If you’re experiencing blackheads or acne, you may have heard that you need to “open up” your pores to clean them out. Experts agree that you can’t actually open up your pores, as they essentially stay the same size.[1]However, you do have several options for thoroughly cleaning out your pores, which can make your pores look smaller in appearance, even if they don’t change size. Lifestyle factors, like eating well and exercising, can help keep your pores clean, too.

Method One

Cleaning Out Pores with a Clay Mask


Wash your face. To prepare your face for the clay mask, wash it with warm water and pat it dry.Be sure the water is warm, not hot.


Use a clay mask. With your fingertips or a fan brush, apply a thin layer of the clay mask on your face in sweeping motions. Avoid your eyes and mouth. Clay masks will pull out the dirt and oil in your pores. Clay masks are best for people with oily, non-sensitive skin. They may be too intense for sensitive skin types.


Wait for the mask to dry. Don’t let the mask dry completely. It should start to change colors (look lighter) but still feel tacky to the touch. If you let it dry completely, it pulls the moisture out of your skin.[3]If the clay mask comes off when you touch it, it’s still too wet.


Rinse the mask off. Use water to soften the clay. Use a washcloth to scrub your face clean, being sure to remove all the mask.[4]


Follow up the mask with moisturizer.Lightly apply an oil-free moisturizer after you’ve dried your face off.You can use clay masks up to 2-3 times per week, depending on how your skin responds.