A good facial pore cleanser does not have to cost you a small fortune. You can make your own cleansers at home for a fraction of the price, and yes, they do really work. In fact, the result can be far better than the results you get from some store bought cleansers. The 5 ideas I am about to share with you only involve using natural ingredients, all of which are easily obtainable. Before we get started, let us quickly take a brief look at pores and what actually causes them to become blocked and/or enlarged.
Pores are essentially little holes in your skin that allow sebum to reach the surface. Sebum is oil produced by glands under the skin. The sebum then travels to the surface via your pores. Its job is to protect the surface of your skin. Unfortunately, this sebum sometimes mixes with dirt, dust, dead skin cells, etc. This then causes the pores to become clogged.
While blocked pores may not be a serious medical concern, they can certainly be rather unsightly, and they can and often do cause acne. Clogged pores can also cause a variety of other unsightly skin blemishes, including:
If you regularly have blocked pores and you want to avoid problems, then I highly recommend using an effective facial pore cleanser. Think about this: More than 50 million Americans suffer with acne, making it the leading skin condition in the country according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Not only is acne unsightly, but it can and often does also lead to scarred pores.
Cysts which can result from clogged pores and/or acne are a nightmare which is best avoided. I myself have had two cysts in the past which had to be surgically removed after they just got bigger and bigger. Needless to say, I have been using a facial pore cleanser every day ever since then.
Is Salicylic Acid the Best Cleanser for Pores?
Salicylic acid is found in numerous topical acne medications, as well as in many pore cleansing products. In fact, if you do an online search, you will see plenty of advice telling you that if they want a facial pore cleanser, they should only buy those that contain salicylic acid.
I am not going to denounce salicylic acid or its effectiveness at unclogging blocked pores because it is very effective. However, it is a “chemical” exfoliator that causes skin to slough off at a quicker rate than it usually does. If you are dealing with bad acne then it might be in your best interest to use salicylic acid-based topical treatments.
If you only want to clear your pores and keep them clear, then I believe that there are milder and safer alternatives. Even the American Academy of Dermatology states that a gentle and non-irritating facial pore cleanser, used together with warm water, is adequate for cleaning out one’s pores. Okay, let’s discuss 5 homemade, tried and tested pore cleansers:
Milk is a very gentle, yet surprisingly effective cleanser. This is largely due to its fat and protein content, and also its lactic acid content. The lactic acid does a great job at removing dead skin cells. At the same time, the fat and the proteins do a great job of moisturizing and plumping up your skin. Naturally, since we want to benefit from the fat in the milk, you will have to use full-fat milk.
If you want to use milk as a facial pore cleanser, all you need to do is gently massage a generous amount of milk into your skin, and then gently wipe your face clean with some wet cotton wool balls. People who have exceedingly sensitive skin may experience some degree of irritation due to the slightly acidic nature of milk. It you develop a rash, or it causes any sort of other irritation, then you should naturally stop using it.
I know this might seem somewhat unbelievable, but the fact is, you can clean your face with honey. Raw Manuka honey is particularly good for this if you can get hold of some, but if you cannot, then just go with any pure honey you can get. Ideally, you should use raw unpasteurized honey. You can use the honey on its own, although I would recommend that you rather make a honey-based face wash. For an effective and easy-to-use facial cleanser, you will need the following ingredients:
- ½ a cup of raw honey
- ½ a cup of water (preferably distilled)
- 4 tablespoons of castile soap (liquid)
- About 14 or 15 drops of essential oil (preferably jojoba or tea tree oil)
- A clean jar or pump bottle for storage
Mix all of the above ingredients together and then transfer the mixture to your jar or pump bottle. You do not need to store this mixture in the refrigerator, but you obviously can if you want to. You now have a seriously good facial pore cleanser that will clean, disinfect, moisturize and nourish your skin all in one go.
If you still have any doubts about the potential of honey, I highly recommend you to read the article on the US Public Library of Medicine website.
Use this face wash either once or twice a day. Simply massage it gently into your skin and leave it on for a few minutes to work its magic, and then rinse it off with some warm water. If you really don’t feel like making your own honey-based facial cleanser, I would recommend buying some Kanapa Foaming Facial Cleanser or Kanapa Purifying Cleansing Cream. Both of these products already contain Manuka honey, along with a range of other good natural ingredients.
Surely, if you rub oil on your face, it will clog your pores rather than unclog them? Not quite, but it does depend on what sort of oil you use. Actually, any oil can be used to clean your face, including regular cooking oil, although I wouldn’t recommend it. Cold pressed coconut oil is a good choice, but not if you are prone to acne because it can cause breakouts.
