If clearing your clogged pores have been causing you strife, and you’ve been using all sorts of scrubs to eliminate those stubborn bumps on your skin, then it’s about time to re-evaluate your skincare routine. Though it may seem logical to get rid of these bumps with a scrub, assuming that it will smoothen your skin, many have failed to realise that they may be causing more harm than good to the skin.
So what can you turn to if you can’t use harsh scrubs? Known for its abilities for scooping out dirt and grime from clogged pores, consider adding chemical exfoliants to your rotation to exfoliate your skin instead.
By using exfoliators that contain ingredients such as AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids) and BHAs (salicylic acid), these products help relieve any buildup in your pores. Ahead, we’ve listed out some of the few acids that help to exfoliate and reduce the appearance of clogged pores.
Used as an antimicrobial, benzoyl peroxide is mainly used to eliminate any acne-causing bacteria on the skin while keeping the pores clear from blockages. In fact, the ingredient is used to peel away the skin to get rid of dead skin cells, excess sebum and bacteria which may be trapped underneath.
CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser, $22.28. Available at EZBUY.
Known as an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), glycolic acid works to separate the keratinocytes, also known as skin cells, found on the outer layers of skin, while promoting exfoliation. With a more gentle approach as compared to harsh scrubs, the acid helps to speed up cell turnover while bringing fresher and younger cells to the surface. Besides minimising the appearance of pores, glycolic acid also helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, while preventing acne breakouts.
However, it is also important to note that glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide should not be used together to avoid drying out your skin and over-exfoliation.
The Inkey List Glycolic Acid Toner, $17. Available at Sephora.
More commonly known as a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), the salicylic acid is more oil-soluble whereas AHAs are more water-soluble — hence, they can easily penetrate into the pores of the skin. Basically, the BHA is able to penetrate the skin at a deeper level than their water-soluble counterparts.
It’s widely used to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads, which are commonly found on the nose. Here, the acid works to dissolve skin debris that clogs pores and works as an anti-inflammatory to soothe inflamed pimples.
But before you start slathering salicylic acid over your face, you should also take note that using it too often may cause problems to your skin as it might irritate and dry your skin out, causing you to experience dryness, peeling, redness and irritation. Essentially, if you have dry or sensitive skin, you should avoid using Salicylic Acid. Users who are pregnant or are taking certain medications should also avoid salicylic acid.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA (Salicylic Acid) Liquid Exfoliator, $45. Available at PAULA’S CHOICE and SHOPEE.