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If you’re reading this, you’ve almost certainly experienced the annoying feeling of having clogged pores on your face.

They usually feel like bumps on your skin and can range in size from small and almost unnoticeable, to significantly large and just screaming to be squeezed.

We’re no different here at Daily Vanity, and these are the ways we’ve found to be effective in helping us keep our skin and pores free from clogs.

It usually happens with oily skin

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In order for us to eliminate this annoyance from our lives, we have to first understand why we’re even getting them.

The sebaceous glands in our skin are the oil-producing factories that help to keep our skin adequately moisturised (and therefore looking younger). Sebaceous glands are located in your hair follicles, and the sebum it produces should be free to escape out of the pore and on to your skin surface.

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For some people, these glands are a little overenthusiastic, and produce way too much sebum than necessary and causing there to be a congestion in the pore itself. The sebum isn’t able to escape out of the pore and the end-result are annoying clogged pores.

Clogged pores don’t just give your skin unwanted texture and bumps, but it also makes your makeup look rough and uneven. If left by itself, it may increase your chances of zits and breakouts. All in all, we’d be glad to see the last of clogged pores!

Facials specifically for clogged pores are a must

One of the most straightforward ways of removing clogged pores is to simply get them extracted by a professional facialist. We tried two renowned extraction facials in Singapore and reviewed them to tell you if they’re any good.

1. My Cozy Room

Reviewer: Eli

Cairnhill Road is a deliciously quiet respite conveniently located in the heart of Orchard Road and that is exactly where My Cozy Room is located. My Cozy Room is a renowned boutique spa set in a restored colonial shophouse, so expect lush interior décor but cozy facial cabins. They have been consistently receiving beauty awards for its services, and it’s also been frequently featured in beauty reviews (like this one)!

As I entered My Cozy Room, I was immediately attracted to the Victorian-esque setting and warm lighting. A testament to its name, the boutique spa definitely gives off a cozy vibe. The Spa Manager, Celine, greeted me warmly and gave me a Q&A form to fill up so that she could learn more about my skin condition and concerns.

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To give a bit of context, I have oily, acne-prone and sensitive skin. With this information, we decided that the treatment best suited for my current skin condition would be the Premium Pore Extraction Facial Treatment. I’ve heard of many horror stories when it comes to extraction, but my therapist reassured me and gave a thorough explanation of what to expect later on.

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I was also informed that BABOR products are being used for all their treatments. BABOR products use only plant-based ingredients of the highest quality, and they are also reportedly the number one beauty brand in Germany. As a consumer, it is always assuring to know that my facial salon only invests in the best products for my skin.

For this treatment, my therapist started off with deep cleansing using BABOR’s Hydrophilic Cleansing Oil & Phyto Active Combination Treatment Essence. This oil-based cleanser is ideal for sensitive or oily skin like mine, as it helps to naturally dissolve oil without stripping my skin of its natural moisture, which can happen with soapy or detergent-based cleansers.

I was pleasantly surprised by how gentle my therapist was when she was cleansing my face! It made me question the way I’ve been applying my own skincare and how I can emulate My therapist’s techniques at home.

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To prep my skin for extraction, she applied an Enzyme Mask all over my face to remove dead skin cells. Compared to other exfoliants, like facial scrubs that contain tiny granules for physical sloughing of the dead skin, the Enzyme Mask was a lot gentler on my sensitive skin because it softened the impurities for easier cleansing and removal later on.

This is followed by the use of a Deep Pore Lotion to soften the blackheads and whiteheads. Finally came the steaming process. As the warm vapour enveloped my skin, I could literally feel my pores opening up.

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Before I knew it, it was time to extract the blackheads and whiteheads out of my skin. It was not totally painless, but whatever pain I felt was fleeting and faded away quickly. Besides extracting the areas where pores commonly get clogged, like the nose and forehead, my therapist also made sure she covered even the more obscure, often-neglected areas. The extraction process alone was over 40 minutes long but I really appreciated how thorough she was with the job because it made me feel like my skin was super clean after.

After the extraction was done, Skin Tonic was applied to disinfect, soothe, and reduce redness. This was followed by BABOR’s Rebalancing Liquid which preps the skin for better absorption of subsequently applied products.

