From the Aesthetician: How to Minimize Pores & Remove Blackheads

Cynthia Bailey, MD|August 6, 2015

Minimize Pores


For those with blackheads, sometimes it seems like we'd all be better off without pores. After all, blackheads are just pores that have been filled with dirt, dead cells and bacteria. Unfortunately, pores produce important skin oil to keep skin hydrated and healthy. It's a fairly good system - most of the time.

If you have large pores, it usually means that you have normal to oily skin or just oily, which is genetically determined. The larger the pore, the more oil (sebum) your pores will produce. The amount of sebum that your pores produce can be affected by hormones, medicines and other external factors, many of which are not under our control. Love them or not, we really do need our pores. While we can never get rid of them (nor would we want to!) we can reduce the size, which makes the pore appear smaller and helps to make it less likely to fill up and become clogged.

To remove blackheads and minimize pore appearance, we can create a great morning and evening routine that will help remove dirt, oil, dead cells and bacteria. If you stay consistent and are diligent about taking care of your skin, you'll see a noticeable reduction in blackheads and clogged pores.

Morning Routine

  • Cleanse with the Glytone Mild Gel Wash Cleanser using either the Buf Puf Facial Sponge or the Clarisonic Brush System.  The Clarisonic is a bit of a financial investment, but it allows the skin to be cleansed six to ten times more than what we can do with our hands or a wash cloth.   It will allow the pore to be slightly massaged to help empty out debris.  The glycolic acid in the gel wash will help remove dead skin cells, as well as sebum too. 
  • Apply a light moisturizer after the skin has been cleansed,  leaving the skin a little dewy so the moisturizer will be able to penetrate into the skin and hold water in the skin layers. Green Tea Antioxidant Therapy is great for a light morning moisturizer.  The heavier the moisturizer the more oily the skin will be, which can add to the appearance of pore size. 
  • Apply a light Sunscreen, or a BB cream as well. Elta Md SPF 46 is great for oily skin, and MD Solar  Sciences is a great mattifying BB cream for oily skin. This BB cream will help to absorb oil throughout the day.

Evening Routine

It's important to remove everything off the skin from that day.  Removing bacteria, makeup, oils and dead skin cells helps reduce and remove blackheads and pore-clogging debris.  If the skin can handle it, use the Clarisonic twice a day. If your skin is too sensitive for twice daily use, then use the Clarisonic at night to clean the day's build-up off your skin.

  • Cleanse with mild gel wash along with the Clarionic brush system.  If the skin can handle it, use the Replenix scrub every other day. It's a great way to get a physical scrub, which helps "sand down" the actual pore opening. 
  • Apply the Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy again.  On the off nights, meaning the nights you won’t be using your scrub, you can apply the Retinol Intensive Anti-Wrinkle 5x Serum. It's a great chemical exfoliation for getting rid of blackheads. 

Why I think the Clarisonic Brush System is worth the investment

With typical manual cleaning, dirt and oil are not as effectively removed and may become trapped into your pores and fine lines.  The Clarisonic uses sonic technology proven to gently and effectively loosen dirt and oil to clear your pores.  The biggest mistake that people make with the Clarisonic is  they don't exfoliate. It's only a cleaning brush, it doesn't break up and remove the dead skin.

Occasionally, a client will tell me that the Clarisonic is too strong for their skin or it stings when they use it.  Remember, when using something new to the skin, starting off slowly is the key.  Once a week, if all goes well, twice a week the next, then three times a week. It's the best way to get the skin acclimated to something without having an reactions.

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