How to Minimise and Clear Clogged Pores
Clogged pores are the enemy of many especially those with combination to oily skin. Pores can be clogged with dead skin, oils, sebum, dirt, and make up. This is also generally why we have acne, blackheads, whiteheads, sebaceous filaments, and just breaking out in general.
Not only being one of the causes for breakouts, but clogged pores, also stretch out our pores as it fills up with gunk making the pores larger. This is why people with combination to oily skin tend to have larger pores than other skin types because of the over production of sebum mixed with dirt, dead skin and other nasties filling up and stretching out the pores.
So as we focus on cleaning out clogged pores and keeping them clear we also inadvertently minimise the size of the pores.
The good news is that we can certainly clear our clogged pores and reduce their appearance with various gentle exfoliation methods and active ingredients to keep the pores clean by absorbing excess oil and sebum, regularly exfoliating dead skin to prevent accumulation, or to even regulate oil and sebum production within your skin to prevent it from even happening in the first place.
Now to the good part. Say hello to the Meejee Method! - great name right? :D
The Meejee Method is split into two routines. Simplified and Complete. The Simplified routine just basically specifies the bare minimal required steps for the Meejee Method to work (though not at its optimal compared to the Complete routine). It's also great for those with already complex skincare routines and just need to plug in a few missing steps instead of following a completely new skincare regime.
The complete Meejee Method is as the name implies, a more complete step by step routine with additional proven actives to target blocked congested dirty pores, sebaceous filaments, blackheads and even pore size in the long run (though note, this can only bring pore size back down to its genetic minimal at the most). You can say it's an overall pore cleansing session. For some this will work on the first go, for the majority of others it will take a few sessions. As they say, YMMV.
Meejee Method (simplified)
- Designed to fit into your current routine
- What you'll need
- Clay mask
- Oil Cleanser
- Moisturizing product
- Clay mask
- We all know the power of a good clay mask. They're great for absorbing oil, other impurities and giving your skin a detox. There are different types of clay which also comes in many different mask formulations from all the different brands. Which of course work differently for different people. So have fun with clay masks and see which is best for you.
- Use for the suggested time or less. Do not go over. They can be drying which can do more damage to your skin such as drying it out, which will trigger your skin to produce more oils to stay hydrated which then brings more problems in itself - you can see the vicious cycle here. So less is more definitely applies in this case.
- After washing off your clay mask, you may notice that your pores may have a nasty cocktail of gunk hanging from them and they kinda want to jump out but can't (especially around your nose area and even chin for others). Don't pick at them, don't scratch at them, your nails are nasty also and will only make it worst. Your nails are also too strong for the skin on your face to be scratching at it (this is why you'll use your Meejee in the next step).
- If you don't see the gunk clinging from your skin, perhaps try a different clay mask that may be more effective (not in the same session, but at a different time of course).
Meejee with your oil cleanser
- Now this where your Meejee with its ultra-soft silicone bristles and HF-Vibrations will come to the rescue and do its meejee magic to remove these unsightly nasties from your pores.
- Apply a generous amount of cleansing oil and let it sit on your skin for at least 10 mins to further loosen up any debris in your pores.
- It's important to not use your fingers and nails to try and extract these nasties. Your Meejee is gentle, yet effective for keeping your pores clean over time and also efficient at gently removing your dead skin. This is key in preventing the build up of dead skin in your pores and ultimately clogging it together with sebum and oils, which then results in more acne, blackheads, whiteheads, sebaceous filaments etc
- You'll meejee for 2 minutes targeting your concern areas. If your concern area is your nose, that's where you'll spend most of your time with Meejee.
- Hopefully at this stage you will see the earlier nasties that were loosened with the clay masks beginning to disappear as you meejee. You probably won't get to all of them on your first go (a few lucky people may, but for the rest of us mortals), be consistent and perhaps even try the complete Meejee Method below. Which will certainly be more effective in cleaning your pores of nasties by taking it multiple steps furthers.
Finish up by following up with your favourite moisturizing product.
- Clay masks can be drying, so this step is vital. Do not get lazy and skip this.
Meejee Method (complete)
As mentioned earlier, the Complete Meejee Method is much more thorough and will target the well being of your pores from multiple angles. There are multiple active ingredients and more steps with the addition of chemical exfoliation within your pores (BHA), managing sebum production (Niacinamide + Zinc serum), and keeping your skin extra hydrated to minimize excessive pore clogging oil production (Hyaluronic Acid Toner). You may notice that these three extra steps all have to do with managing what's happening inside your pores. As you may recall from above, blackheads, whiteheads, sebaceous filaments and acne will appear when pores are clogged and they're forced to the skins surface and become more visible. So by managing at the internal pore level we can more effectively manage these nasties even before they surface.
