Boasts a charcoal formula that acts as a barrier against pollutants in the environment. Exfoliates with hydroxy acids and enzymes. Brightens skin. No parabens or artificial additives. Cruelty-free.
Likely to cause skin irritation for some. A few reports of half-empty bottles on arrival.
Infused with botanical extracts to make pores smaller and vacuum out impurities. Tea tree oil helps rid the skin of bacteria. Controls excess oil while clearing blackheads and whiteheads. Leaves skin squeaky clean.
The tea tree oil can make your eyes sting. Mixed opinions on the scent.
The foaming formula works well to get into pores to remove built-up oil and makeup. Refreshing, light scent wakes skin up for the day or leaves a clean feeling at night. Microbeads help exfoliate and deep clean pores.
May dry out skin for those with an already drier skin type.
Witch hazel tightens skin and cleans out pores while salicylic acid fights and treats acne flare-ups. Best used 2-3 times a week to balance out the skin but can be used daily for those with a more oily or acne-prone skin type.
May be too harsh for those with sensitive skin.
Great for use in removing stubborn blackheads, this is a great scrub to exfoliate and clean out pores plus it’s made with 100% natural exfoliants. Best used a few times a week in between a more mild face cleanser.
The formula works great for medium skin types but may be too heavy for oily skin.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Having oily skin usually means dealing with breakouts on a pretty regular basis. These breakouts can also leave you with enlarged pores because the excess oil collects inside them, along with dirt and other debris, and makes your skin look textured and rough. If you want to keep acne at bay and achieve a smoother appearance for your skin, a deep pore cleanser can do wonders.
However, a deep pore cleanser works best if you choose the right one for you. To make sure that your skin is as clean and clear as possible, you have to select the best formula for your skin concerns.
Deep pore cleansers can work in several different ways. Some formulas contain ingredients that absorb excess oil to keep your pores clear. Other formulas dissolve the oil, dirt, and other debris that’s already in your pores to clean them out. Another type of deep pore cleanser actually contains exfoliating ingredients that penetrate the pores to remove any dirt, oil, and dead skin cells that may be trapped.
For the most effective deep pore cleanser, it’s best to choose a formula that works in more than one way to get your pores as clean as possible.
Anyone with clogged pores can benefit from a deep pore cleanser. However, a deep pore cleanser is especially useful for oily skin. Individuals with oily skin should use a deep pore cleanser to keep their pores from looking enlarged. The cleanser can help maintain a smooth, even texture for their skin.
Individuals with acne-prone skin should use a deep pore cleanser to remove the dirt, oil, bacteria, and other debris in their pores that can lead to breakouts.
Teenagers often have especially oily skin due to hormone fluctuations. A deep pore cleanser can help prevent breakouts and enlarged pores.
If you want the most effective deep pore cleanser for your skin, it’s important to choose a formula that offers the best ingredients for clearing pores. Ideally, a cleanser will have more than one pore-cleaning active ingredient to provide the most thorough cleansing.
Clay is a natural ingredient that is frequently included in products for oily skin. That’s because it’s extremely effective at absorbing excess oil from the skin, which can help to deep-clean pores.
Some commonly used clays in deep pore cleansers include kaolin, a mild to moderately absorbent clay, and bentonite, a strongly absorbent clay. If you have especially oily skin and are dealing with many clogged pores, a deep pore cleanser with bentonite is usually most effective.
Activated charcoal has become a common ingredient in deep pore cleansers in recent years. It is an extremely effective oil absorber and can also remove other substances that clog pores. Activated charcoal works by drawing oil, dirt, dead skin cells, and other debris to itself like a magnet and trapping them. They can then easily be washed away from the skin.
Some deep pore cleansers contain niacinamide, which is also known as vitamin B3. It not only helps absorb excess oil from the skin, but it can also help reduce the appearance of pores. Niacinamide actually helps improve your skin’s elasticity, so pores are able to shrink back to their natural size once they’re clean.
Salicylic acid is probably the most common – and effective – ingredient in deep pore cleansers. It’s a beta hydroxy acid that helps dissolve the bonds that hold dead cells on the surface of your skin. But salicylic acid also helps remove those dead cells to exfoliate the skin’s surface, and then it actually cleans inside the pores, removing trapped oil, dirt, and other debris.
A deep pore cleanser with salicylic acid will not only leave you with cleaner, smoother skin, but it can help treat acne issues as well.
Like salicylic acid, glycolic acid can remove dead cells from the surface of your skin. It can’t exfoliate inside the pores, though, so it’s not quite as effective as salicylic acid. However, glycolic acid can dissolve excess oil on the skin, so it helps prevent your pores from becoming clogged.
Ingredients to avoid
There are also some ingredients to avoid when you’re looking for a deep pore cleanser. Oils are usually a bad idea because they can clog your pores further. Stay away from formulas with alcohol, too, which can dry out the skin and lead to redness and irritation.
Other features to consider for deep pore cleansers
Most deep pore cleansers have a thick, gel-like consistency, so it’s important to choose an option with packaging that easily dispenses the product. In most cases, a squeeze tube is the best choice because it makes it easier to get the cleanser out of the container.
Pump-style bottles, on the other hand, aren’t the best option for deep pore cleaners because the formula is too thick to easily move through the pump.
Many deep pore cleansers are scented to give them a clean, fresh aroma. If you have sensitive skin, though, it’s best to choose a fragrance-free formula. Synthetic fragrances can irritate the skin, which may lead to redness, itching, and even breakouts.
The price of a deep pore cleanser is usually based on how many active ingredients it contains and the size of the bottle.
A deep pore cleanser that only contains a single active ingredient usually costs between $5 and $15, depending on the size of the bottle.
A deep pore cleanser that contains two active ingredients usually costs between $15 and $33, depending on the size of the bottle.
A deep pore cleanser that contains three or more active ingredients usually costs between $33 and $70, depending on the size of the bottle.
Use a deep pore cleanser at least once a day. If you have severely clogged pores, you may want to use the cleanser both morning and night.
Wet your face before applying a deep pore cleanser. It’s best to use warm water because it can help loosen the dirt, oil, and other debris that are trapped in your pores, so you can clear them more easily.
To avoid irritating your skin, pat your face dry after rinsing off your deep pore cleanser. If you rub the towel over your skin, you can wind up with redness and irritation.
Q. Are there any side effects to using a deep pore cleanser?
A. Because deep pore cleansers contain ingredients that are meant to absorb oil or are strong enough to exfoliate inside the pores, they can sometimes be quite drying on the skin. If you have oily skin, this usually isn’t a problem, and a light moisturizer can restore the lost hydration.
However, if you have clogged pores but your skin is normal, dry, or combination, it’s best to only use a deep pore cleanser in your T-zone, which includes the forehead, nose, and chin. These tend to be the oiliest areas of your face and the most likely spots for clogged pores, so they can handle a more drying cleanser.
Q. How long does it take to see results from a deep pore cleanser?
A. It usually depends on the quality of the cleanser and how clogged your pores are. A deep pore cleanser that only contains a single active ingredient typically takes longer to work than a formula with two or more active ingredients. In general, though, it may take up to four weeks before you notice that your pores look clearer and smoother.
Q. Will a deep pore cleanser help remove blackheads?
A. Blackheads occur when the hair follicles in your skin become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. These clogs turn dark because they oxidize when they’re exposed to air. A deep pore cleanser can help dissolve the oil and skin cells in your pores to get rid of blackheads. Have patience, though – it can take repeated use of the cleanser to see results.