Olive oil is likewise a good choice, but I wouldn’t recommend using the olive oil you see in the supermarkets. Olive oil sold in grocery stores is often tainted and it could cause skin irritation.
As I have mentioned earlier, blocked pores are caused by a mixture of sebum, dirt and dead skin cells. Sebum is an oil/fat which obviously isn’t water soluble. Soap is able to dissolve sebum, but then again, many types of soap contain fat/oil, and those that don’t will contain various chemicals that are capable of breaking down oil.
Some oils are obviously more effective than others when it comes to breaking down other oils such as sebum. Some can be made even more effective when combined with certain other oils. As an added bonus, some oils are actually beneficial because they can moisturize and nourish the skin. Some really excellent oils that come to mind are:
- Jojoba oil
- Avocado oil
- Tea tree oil
- Grape seed oil
- Rosehip oil
Any of the above oils can be used either on their own, or in various combinations. There are literally tons of different recipes out there for making your own oil-based facial pore cleanser. If you have extremely large pores I would certainly recommend using an oil-based cleanser in order to remove as much old sebum as possible.
Once you have cleaned your face with your chosen oil mixture, wash all remaining residue off with a mild all-natural facial cleanser and some warm water, and then rinse your face with cold water to close your pores again.
Grains Cleanser and Exfoliator
I love using raw grains for making a super-affordable facial pore cleanser and exfoliator that leaves my face feeling wonderfully clean and refreshed. It might not be the best face wash for clogged pores, but it is certainly a worthy contender. You can literally use any combination of grains, but I would definitely recommend using rice as part of the combination.
I would also recommend using a coffee grinder rather than a food processor for grinding your grains. You want the result to be a fine powder that can exfoliate your skin without causing damage or irritation.
I usually use about a dozen almonds, 1 or 1 ½ cups of raw uncooked rice, and about 4 or 5 teaspoons of milk powder. I grind the rice and the almonds together and then I mix in the milk powder, and I store this in a jar next to the basin in my bathroom. When I want to use it, I just mix some of it with some rose water to form a smooth paste and then I massage it gently into my face. Once I am done, I leave it on for a few minutes, and then I rinse it off with warm water, followed by a rinse with cold water.
Lately, I have been using full fat milk instead of rose water because the milk tends to plump up my face and reduce the appearance of the fine lines which have started to come and haunt me.
To be honest, I do occasionally make my own soap-based facial pore cleanser, but not very often. Most times, I simply order one or both of the Kanapa products I mentioned earlier. I also often use the Kanapa Revitalizing Exfoliating Scrub. When I do decide to make my own soap based cleanser, I order a good quality castile soap in liquid form, which I then mix with some rose water and some pure Aloe Vera gel.
I happen to be a huge Aloe Vera fan by the way, and regularly use fresh Aloe Vera gel on my face all on its own. My faith in Aloe Vera was given a further boost when I stumbled across a review that has been published on the US National Library of Medicine website. In January 2019, researchers did a review of 23 different Aloe Vera trials, and their findings are quite impressive to say the very least.
KanapaTM Skin Care Products
I know that my opinion of KanapaTM skin care products may be seen as being somewhat biased, but if you have ever tried any KanapaTM products, then I am sure you will agree with me when I say they are superb. In case you have never heard of KanapaTM before, it is a range of skin care products made by Xtendlife, a New Zealand-based company.
One of the main reasons why I decided to try some of their products is because they are all 100% chemical free. I was also really impressed with the different types of ingredients which are used in their various skin care products, and even in their dietary supplements.
In this post, you may have noticed that I have mentioned things like Jojoba Oil and Manuka Honey a few times. I myself only heard about Manuka Honey after I was introduced to KanapaTM skin care products. However, I was very familiar with the benefits of Jojoba Oil long before I discovered KanapaTM.
Jojoba Oil can be used on practically all skin types for treating skin infections. It can and is also used for treating aging skin. Don’t take my word for it though. Read about it on the US National Institutes of Health website, or on the Webmd website. Also, if you are looking for a 1-ingredient facial pore cleanser that is totally effective, order some pure organic Jojoba Oil.
Jojoba Oil is so effective at unclogging pores, that it is now being used to encourage hair growth among people who are suffering from hair loss. Jojoba should only be used topically and never taken orally. The oil contains erucic acid which can result in serious side effects if ingested in sufficient amounts.
Do not let the erucic acid put you off though because there is quite a lot of it in things like rapeseed oil and most other cooking oils as well. Seriously, Jojoba Oil is fantastic when it comes to skin care, and it is one ingredient which I more or less insist on having inside my own skin care products.
Well, that brings me to the end of this post, so thanks for reading, and I hope you have found something of value. Until next time, take care.
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