Finding the perfect pore cleanser can take a lot of trial and error; whether it’s determining which product type to buy (between oils, foams, and clay;) and whether or not it will work with your skin type.
How do pores become clogged?
The first question to answer when it comes to washing your face, or inevitably, cleaning your pores would be: how did they become clogged in the first place?
The cause can be a number of factors; from hormonal, stress, environmental, or just the participation in normal day to day activities. Pores become congested typically due to a combination of oil, dead skin, dust, and bacteria. As those four culprits rest on the skin, they can tend to fill in the pores on our faces causing breakouts and blackheads.
Oil vs. Foam vs. Clay
When cleansing your pores, you will ultimately be looking at your skins current needs. If you skin is feeling dry and congested, you will want to reach for an oil-based cleanser. The benefit of oil based cleansers is that they are able to moisturize your skin while pulling dirt and debris away from your pores. Once rinsed off, your skin will feel moisturized and smooth. Foam cleansers work by creating a lather, allowing bubbles to form and lift dirt up and off of the skin. If you have an oilier skin type, Foam cleansers are great to leave your face as a dry canvas to place any products that may follow in your daily routine. Finally, clay cleansers draw the oil and dirt out of your pores, and provide some exfoliation as the clay is removed. However, because clay absorbs moisture, it can leave skin feeling stripped and dry; it may not be as comfortable to use on drier skin.Keep in mind, if you have skin that tends to be on the oilier side, you may find yourself thinking that a blank slate, free of oil, is the perfect solution to your predicament, but sometimes, stripping your skin of it’s oils may cause it to over compensate for the loss of oil and over produce your skin’s natural sebum, which can exacerbate your skin’s condition, leading to the problem you’re trying to avoid. With this in mind, it may be better to steer into the skid making sure your skin doesn’t feel neglected; but balanced through proper moisturization.
Best for Everyone
Hanskin’s Pore Cleansing Balm is a good choice for people of all skin types. Most oils are a great and gentle way to remove dirt and bacteria from the pores. This cleansing balm contains quite a few beneficial oils, such as primrose, jojoba and sunflower seed oil which promote anti-inflammation; as well as olive oil which is an antibacterial, preventing pores from clogging.
By using a cleansing balm, the oils melt against the skin of your palm or face, allowing the oil to pull impurities away from your skin gently. After being thoroughly massaged over your face, the product can then be wiped away with a washcloth to reveal cleansed and moisturized skin.
Best for Sensitive Skin
Of all the pore cleansers, foam cleansers are the most gentle on skin and require the least amount of effort. Belif’s Pore Cleaner Foam Cleanser is an excellent choice for gently cleaning pores. The foam cleanser has rosehip oil which is high in vitamin c making it a good skin exfoliant as well as a skin brightener.
The use of eucalyptus inside Belif’s cleanser has skin clarifying and purifying properties which prevents bacteria from occurring. As a final nourishing element in the product, dandelion root is full of antioxidants and promotes anti-aging. Foam cleansers work best when applied to damp skin; the bubbles in the foam allow the dirt in pores to be lifted from the skin and easily washed away leaving you skin feeling smooth, and balanced.
Best in Versatility
Tatcha’s The Rice Polish: Classic is an excellent choice if you are unsure of what your skin may need day in and day out. This product uses finely ground rice in it’s formula allowing for a gentle exfoliation. Because of its powdery composition, The Rice Polish is very easy to customize for your needs, as it depends on how much water you add to it. If you find yourself needing a deeper cleanse at the end of day, or due to a full face of makeup, you can add less water, creating more of a loose paste that will yield a firmer, almost meringue-like foam with more grit to promote exfoliation.
Alternatively, if it’s the start of the day, and you may only need a gentle cleanse. By adding more water to the powder, you can create a loose liquid, that is easier to coax into gentle, seafoam-like suds. Because the product foams regardless of the amount of water, any lingering oil will be removed from your skin, allowing for a smooth, dry surface that can easily be worked with when it comes to applying any additional facial toner, lotions, serums, make up, etc.
Normal to Oily Complexion Compatible
Dr. Brandt’s Pore Clarifying Cleanser from their Pore No More line is another good decongestant, if you don’t like the feel of exfoliants particles. With ingredients such as salicylic acid and white willow bark extract, this product uses chemical exfoliants that remove dead skin cells and help prevent clogging in the future.
White willow bark extract also helps to calm the skin which can be helpful when using with exfoliants of this type. The Pore Clarifying Cleanser also contains tea tree oil which is known for its antiseptic properties, which prevents bacteria and helps to maintain a clear skin. Similar to the foam cleanser, apply to damp skin before washing it away to reveal a blank canvas for any products that may follow.
Sensitive to Combination Complexion Compatible
For sensitive skin, Neogen Dermalogy’s Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser is a good way to go if you want to avoid any harsh chemicals in your skin care routine. The Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser uses a combination of different clay which aid in absorbing oils, drawing dirt and any lingering impurities to the surface to be easily washed away.
It also uses carbonated water, which is acidic, allowing it to aid in acne prevention, while the centella asiatica extract soothes irritated skin. This cleanser goes on as a clay and bubbles as it dries, lifting dirt and oil away from the skin for a clean, matte finish.