Why Your Serum Is Clogging Your Pores

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Have you been suspecting that your serum can clog your pores? Or that your serum is affecting the action of other facial products that you apply, causing them not to be effective? Well, usually, serums do not clog pores.

They are a very light product applied to nourish the skin and get rid of redness and sunburn. Serums are not very thick. But if you are suspecting that they are blocking your pores, you might be right.

So does serum clog pores?

Although most serums do not clog pores, some oil-based serums do. Other than serums, there could be a lot of other factors that may be causing your pores to clog.

Let’s discuss the clogging of pores, why they happen and how they happen.

What Happens When Your Pores Are Clogged?   

Pores are tiny holes through which the skin releases sweat, and most importantly, oil. They help the skin get rid of debris in its own way and produce the pigment that will help it.

From this, it is easy to see that a clogged pore is one that has not been able to release its dirt to the outside, take in oxygen and produce oils.  

When pores are clogged, it is often not too hard to notice as the skin retaliates. It tries to fight against this because it is unhealthy for it. 

A clogged pore is a blocked pore, and that affects the rate at which your skin will assimilate water, nutrients, and products. To know if your pores are clogged, here are some of the things you might experience to finally conclude that. 

1. Dead skin cells do not get shed

Usually, when some skin cells die, they are shed, allowing the new ones to grow, replace them, and give you a new look. Basically, clogged pores are caused by these old cells which have refused to shed.

Therefore, even when you include new products in your routine without one to clean and clear the pores, you’ll likely get little to no result. 

2. Toxins stay 

Toxins produced either from your skin or from your environment stay on and in your skin. The pores which ought to allow the passage of sweat to the outside are blocked. Usually by a mixture of various things, making it hard to shed dirt.   

3. Increase in blackheads

For acne, blackheads, and whiteheads, a clogged pore is an opportunity to thrive. They continue to grow on the dead cells and thrive because even though you are applying products to your face regularly, they are not reached or affected.

For many people, one of the first signs to watch out for if their pores are clogged is a breakout. Generally, breakouts often signify clogged pores. 

Now that we have established all that happens in the skin when it is clogged, we can examine why your pores are clogged by your serum. 

Why Your Serum Is Clogging Your Pores

As mentioned earlier, serums do not usually clog pores. They are very light and often need the addition of a moisturizer to stay.  

1. Oil-based serum

No, using an oil-based serum won’t cause your pores to clog; rather using too many oil-based products and applying too much of them will cause your pores to clog. 

If you are using an oil-based serum, ensure that you do not apply too much of it at once. Create a routine and follow this routine. Also, read directions on how much you should apply at each use. 

2. Dry skin

Leaving your skin for a very long time without any form of moisturization can also cause it to clog. Serums are known to moisturize; therefore, they break the dry spell.

However, when you are skipping moisturizer use and depend on an unmoisturized serum, you will cause your pores to clog.

3. Certain ingredients 

One of the reasons why you should always talk to a skincare expert or seek advice before picking your serum is to be able to pick one that your skin agrees with. Some serums may contain ingredients like disodium EDTA, which are not for everyone. 

4. Wrong facial products    

Always ensure that there is a sort of harmony between your facial products. Do not combine them in a rough form without a good understanding of what each one contains and the work they do.

If you use a toner too dry for your skin or a serum not providing your skin with enough moisturizer, your pore might clog.

How to Prevent Clogged Pores

Preventing your pores from clogging requires that you are conscious about what goes in your body and on your skin. Although there are no assured ways to totally prevent your pores from clogging, you can minimize the chances of clogging and protect your skin.

Adopt the following to prevent pores from clogging.

1. A skincare routine

Have a skincare routine that includes exfoliating, toning, and cleansing. Not only should you have one, but also stick to it. Maintain your skin with the best products available for your skin. Ask questions and seek recommendations when necessary.

2. Prioritize non-comedogenic products

Non-comedogenic are products that won’t clog your skin pores, so pick them first when they are available. Use a non-comedogenic face wash to help your face and minimize the chances of having a clogged pore.

3. Clean makeup with acidic products

Completely wipe your makeup every day with a good cleanser. Leaving your makeup on while going to bed is a bad decision whose repercussions your skin may pay dearly for. 

