How To Cleanse Your Pores At-Home

By Minji

  • Looking for easy ways to better cleanse your pores at-home?
  • Incorporating a gentle exfoliating toner into your daily routine could be the key
  • Read on for all the details on how to find one that's right for you

One of the procedures that I consider a highlight at the K-beauty spa where I often get facials is their pore vacuum cleaner.  After the facialist has steamed and opened up my pores, she’ll move this small suctioning device all over my pores.  It works like a vacuum and sucks up all the dirt and grime lodged into my pores! 

Since I’m lying down usually with my eyes closed during all of this, I have to admit I’ve never actually seen it and can only imagine what it must look like.  One of my friends who tried it said the facialist showed her the gunk sucked out from her pores afterwards and it felt gratifying.  My facialist has never done this for me and I assume it’s because I go for regular facials and have a daily skincare routine that works

However, now with the quarantine, it’s been months since I’ve been able to go for an expert facial and experience the magic of this pore vacuum. I’ve been thinking of at-home methods to better cleanse my pores and have a few suggestions for you.

First, surprise surprise, if you really wanted a vacuum to cleanse your pores, now there are at-home devices you can easily buy.  I considered this for a quick second but opted against this for a few reasons. 

First, they’re pretty pricey and I don’t want to clutter up my skincare device basket.  I currently own an LED device, microcurrent device and derma roller, and find it relatively challenging to make full use of the devices I already have.  

Second, I find the suctioning effect on my skin created by these pore vacuums too harsh for daily use.  I love it once a month when my skin is steamed up and primed for this special treatment in-spa, but at home, I can’t create the same environment.  I’m a huge believer that little tugs and rubs can build up to ultimately harm and sag your skin, so I don’t want to vacuum my skin regularly, if that makes sense.

This brought me to pore strips and masks.  Have you ever tried those little pore strips you apply to your T-zone, wait for 5-10 minutes, then strip of like a band aid?  I used to love them until I understood how harsh they are and how they end up removing not only the dirt in your pores but also elements that are good for your skin like natural oils.

Using harsh pore strips frequently can cause your skin to become irritated and dry out. I’ve personally given them up for good. Clay masks can be helpful in loosening and removing gunk from pores.  The main reason I don’t use them is because it’s too much work!  I’ve been too spoiled with convenient sheet-style facial masks that you can just throw in the trash to ever going back to the wash-off type.

This finally brought me to reexamining my daily exfoliation routine.  Proper exfoliation can help remove the dead skin cells, oil and debris that result in clogged pores. It can also help gently remove existing blackheads.

I had previously experimented with using a 10% glycolic acid pad once a week but have recently noticed that incorporating a toner with gentle AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) at very low concentrations (less than 1%) works miracles in keeping my pores clean. 

The key here is using a toner that has gentle exfoliating properties like glycolic or lactic acid but at very subtle concentrations so that even with daily use, it doesn’t feel harsh on your skin. One example is the Soffli Gentle AHA Toner.  

If you’re looking for an easy way to keep your pores in check without professional help, try one out.  Finding the right toner will not only help you keep your pores clean but also help prepare your skin to be in tip top shape to absorb all of the beneficial skincare ingredients to come in any serums or moisturizers you utilize.