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How to manage blackheads and clogged pores

Pores–we all have them. A pore is a minute opening on the skin’s surface that acts as a filter between our bodies and the world. Naturally, our pores are susceptible to congestion, whether through a build-up of dead skin cells, excess sebum, or surface bacteria.

If this is a skincare concern for you, you’re not alone – a common question among our clients is how to manage clogged pores and blackheads. Conveniently, these two concerns can be managed very similarly. Here’s a look at our go-to rituals for minimizing pore congestion and promoting healthy, glowing skin.

The Basics

The pores that we can see on our skin are actually the openings at the base of your hair follicles. Your skin uses this opening to secrete oily sebum to keep your skin soft and supple, and a properly functioning pore is able to keep up with cellular turnover and keep itself free from any blockage. But sometimes the pore cannot do this properly and it becomes blocked, leading to one of a variety of skin concerns, from blemishes to milia to whiteheads. A blackhead is not dirt trapped in a pore, it's actually dead skin and sebum that has turned black due to exposure to oxygen - it's become oxidized. This is a common misconception and understanding the pore properly helps us to understand ways to keep pores clear and functioning properly.

Dry Brush & Facial Massage

The first technique we recommend is dry brushing. Dry brushing activates your lymphatic system, stimulates the skin, and promotes circulation, all of which detoxify the skin and are proven to help clear congestion and reduce oxidation. Dry brushing also acts as a gentle exfoliant, helping stimulate cellular turnover and reduce the appearance of blackheads. Check out our Facial Dry Brush Ritual for best practices and shop our Daily Glow Facial Dry Brush.

Another way to achieve stimulation, circulation and detoxification is through massage. Massaging the skin softens pores, promotes blood and lymphatic circulation, and ultimately helps break up unwanted and uncomfortable congestion. If you haven’t tried our Natural Facelift Ritual, you can learn it and download our free how-to poster here. For best results, try pairing this technique with our Rejuvenating + Hydrating Face Serum to hydrate your skin without clogging pores.


An important thing to consider when trying to eliminate clogged pores and blackheads is to look at what products you’re currently using on your face. Cleansing with soap or foam-based cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oils, resulting in congestion due to an overproduction of natural sebum to compensate for the dryness. We recommend switching to an oil-based cleanser like our Moisturizing Oil Cleanser + Makeup Remover to reduce visible pores and promote cell rejuvenation. Oil-based cleansing helps balance your skin’s sebum production and reduces pore oxidation without disrupting the natural pH of your skin. We recommended making oil cleansing part of your nightly skin care routine.

Clay Mask

Clay is an amazing natural skin cleanser –it acts as a magnet and deep cleans pores, reducing the visibility of blackheads and blemishes. It’s highly absorbent properties attract dirt and toxins to the skin’s surface, resulting in smaller looking pores and a brighter complexion. For best results, we recommend adding our Detoxifying + Clarifying Clay Mask to your skin care ritual once a week.


Here at Province Apothecary, we take a holistic approach to skin care and wellness. Part of this approach means recognizing that our skin is a window into our overall wellness. Getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and incorporating moderate exercise into your daily life help stimulate cell regeneration, promote blood flow, activate your lymphatic system, and reduce stress levels–all of which contribute to more vibrant and invigorated skin.

A quick recap:

  1. Dry brush & facial massage
  2. Oil cleanse
  3. Clay mask
  4. TLC through sleep, hydration, exercise


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