Be mindful not to use too many acidic products. Excess can also affect your skin.

4. Monitor your skin

The best way to know what is working and what is not is to monitor your skin. Do this if you have just introduced a new product. Even when you have a routine, be quick to notice any change. This way, you always know what to add or subtract from your skincare products.

How to Unclog Pores 

Having gone through how your serum may be causing your face to clog, let’s talk about how to unclog. Here are some of the best ways to unclog pores:

1. The use of pore strips 

One of the best ways to unclog your pores is to use a pore strip. They are made with adhesives and therefore are very effective when it comes to the removal of dirt, oils, bacteria, and the likes. 

Pore strips are easy to use. Place it on your face and leave it for about 10 minutes. Take it off and rinse your face. After removal, you would notice some of the dirt that has stuck onto it. 

Pore stripes, though are only effective for the removal of the dirt in the top layer. They are not a hundred percent effective.

2. Use a charcoal mask

Charcoal masks are also used to unclog pores. If you focus more on removing the oil dirt on your face, use an activated charcoal mask. They soak up the dirt and leave your pores clean and healthy. 

Using the charcoal mask requires care as it could soak up other beneficial moisture when not applied properly.  

3. Use extraction tools

A couple of extraction tools have been explicitly designed to help the pores get rid of their obstructions. These tools target whiteheads and blackheads, and even pimples. They are known for their efficiency. 

Using an extraction tool is one of the best ways to unclog, but it requires knowledge of using it. That is why it is best to visit a skincare specialist for the unclogging process. 

4. Use scrubs and exfoliators 

If techniques like the use of extraction tools are too advanced for you, you can use an exfoliator instead. Exfoliators include brushes, combs, creams, and other products that have been designed to get rid of them. 

Exfoliators are often not for everyone. They could be harsh on the skin and may not be a good option if you have sensitive skin. However, using them is easier. You simply have to scrub on the face once in a while to remove dirt. 

5. Visit a professional

The best way to completely ensure that your clogs are clean is to visit a professional skin care specialist.

A specialist can examine your face, determine what you need to clean your clogs, and provide you with good service. Often they use a steamer, which is a very good method of unclogging.

The only upside to this is the cost of consultation or the cost for each session. 

6. Use a facial cleansing brush

If you cannot afford a trip to a specialist once in a while, then the next best option would be getting a facial brush. A facial brush does the deep cleaning. It gets rid of dead cells, oils, and bacteria that may cause you harm.

Does Hyaluronic Acid Serum Clog Pores?

A Hyaluronic acid serum does not clog pores because it is a non-comedogenic component that seeps through your pores without leaving a residue.

The component is also light and hydrating, therefore, it is safe to use. However, what formula (water or oil-based) determines if the serum will clog your pores or not.

Additionally, if the serum has pore-clogging components, you might likely experience clogged pores even with the hyaluronic acid component.

Does Vitamin C Serum Clog Pores?

Vitamin C can only clog your pores if the formula is unstable. A vitamin C serum that does not have a balanced ascorbic and L-ascorbic component can lead to breakout and closed skin pores.

Consequently, you should use formulas that are right for your skin type. Furthermore, if the formula of the serum has a pore-clogging component, it will clog your pores. It is best you avoid serums with unidentifiable components and ingredients.


Can serum shrink pores?

Yes, it can. Serums can shrink pores, but not all serums do so. There is a special category of serums known as the pore-minimizing serums. They do the work of reducing your pores so that the oil production reduces. 

If you want a serum to reduce your pores, you might need to ask for it because not all serums reduce pores specifically. 

Can serum close pores?

No, they cannot. The oil-based serums, though, can close pores. But you can open closed pores using any of the methods listed above.


As earlier mentioned, serums do not clog pores on their own. They only clog pores when they are used in the wrong proportion or on the wrong face. Serums have a lot of advantages to offer when appropriately applied

However, if you use them as recommended, the serum will not clog your pores. Furthermore, you are to use the serums as prescribed to avoid overfilling your pores, thereby leading to breakouts.

Thanks for reading.

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