It's been brought to my attention with a poll that Heather took in the "All Anna Bellina" forum that at least 33% of the participants were concerned with congested or clogged pores. The resulting appearance of enlarged pores and blackheads were of major concern so here are the whys and the wherefores. Genetics aside, there are steps that can be taken to correct this skin condition.
The Reasons and Results of Pores Become Clogged
Your skin contains many openings through which oil (sebum) from the oil (sebaceous) glands come to the skin's surface via the hair follicle and pores of the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. Ideally, the perspiration and sebum mix together in normal amounts to form a breathable barrier on the skin's surface, moisturizing and protecting it from the environment.
The opening or pores do not contain muscles therefore you cannot control the dilation or shrinkage of these openings with topical skin care products. What does cause an enlarged appearance of these pores is trapped dirt, dead skin cells, waste by-products, makeup, sebum, and other debris that cannot come out of the pore.
Many factors contribute to the clogging of pores: #1 is dehydrated skin, #2 improper cleansing, excessive oil production, excessive build-up of dead skin cells, hormones, excessive sweating, dirty work or play environments, genetics, makeup, fingers on the face, allergic reactions, a diet high in sugar contentů
Once the pores become clogged, the skin's functions of breathing or exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is hindered, oil cannot be secreted, waste by-products cannot be excreted, moisture cannot be absorbed, and the acid mantel that naturally protects your skin is compromised. These factors result in blackheads (comedones), whiteheads (milia), and even acne (pimples and pustules).
The Solutions to Unclogging Pores
But there are ways to clear the skin of clogged pores. This will not happen overnight and for some skins, especially during the teen years, this may be an ongoing battle. Once your skin becomes and stays hydrated, then the pores can start to perform their natural cell functions of purging and exfoliation. Your skin may be assisted by topical products: #1 constant hydration of skin, #2 proper deep pore cleansing, exfoliants that gently remove excess oil and dead skin cells, masks that detoxify the skin and hydrate tissues deep in the epidermis, products containing essential oils that help balance oil production, bacteria, and inflammation while stimulating circulation and lymph.
Proper Hydration of Skin
Until your skin is kept in a fairly constant hydrated or moist state, the cells cannot function properly. This sets your skin up for all sorts of skin conditions. As this happens, the pore debris becomes dry, hardens, and may become impacted or even inflamed. Internal hydration is good but the environment is constantly robbing your skin of moisture. And unless you live in the tropics, your skin is susceptible to surface drying. Once this drying occurs, it's like placing a drop of water on a bone dry sponge, the water's surface tension is not broken and the droplet just sits there with the sponge not able to absorb the moisture. Now if we take the same sponge and dampen it, the water will immediately be absorbedůso with your skin. But, this hydration needs to be freshened a few times a day in order for the skin to remain hydrated.
Proper Deep Pore Cleansing
Even with proper tissue hydration, unless all residues are removed from the skin regularly (twice a day), and especially before treatment application, the pores are still susceptible to becoming clogged. This means that the facial cleansers you thought were doing such a good job of cleansing your skin are in reality only doing half the job. Even after rinsing your face, if you do not remove the remainder of cleanser and loosened debris residues, you are only going to imbed that debris deeper into the pores as you layer serums and moisturizers on top. The absolute best way to perform this deep pore cleansing is with an alcohol-free toner or skin conditioner on cotton balls. There's no need to harm your skin by vigorous scrubbing or harsh acids, simply wipe with toner damp cotton balls until the last cotton comes away perfectly white. Then and only then will you have truly clean skin, ready for the treatment products.
These two steps don't take long in themselves and aren't terribly expensive. Once a habit is established you will notice a soft and healthy glow with a smoother texture and refined pores. Your skin will love you for it!
Thank you for allowing me to share in your skin therapy...
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