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To shrink enlarged pores and treat stubborn acne, she used a high frequency treatment to disinfect my pores from acne-causing bacteria, and this completed the cleansing process. The equipment may sound scary, but I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort from it at all.

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As my skin gets red very easily, my therapist then did a Crystal Ball Massage for me. The cooling sensation felt like heaven after the long extraction process! It was incredibly relaxing, helped to reduce redness, and soothed my irritated skin.

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I also got to experience a Rose Quartz Crystal Eye Massage. The Rose Quartz rolls in the direction of lymph outflow for better circulation. I could really see how it restored life back into my dull-looking eye area.

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Finally, it’s time for a mask! My therapist used a special treatment mask made from deep sea algae and was a cooling mask that covers the eyes, nose, and lips. The key ingredients in this mask helps to cool down the skin, which would help to reduce redness and close up the pores. It also flushes out metabolic wastes and provides an intense boost of hydration that helps the skin to feel softer and healthier after.

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Coupled with this mask, I received a head, shoulder, and hand massage. I almost dozed off as I let the mask do its work. That is just how relaxing the whole experience was!

Throughout the whole process, I was pampered like royalty. I really liked how my therapist made my comfort her priority and always made sure that I felt at home throughout the treatment! She answered any questions I had with confidence and gave me brief explanations for each step of the treatment so I always knew exactly what was happening, which helped to put me at ease as well.

After the facial was concluded, I headed back down to meet with my therapist once more. To my surprise, I could see visible results in just one session: my pores looked much cleaner, my skin felt healthier, and most of all my blackheads were dramatically reduced!

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I never could have imagined how thoroughly blackheads could be eliminated through extraction facials. It also made me realise that applying skincare products could only get you so far – if you wanted to really clear up your skin, you needed the expertise of a professional to help you get to the root of the problem.

My skin was visibly less red than before, which was surprising considering all the extraction I had just gone through. My therapist mentioned that purging might occur over the next couple of days whilst the skin is healing.

In the next couple of days, I noticed that my blemishes shrunk and my overall skin texture improved, feeling smoother and less bumpy to the touch. With cleaner pores, application of skincare products became more seamless than before, as it absorbs better and works more effectively.

I usually wear a light layer of foundation when I choose to put on makeup, and I also noticed that this glided on more smoothly and blended in more seamlessly with my skin. I no longer had to battle with the problem of cakey makeup because the foundation sat on my skin a lot better than before.

Overall, I highly recommend this treatment by My Cozy Room to anyone who is looking for a meticulous and pampering experience for themselves!

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My Cozy Room will be having a promotion for first-time customers residing in Singapore! Enjoy the award-winning Premium Extraction Facial at only SGD144 before GST (U.P. SGD288) for 120 minutes of pampering before waking up to clearer, healthier skin.

My Cozy Room is located at 56A Cairnhill Road, Singapore 229667 (behind Orchard Paragon). Visit their website for more details, or call +65-6732-0030 to make an appointment.

2. SG Face

Reviewer: Sarah

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Tucked away in a tiny corner on a third floor of the quiet Holland Road Shopping Centre is SG Face. Just a three minute walk away from Holland Village MRT station, this boutique is convenient for anyone who needs a rejuvenating facial after a long day.

The anti-acne treatments at SG Face are particularly renowned for the organic and natural products that are used to combat acne and also preserve youth and natural moisture of the skin. The aestheticians are well-skilled at deep extractions and have garnered numerous positive reviews from their customers.

The immediate impression one gets upon entering is how homey the interior of the boutique feels. The staff were pleasant and welcoming, and I was particularly pleased with how at ease I felt with them!

While the boutique was pretty small, the atmosphere was relaxing and hospitable enough for a revitalizing and relaxing facial. I was more than ready to begin my experience when my aesthetician, Jessie, greeted me warmly and invited me in for my facial.

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Jessie decided that my skin was more sensitive than acne-prone, and that I had combination to oily skin. She also pinpointed problematic areas like my oily T-Zone, which tended to accumulate sebum throughout the day, and the blackheads around my nose.

She decided that I would need a Vagheggi facial treatment. This treatment would target my blackheads and balance the pH of my skin but also keep my skin supple and fresh. She explained that after a thorough extraction, she would massage my face and shoulders before applying several clay masks.

