairing itself without interruption. Another thing to think about leaving make-up on overnight is the actually pressure of the pillow pushing the make-up deep into your pores. So take the extra minute to do your cleanse and (if your higher self allows it) moisturize as well. Because you KNOW you’ll regret it hardcore in the morning if you skip out on this self-care step.


2. “I thought hot water was better for my skin because it opens my pores”

You’re definitely not wrong, hot water will open your pores, but while it does, it’s also going to strip your skin of all its good, natural oils leaving you dry, red, and irritated. To get scientific on ya, your skin has 2 main layers (epidermis and dermis), and each layer can be broken down to smaller sub layers. The outermost skin we can visibly see is called the epidermis which contains 5 smaller sub layers as well. The very top layer of skin is known as stratum corneum; this layer does a lot of shedding and turning over of skin cells but also it is where your natural oils are held (that’s called the “acid mantle”) Acid Mantle would be a sick name for a rock band. But we digress. Your acid mantle is your number one defense again environmental factors (i.e. sun, wind, humidity, etc.). Hot water absolutely demolishes your acid mantle leaving you defenseless and dry. Keep water cold-ish to lukewarm when washing your face. No one likes to take cold showers, so we recommend washing your face in the skin either before you after you shower.


3. Exfoliation is a major key to skin success. But the right type.

There are 2 mains types of exfoliation; chemical and manual (ka “physical”). People use the term exfoliation loosley, but simply put, it’s the removal of dead skin cells. Exfoliating, and the general removal of dead skin cells,signals your skin to produce healthier, new skin cells without layers of useless, dead skin on top. By regularly exfoliating with an epic scrub like CLEARSTEM’s VITAMINscrub and/or CLEARity AHA/PHA acid serum, you are exercising your skin and allowing the waste material to be excreted. Chemical / acid / AHA exfoliation can come in the form of AHA’s (glycolic), BHA’s (salicylic), PHA’s (poly-hydroxy acids), retinols, or enzymes. This is the more targeted form of exfoliation and is specifically able to dissolve oil buildup (whereas a scrub helps eliminate dead skin particles). A scrub or clarisonic type device is a form physical / manual exfoliation, and both are important in your skin arsenal. Whether it be using a scrub, brush, or scrubbing cloth, this tends to be the “safest” way to exfoliate, although some of us go HAM and push way too hard or use particles that are way too harsh- we recommend passing the “baby test”. If it would make a baby cry, it’s unnecessarily rough and ill-advised. Think of a scrub more as buffering or polishing. Very soft and gentle removal of dead skin cells for longer periods of time will result in more effective exfoliation with the least amount of irritation, and literally acts as exercise for your skin.


4. Charcoal masks

Activated charcoal, so hot right now. The word “activated”, just gets you going right? It’s pretty useful. You can find it in basically every product from shampoo to toothpaste to moisturizers and masks. One of my favorite forms of it is a charcoal clay mask. Charcoal offers benefits such as removing dirt, pollution, and toxins from pores. It has magnetic properties that can pull dirt and toxins from clogged pores. The most common clay mask is the Aztec Healing Clay. This mask can be mixed with a little water, apple cider vinegar, and choice of essential oil for the perfect combination of de-clogging pores. Be careful with other DIY masks, though, as not all are acne-safe. For some reason, people are mixing glue and charcoal for a satisfying pull off mask that will absolutely piss off your skin. Also be aware of ingredients for a pre-made/mixed mask, manufacturer’s love mixing charcoal and coconut oil, which is a known pore-clogger. That’s like eating pizza on the treadmill. If you find yourself feeling a little extra oily, throw on a charcoal face mask to disintegrate the extra oil and avoid future clogs.


Almost every single skin type benefits form some amount of regular, daily exfoliation- the results are tied to the type, frequency, intensity, and the other aspects of your skin regimen.


When you’re ready to see instantly smoother skin, give our VITAMINscrub and our magic-in-a-bottle CLEARity AHA exfoliating serum a go.

You. will. LOVE. it. These two items were designed for all skin types; VITAMINscrub contains clay bits to pull out oil and just the right amount of texture beads (environmentally safe of course) to polish away dead skin cells. CLEARity is worth its weight in gold- it has specific a perfect acid blend of several well-loved skin-friendly acids, sitting in a perfect pH for max absorption, along with vitamin C bioflavinoids intense brightening. People with melasma write to us unprompted, thanking us for this serum as it lightens and heals skin issues like scars, breakouts, and hyper-pigmentation. (Melasma is the most serious form of hyper-pigmentation- if it can help that, it can do anything). Both items contain zero pore-cloggers, toxins, or inflamers. Fight breakouts and wrinkles at the same time- your time is valuable. The beauty is that all skin types will benefit from  the VITAMINscrub + CLEARity serum regimen- it’s the way you use it that will allow you to tailor it to your skin type and goals! Take our skin quiz at to get tailored instructions- we got you!