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Help Me, I’m Pore: How to Unclog and Shrink Pores for Good

As a firm believer that skincare is the best makeup of all, enlarged pores are the bane of this beauty editor’s existence. But even being fixated on your pores doesn’t mean they get any easier to maintain. Pores can be so sensitive, which is why it’s crucial to proceed with caution at every stage of your skincare routine. Here, celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau and dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, M.D., at Schweiger Dermatology Group, break down exactly how you can get rid of these pore problems once and for all.

To Unclog

Exfoliate. Rouleau swears by manual extractions as the best way to clean pores effectively (sorry, facial cleansing brush). “To get blackheads and clogged pores clean, you must get extractions from an experienced esthetician on a regular basis, ideally monthly,” she says.

Do mechanical exfoliation at home. But there are steps you can take at home to gently resurface your skin and prevent dead cells from clogging your pores. Gentle (key word!) brushes are Nazarian’s solution. She recommends using a soft mechanical brush or a gentle over-the-counter skin scrub and making sure your skin is washed with warm water and a mild cleanser beforehand. “Scrubbing too hard will only irritate and inflame the skin, causing it to look red and puffy. Go slow, and play nice with your pores.”

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