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The truth about blocked pores and clear skin

If you’re human and breathing, chances are you’ve experienced blocked pores, here and there during your earthly journey.

Yep, hell hath no fury like blocked pores after a thick coating of makeup or sunscreen or after the ultimate sugar pig out.

The result?

Red, angry pimples, big blackheads, and pesky bumps (also known as blind pimples) that sit beneath your skin’s surface.

If you’re hunting for all of the answers to your clear skin desires, then you’re not alone! Clear skin has been Phoebe’s personal battle since forever, so we’re all over this.

To unclog your pores, we’ve found that a few clever tricks, products and some serious know-how are all you need to maintain the best skin of your life.

There are a whole heap of myths out there that are probably confusing the living daylights out of you, so today we’re going to debunk the most common myths and equip you with the right education to have you giggling with glee over your newfound radiance.

Grab your kombucha tea – it’s time to dive in and de-gunk!

MYTH #1: You can close your pores with the latest sparkly skincare product

Nope, those fancy claims on the back of your conventional moisturiser goop are just that - fancy (and most likely not true).

Sadly pores don’t open and close like doors, but you CAN make them appear smaller by keeping your pores clean and using products that can contract the pore’s walls.

Even if you’re molecularly blessed to have never really experienced so much as a zit or enlarged pore in your entire life, please be mindful that your pores can enlarge with age as your skin loses elasticity (especially if they’re dirty or not exfoliated). So it’s a good idea to stay on top of this stuff!

Keep ‘em clean

Washing away the day with a plant-based and all-natural cleanser (that’s gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types) likeCloud 9 Deep Cleansing Balm and3 Cheers Cleansing Oil will ensure your pores remain junk-free.Chirpy Charcoal Cleansing Gel, on the other hand, is stellar at extracting the top sticky layer of sebum and dead skin cells and allowing the dirt trapped a chance to escape.

Masks to the rescue

Another nifty tip is popping on a mineral mask once or twice a week. ThePig in Mud Mineral Mask is a serious superhero in this department because it detoxes, tones, revitalises, removes blackheads, minimises the appearance of pores, smooths rough skin, reduces signs of ageing and helps skin recover from breakouts.

We have 2 masks to choose from too - one targeting at rejuvenating dry and sensitive skin, and the other at balancing oil and helping breakouts for oily and combination skin. Can’t go wrong!

Try a steam facial

Steaming your face can help cleanse and clear your pores too (though, they won’t shrink them), while also reinvigorating your skin. You don’t need special gadgets, just a kettle, bowl and a towel will do the trick and make you feel refreshed after 5 or 10 minutes. Adding herbs and essential oils (like rosemary, tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus are good choices when looking to clear clogged pores) will also help in unclogging pores.

WARNING: Don’t get too close to the hot water or let it come into contact with your skin as it could cause burns or capillary damage

MYTH BUSTER #2: “Popping” and “Squeezing” should do the trick.

BA BOWWWW…. wrong!

If you’re none too privy to hovering over the sink, pressing your fingers onto your skin with brute force until it finally spits something out then we hate to be the skin police, but this is a huge no-no.

Not only can this cause scarring, but it often just leads to more breakouts. 9 times out of 10 you really are best just leaving it.

The next time you find yourself going through this familiar cycle of ill-advised DIY extractions - pause for a second. Take a deep breath. Repeat the mantra “I will not squeeze. I will not pop”. You got this (reach for your Pig In Mud Mineral Mask instead!).

MYTH BUSTER #3: I can eat whatever I want and still have perfect skin

Well, maybe if you’re a Victoria’s Secret model undergoing daily facials and extractions, or a descendant of some kind of Game of Thrones mythical creature, then yeah. But actually studies have found an unhealthy diet has a direct effect on your skin health.

We’re not saying you need to be perfect with your diet - where’s the fun in that!? But by following an 80-20 rule (or 90-10 if you’re up for it), you might reap some skin rewards.

In particular, acne and irritated skin conditions can be caused by inflammation in your body caused by eating dairy and gluten. If you’ve got reaaallll severe blemishes, we suggest steering clear of these yummies-but-sometimes-baddies for a while to see if there are any improvements in your skin and pores.

You can even get inflammatory responses to alcohol, sugar and water retention from super-salty foods.

If you find yourself red, spotty, or with puffy skin after a big night out then make sure you take really good care of yourself for the next few days (inside and out!)!

A reality check

Remember, the thing about enlarged pores and blackheads is…. nobody really notices except you. And your bathroom mirror, of course. Your mirror sees all (no popping!).

So stress less. Treat your skin with love and care but most importantly, embrace whatever imperfections you may have. This is the perfect antidote to ensuring your dermis remains happy, healthy and luminous - like you!

P.S.A big thanks for this lovely photo goes out to the beautiful Zoe Broadstock xxx