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The Clogged Pore and Dirty Makeup Brush

At some time in our life, we all had a breakout at one time or another.    This story is about how I got rid of my clogged pore before it became a large pimple thus turning into a long term hyperpigmentation problem.  I've added extra details about pores, the different types of clogged pores, sebum and cleaning of your makeup brushes.

What Is A Pore?

Example of clogged pores

 The pores, the tiny openings in the skin, connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle.   The oil inside the follicles carries dead skin cells to the surface of the skin.  A thin hair also grows through the follicle and out to the skin. 

What is a clogged Pore?

A clogged pore or comedones happens when the pore,  becomes blocked or clogged with buildup of impurities.  The pore becomes overfilled with excess oil, dead skin and dirt.  The blockages can range from mild to problematic acne

 A clogged pore is prime real estate for bacteria to grow a family.  This invasion could lead to whiteheads, blackheads, papules or inflamed papules. 

Types of Clogged Pores

U.S. National Library of Medicine


Occurs when hair follicles, sebum and skin cells collect into a plug.  The bacteria in the plug causes swelling.  As the plug starts to dissolves, a pimple grows.   Microcomedones are invisible to the naked eye


Whiteheads or closed comedones, are pores are closed with dead skin cells, bacteria and oil trapped below the surface.  They are visible to the eye and appear as small white spots.  Sometimes Whiteheads release the oil and bacteria to the skin surface and heal or their own or they may rupture the follicle wall to develop into inflammatory acne. 


Blackheads are open comedones that were previously whiteheads.  When they reached the skin’s open surface, the air causes oxidization, which turns it brownish black. 

Papules and Pustules

Papules are small, solid raised bumps with a border.  Pustules are pimples (zits) filled with pus.

In either situation, the follicle wall of a blackhead or whitehead ruptured and white blood cells flooded in for healing, causing the pore to become inflamed. 

 What is Sebum?

Sebum is a waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands, made of triglycerides, wax esters, squalene, and metabolites of fat-producing cells. 

 Why Do You Need Sebum?

We all know an excessive oil production is a nuisance to oily/acne skin types.   Nevertheless, the body produces sebum as a lubricant for our skin and hair.  You may not believe it now, but you're the lucky one.  When we age, we lose those benefits.  The photos below displays what happens to skin when sebum production slows down.  

 According to the University of Maryland Medical Center,  Aging causes the skin to undergo changes:

“Oil-secreting glands shrink, leaving the skin without a protective layer of oil. The skin's ability to stay moisturized then decreases, becoming dry and scaly”.

Dry Flaky skin

    What Caused My Clogged Pore?

    dirty makeup brush

    I used a dirty brow brush, then followed up with and a greasy brow pencil.  Adding to the fact I neglected to cleanse my brow line properly. 

    Yeah, yeah!,  I should know better.   The following link is the results of an investigation conducted of makeup counters in beauty salons. The next time you're tempted to sample exposed makeup at the retail counter, remember these findings:

    Investigating incidence of bacterial and fungal contamination in shared cosmetic kits available in the women beauty salons

    “Rich texture of cosmetics can provide a suitable medium for growth of pathogenic microorganisms. In addition, skin microflora of anyone is unique which might be harmful to another person”.

    Here's another study.   After one month uncleaned makeup brushes held more bacteria than researchers were even able to measure.

    Washing Makeup Brushes

    ..................Skin care Tip

    Wash your brushes at least once a week or spot clean them each day between uses.

    Researching brush cleaning techniques, I came across a site with great information on how to clean your makeup brushes.  Here's the link:

    Yuck, now that I gross you out, here how I fixed it.  It took 3 days for all signs of the blemish to be eliminated.

    Cleaning My Dirty Pores

    Day One.

    During an exercise session  -  I felt an hot itch with a slight swelling on brow-line (see  Microcomedones).  

    First I washed my entire face with Neova Herbal Wash

    Neova Skin Care Product MixtureThen I mixed a very small Neova Serious Clarity Microderm Scrub with a little Herbal Wash.   -  I gently worked the mixture on the two spots.

    Stop  -  A Quick Note Here.

    Never use aggressive movements or rub your face hard when using scrubs.  Always let the product do the work.

    I avoided putting on my anti-aging serums on the area, however I did use my moisturizer to send a signal to my skin.  

    Day Two

    1. Angry itch gone, — one tiny bumps reminds.
    2. I used a very small amount of Neova Serious Clarity Microderm Scrub on brow line. 
    3. Then cleanse entire face with Rhonda Allison Citrus Gel Cleanser Wash because it has Zeolite  - A natural mineral to trap toxins.
    4. I did not use my brow brush or pencil. I did use my Rhonda Allison C-Peptide and of course my Neova DNA Damage Control SPF 44 sunscreen.  I never leave home without it.

    Day Three

    Gone!!  Take that you.......future pimple and dark spot.

    Why I Worried About One Clogged Pore?

    Because, if the clogged pore involved into a pimple, having ethnic skin, I would have to deal with a serious case of......

    Being of Afro American descent, if I did an aggressive hyperpigmentation removal treatment, it could have resulted in hypopigmentation (a lack of melanin), uneven pigmentation or further darken of the skin. We are so delicate

    Will these steps work for you?

    This correction method worked for me because I know my skin.  I understand how my products effect my skin. 

    Four CleansersI have several cleansers in what I call my skin care kit tool box. I believe the right tool for the right job.  Ask any home repair person….

    If the above method did not work, or I allowed a tiny pimple to get bigger, I bring out the heavy guns.  My salicylic acid  products.  I can hear the bacteria shaking in their boots.

    As with all powerful tools, active skin care products should be handled careful. 

    If I use an aggressive oil control product too long or place it on an area unaffected by excessive oil, I could burn my skin.   Or the surrounding tissue would react negatively as if it was over exfoliated.

    But There's A Catch, Everyone’s skin different.

    The above method may not work for your skin.  You have to take into account.  Hormonal fluctuations, work environment.  Gyms and restaurants have a lot of bacteria flowing around waiting to attach to your skin.  How much sun damage you have from unprotected UV radiation. 

    image 1As a personal skin care consultant, I take as many facts as possible about my clients skin care habits.   My current clients say they appreciate my thoroughness.  They understand it’s a team effort.I’m pointing out these facts out because I want you to understand, any product you put on your skin you first have to be a detective to find the correct steps.  You have to know all the facts. 

     If you’re located in Aiken, SC,email me, schedule your personal skin care consultation session.

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