Also, don't worry if you don't have all the following actives in your stockpile, just as long as you cover the basic steps in the Simplified routine above you'll be okay to start. Everything else you can add along as your skincare routine develops, but they're of course recommended for the Meejee Method to work at its optimal level.
- The complete Meejee Method is for those needing a more thorough routine to address clogged pores
- What you'll need
- Clay mask (mandatory)
- Oil Cleanser (mandatory)
- BHA - Salicylic Acid (highly recommended)
- Hyaluronic Acid Toner
- Niacinamide + Zinc serum
- Moisturizing product (mandatory)
- Clay mask
- Refer to the Simplified Meejee Method above.
- Meejee with your cleanser
- Refer to the Simplified Meejee Method above.
- Dry your face with a towel
- Very lightly dab dry.
- Make sure your face is not completely dry and definitely do not rub your face dry with your towel.
- In short Salicylic acid is a BHA that targets your pores and strips out the nasties (aka exfoliating the insides of your pores), as opposed to an AHA which is targeted at exfoliating the surface of the skin.
- Exfoliating the insides of your pores is an effective way to keeping your pores clear and clean. This is key to preventing clogged pores and the surfacing of whiteheads, blackheads and sebaceous filaments.
- The previous step with Meejee would have removed a lot of dead skin on the surface. So instead of having the BHA work it's way past a lot of surface dead skin, it's now able to go right into your pores, dissolve the oils and get rid of any dirt and other nasties deep in your pores.
- The BHA is after the clay mask and cleanse with Meejee as it's about creating the conditions for your BHA to work best and getting the most out of it.
- Just imagine your face was full of dirt and dead skin, this would hinder a significant proportion of BHA as it works its way past the dead skin on the surface and then having it go deep down into your pores.
- At which percentage?
- A 2% solution is great. Work up to that percentage if you're sensitive to acids.
- Keep it on your skin for approximately 20 minutes for it to work its magic. Don't wash it off after. Go right into your next step.
- Hydration phase (eg. hyaluronic acid toner)
- This is important as the clay mask can be drying for most people - yes even including the oily and combination skin types.
- Sufficiently hydrated skin will also produce less oil (as your skin produces oils if it it feels dehydrated)
- This is why a lot of people with oily skin actually also have dehydrated skin without them even realizing it. They then make it worst by dehydrating their skin further as they make an effort to get rid of their natural oils, which then triggers the skin to produce even more oils.
- The key is to keep your skin sufficiently hydrated, and not stripping all of the natural oils either, so that the oil glands do not go into overdrive. Balance is key.
- This is also the phase to prepare your skin for better absorption of your Niacinamide serum in a later step.
- Apply your Hyaluronic acid toner - it should generally absorb quite quickly.
- You would want to apply at least two layers of your toner. For those familiar with the 'Skin' method with Asian toners, you can definitely do that here :)
- You are able to substitute the hyaluronic acid toner with some other hydrating toner or hydrating sheet mask. The key here is hydration with humectants :)
- Niacinamide + Zinc (optional) based serum
- As your skin has been prepped and primed in the previous step, you'll notice your serum will absorb better into your skin, which means more effective usage and application of your active ingredients.
- The star active ingredient here is Niacinamide aka Vitamin B3
- It has been proven to address pore congestion by regulating sebum in problem skin. As excessive sebum production also contributes to clogged and enlarged pores.
- There are also some anecdotal mentions of a reduction in pore size. This is probably to do with the fact that excessive sebum production has been reduced and the pores are no longer as stretched out as opposed to Niacinamide directly affecting the size of the pore. Either way, it's a great end result.
- Niacinamide can also boost collagen production! (but since it's not pore related, we won't go into much detail, but certainly a noteworthy benefit to mention)
- Zinc is optional and has been added here as many decent Niacinamide serums targeting pore congestion will have Zinc in the formulation also.
- Zinc has also been shown to normalise sebum production just like the more popular Niacinamide. A very handy benefit to have in a serum for people with pore congestion issues.
- Finish up by following up with your favourite moisturizing product.
- Clay masks can be drying, so it's important that you don't skip this step.
Further notes and tips
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