Home Remedies for Blocked Pores

The skin contains many tiny holes called pores, which carry oil, or sebum, from the sebaceous glands to the skin’s surface. Sebum is important to the health of the skin and keeps it moisturized and supple. Sometimes blockages can develop in the pores, which leads to skin irritation and acne. Blocked pores can be cleared with cosmetic procedures and store-bought products, but you can also treat them at home.

Sugar Scrub

Exfoliation is important for skin prone to blackheads and blocked pores. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and clears the way for impurities to be removed from the pores. Pure cane sugar makes an effective exfoliant because of its grainy texture and also because it contains glycolic acid, which is the same ingredient found in many expensive store-bought products.

Honey contains beneficial antioxidants and nutrients that the skin needs and is a nutritious addition to a sugar scrub. To make the scrub, mix 2 tbsp. of pure granulated cane sugar with enough honey to make a paste. Splash the face with warm water to encourage the pores to open and then gently apply the sugar scrub to the skin, rubbing with the fingertips in a circular, upward motion.

Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this could cause tiny tears in the skin. Massage for three to five minutes, rinse with warm water, then splash the face with cool water to close the pores and pat the skin dry.

Clay Mask

Clay is highly absorbent and can soak up to 200 times its body weight in water. When applied to the skin, it uses that absorbency to suck impurities from deep within the skin, clearing clogged pores. Clay also removes dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, revealing a fresh and renewed complexion.

To make your own clay mask at home, purchase blue clay or seaweed clay, which is available online or at your local health food store. Combine about 1 cup with enough water to make a thick paste. Mix it well. Splash the face with warm water to open the pores and then pat the skin dry with a towel.

Apply the clay in a thick layer to the skin and allow it to dry for about 20 to 40 minutes. You will feel a tightening and tingling sensation as the clay dries and draws impurities from the skin. Remove the clay with warm water, splash the face with cool water to close the pores, and pat the skin dry.


Steam is a powerful agent for opening the pores and encouraging the release of harmful impurities and blockages. The best thing is that it’s free and it’s safe to do on a daily basis. To give yourself your own steaming facial at home, boil four cups of distilled water in a pot on the stove.

Remove the pot from the stove and put it someplace sturdy where it will be comfortable for you to sit for 10 minutes. Drape a bath towel over your face and shoulders and lean your face over the pot of steaming water. Don’t get closer than about 12 inches to the pot.

Stay put for 10 minutes, allowing the steam to unclog your pores. Afterward, rinse the face with cool water and pat the skin dry. You can also steam your face before applying a mask or scrub.