Jessie began by first cleansing my skin with a cleansing milk and a gentle scrub. She then applied cotton pads to my face, which was then steamed for a couple of minutes. The steam felt just like a gentle breeze – not too hot or strong!

I’ll admit that I was a little nervous when the time came for extraction. I’ve had to hide my low pain tolerance and my tears during facials before, so this was something I was really not looking forward to.

To my utter surprise, the extraction on my forehead, nose, and cheeks was very tolerable. In fact, I could feel a pleasant sensation of my skin getting ‘cleaner’ as each pore had its gunk squeezed out of it.

However, the real pain started when Jessie started on my chin.

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Jessie explained that I had pores that were very deeply clogged, but she was determined to get rid of the gunk and sebum within them. I felt nervous about it, but also relieved to know that Jessie was thorough and meticulous.

There was certainly pain which I had expected from the extraction, but it was over within a few minutes. After the experience, I was simply thankful that Jessie had done her job thoroughly but as quickly as she could.

The rest of the treatment more than made up for the pain of the extraction. Jessie went on to disinfect my face with a disinfection rod to kill the bacteria and make sure that proper after-care was taken for my skin, which had just gone through a good 20 minutes of extraction.

After that, Jessie applied a soft peel-off mask which she rubbed off with her fingers, taking off any remaining dead skin cells on my face and preventing blackheads from returning quickly. The treatment ended with a relaxing shoulder massage and two cream masks to lock in my skin’s moisture.

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Overall, I was very satisfied with the results!

After my facial, my face felt cleaner, healthier, and lighter. I did see some redness on my chin, cheeks, and the sides of my nose where I had particularly stubborn clogged pores, but it went away quickly by the next day.

As much as I had initially disliked extraction, I could really feel a huge difference in my skin after the facial. After my experience, I can say that SG Face really does live up to their reputation of offering high-quality extraction facial treatments.

I am also particularly appreciative of Jessie’s meticulousness in ensuring that all the gunk in my clogged pores were squeezed out, rather than only extracting the bigger blackheads and pores. She also frequently checked in with me if she was applying too much pressure during the extraction and massage, and continually ensured that I was as comfortable as possible so I could enjoy the facial.

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My experience at SG Face was enjoyable and rejuvenating. The facial was generally soothing and effective, and their service was excellent. Their extraction portion of their facial may be slightly painful, but it delivered what it promised – cleaner pores and a smoother skin texture!

SG Face – Beauty and Makeup Specialist is located at 211 Holland Ave, Holland Road Shopping Centre, #03-42 (near Holland Village MRT Station). Call 6763 9466 for appointments or visit their website for more information.

Make these lifestyle changes to prevent clogged pores

While oily skin is largely genetic and there may not be much you can do to reduce the sebum production of your skin, you can make some changes to your lifestyle so that it doesn’t aggravate your skin condition any further.

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Source: Escentual

  • Maintain a diet low in carbs and sugar: There have been preliminary studies done to show that these may aggravate oil production. A low-glycemic diet could include whole grain foods, dark leafy green vegetables, and certain fruits like cherries, peaches, and grapefruit.
  • Do some gentle exfoliation once or twice a week: The exfoliation will help to remove dead skin cells which may be causing your pores to clog faster! Check out our guide on exfoliation to see if you’re suitable for it.
  • Invest in a facial cleansing brush: This in itself could be a method of exfoliation, depending on how much your skin needs.
  • Steam your face: There’s a reason why so many facials steam your face before they do extraction! Steaming helps to open up pores, which can help to ease out clogs. This website gives detailed instructions on how to steam your face, and other home remedies you can try to bring out the clogs in your skin.
  • Use a face mask with active charcoal: Active charcoal helps to cling on to impurities and removes them when you wash it off.
  • Consider switching to powder foundations: Liquid foundations are typically oil-based and this might aggravate clogged pores, since they are after all a result of too much oil in your follicles.
  • Don’t slack on makeup removal: Makeup products, no matter how natural, are still “impurities” on our skin, so thorough removal and cleansing every day is imperative to prevent clogged pores.

While you may not be able to prevent 100% of clogged pores, but these lifestyle changes, coupled with a regular schedule of good extraction facials, could certainly help in reducing the frequency of them coming back.