The Real Reason Your Pores Always Clog (No Matter How Many Facials You Get)

When it comes to self-care, it seems there are unlimited ways to spend your time and money.

“As a beauty editor, I’m in the very privileged position of getting to try out new products and techniques regularly, and my hope is to report honestly on what works and what doesn’t. For the first time in my life, I have gotten regular monthly facials long enough to make a difference to my skin (my current favorites are gua sha with Britta Plug and Danuta’s facial at Rescue Spa, hands down). While my skin is the happiest it’s ever been—it’s clear, smooth, and glowy—keeping my pores unclogged feels like a maintenance game that depends on more than just regular facials. Is it just me, or do pores require seemingly unlimited maintenance?”

Why do pores always seem clogged?

“Pore size is genetic,” said integrative dermatologist Cybele Fishman, M.D. “As we age, all our pores get bigger, regardless of where you started.” Their increased size means that they have the propensity to clog more easily, too.

Diana Yerkes, head esthetician at Rescue Spa, agrees that genetics and diet play a huge role but insists that skin care regimens and environment can make a remarkable difference. “Heat, humidity, and air pollution increase the likelihood that pores will clog,” she told mbg. “For example, my skin was easier to maintain in Seattle than it is in New York City.” Good news for those of us in the northern hemisphere who are moving out of the summer season and into fall and winter, which typically tend to be less humid.

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