Are Your Skin Care Products Causing Blackheads And Clogged Pores?

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What is a blackhead? Blackheads are large pores that contain oil that has oxidized with air causing it to turn black.

What you can do: Although there is no way to permanently get rid of blackheads, your best bet is regular monthly deep pore cleansing facials followed by home use of AHA Smoothing Serum to keep the pores cleaned. Long term use of Retin-A can help but it has to be used regularly and for years before you can really see a difference.  Avoid the ingredients Isopropyl Myristate and Isopropyl Palmitate in your skin care products as these can contribute to the formation of blackheads…

What is a clogged pore? Clogged pores are considered whiteheads and closed comedones that are little clogged bumps under the skin that aren’t red or sore, just little white-ish bumps. Most people get them on the chin or sides of the mouth.

What you can do: Since these have no infection (meaning, they are not sore) using harsh acne products will only make them worse by causing dry skin cell build up trapping that oil in the skin longer. Exfoliate! By keeping off dry skin cell buildup this will help these purge naturally, however a good deep pore cleansing facial will get all of that old oil out. They can be caused from heavy pore-clogging oils like Mineral Oil and Petrolatum so be sure to avoid these ingredients.

Here’s a list of ingredients to avoid in your skin care products. (Renée Rouleau products DO NOT contain these ingredients)

  • Mineral Oil & Petrolatum (pore-clogging and suffocating to the skin)
  • SD Alcohol 40 and Denatured Alcohol (the “bad” alcohols commonly found in toners. It is extremely drying and irritating.)
  • Isopropyl Myristate & Isopropyl Palmitate (can cause blackheads)
  • Synthetic dyes (can be a skin irritant)
  • Synthetic fragrances in our skin care products (the #1 cause of allergic reactions to products. Avoid products containing the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the ingredient listing)
  • Known sensitizers (ingredients that can cause irritation)
  • Heavy oils (will suffocate the skin and leave it feeling greasy)
  • Sodium or Ammonium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate (found in some cleansing gels and is extremely drying and irritating to the skin)
  • Apricot kernels, or seed/shell powders (naturally made particles found in facial scrubs can scratch and irritate the skin causing bacteria to spread)

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take the Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or Face Time.

For more expert advice check out the blog. Also sign up for our skin tip e-newsletter, follow Renée Rouleau on Twitter and Instagram and join the discussion on our Facebook page. You’ll be your own skin care expert in no time. Get the #ReneeRouleauGlow!

Disclaimer: Content found on and, including text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or blog.


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  1. is argan oil pore clogging

    Posted By: kim  | 

    • Any oil could be potentially pore clogging is your skin is prone to clogged pores.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  2. I thought that Vaseline/Petrolatum is non-comedogenic? Many skin doctors say so, and Vaseline claims that it is non-comedogenic as well.

    Posted By: Amanda  | 

    • Every skin responds differently but it’s certainly not something that I recommend to my clients or personally use myself. There are so many better options for holding water in the skin than something like petrolatum which is so greasy.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  3. Can you please advise me on what products to use for blackheads. My skin is sensitive, combination oilnormal. Occasional breakout. and for anti-aging. Thanks

    Posted By: Debbie  | 

    • It sounds like you are a skin type 2. Look here to see your skin type and get products recommended.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      • should all the products in skin type 2 be used step by step for skin regime? as that what you advise?

        Posted By: debbie  | 

      • My skin is not necessarily oily. My forehead gets a bit oily and around my nose. The rest is normal. I am concerned about the blackheads and aging. Is skin type 2 the correct one or should it be a different type?

        Posted By: debbie  | 

      • Before I purchase anything I just want to make sure I am ordering for the correct skin type. Can you please let me know as I stated above not sure if skin type 2 is the correct one. Thank you so much for your time.

        Posted By: Debbie  | 

  4. Hi! I have just received my basic skin care for skin type 3 and have been using it for almost a week now. Recently, since being in between skin care products, my forehead has become awfully textured with little bumps and clogged pores, which I haven’t had for maybe a year or so (having mainly dealt with cystic-like breakouts with my old products)How much time should I give the product to smooth out my skin before exploring my other product options on this site?

    Posted By: Jenny  | 

    • I’m so glad you’re starting with our line. Of the products you have purchased, the BHA Clarifying Serum is the one that will help most with the forehead bumps. I would use the products faithfully and then in the next 3-4 weeks, try to work into some of the other products for skin type 3. The Mint Buffing Beads and the mask both will help with the bumps, as well as some of the other products.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

    • You might also want to get a deep pore cleansing facial too, as this will help clean out the pores so the products can work even better to keep them clear.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 


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