Best Skincare Products for clogged pores and congested skin – My Favorite Products Edition

November 23, 2014

Calling it “I hate clogged pores with passion” is an understatment. Though this problem has become much better as I age (one perk about getting old!) as well as knowing what skincare products work for me, unfortunately every now and then my skin still ‘flares up’ with blackheads on my nose, and some congested pores on my cheeks and forehead due to stress, lack of sleep, and PMS. If that happens, I always reach for my “special skincare kit” that guarantees to clear them up within several days. These four hero products give the most effective result without irritating my sensitive skin, and are also great for prevention. They are the best ones I have used so far, so I must share!


1. Clarisonic Facial Cleansing System – I have a very detailed review here. This cleansing brush tool is great for prevention and minimizing the occurrence of clogged pores. On average I use it 3 days a week as I don’t like to over exfoliate my skin.

2. Kate Somerville Intensive Exfoliating Treatment – This is the best exfoliator for congested skin. It’s a very strong and robust product  for clearing up mild cases of congested pores and smoothing skin out completely. I apply a very thin layer over the ‘rough areas’ and leave it on for a few minutes. It clears up and clarifies the congested pores by at least 50% after each use.  Since it is a very intensive treatment I wouldn’t use this as my weekly exfoliator, but this is my absolute top pick for treating blackheads/whiteheads on occasions. If you have very sensitive skin you might want to start with the Gentle Exfoliating Treatment first. For daily use I recommend TATCHA Rice Enzyme Powder for purifying the pores gently.

3. Shiseido Revital Retino Science AA Lotion – I bought this product because it has a small percentage of retinol which we all know is a dermatologist approved ingredient for treating enlarged pores. I don’t have much luck with retinol cream but I feel comfortable to use this gentle lotion frequently for hydrating and improving skin texture. This product is a treatment lotion that you use after cleansing, and followed up by other products. The texture is like runny gel and feels very hydrating on the skin which also helps to fight the aging signs.

4. Chanel Le Weekend Renewing Face Care – Chanel released a 3-step simplified skincare product this year. I have used all of them and decided to only repurchase this one. This product is marketed to be used on weekends only as it helps to resurface and renew the skin. I like this product because it contains glycolic acid complex (not sure the percentage but it’s the 4th ingredient) which is another star ingredient for treating congested pores, and it feels gentle enough for my skin. The texture is like a milky serum and it can be used to replace your usual serum and moisturizer. Using this one for 2 days in conjunction with the Shiseido retinol lotion definitely helps to noticeably unclog the pores, and gets you as close as possible to a poreless complexion.  Note that they are not recommended to be used daily, as you don’t want your skin to be too dependent on these strong ingredients especially if you are still young.


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Serene November 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Love your skincare products picks!!

Serene xoxo


Hawa November 23, 2014 at 1:41 pm

I needed this post,thank you ever so much,my skin is looking like such a wreck lately due to my bad diet.


Reika November 24, 2014 at 1:11 am

I know what you mean..I always get a few breakout if I eat too much deep fried food 😛 I think drinking lots of water and green juice also helps to eliminate toxin so more clear skin 🙂


Jeslynj November 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm

This post is so helpful. Definitely going to try some of these products out!


Reika November 25, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Thank you 🙂 Glad to know you find it helpful!


lyly November 25, 2014 at 11:14 am

hi reika, im read your blog everyday, and learning a lot. when you have time can you help me with my skin, because i live in vietnam, and have nobody help me. hope you ll reply me soon. my email : if can, please text me, because i can not find your email. thanks sis!!
best wished!


Reika November 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Hi my email is Feel free to email me :-)


sonya November 26, 2014 at 5:36 am

i bought a few things on the shopbop sale this morning, including an IRO cardigan that i spotted for the first time today. i thought about it for about 45 minutes then went back to buy it and it was SOLD OUT… (waaaaah) then five minutes later it was available again… so i purchased 🙂


sonya November 29, 2014 at 2:28 am

this comment was meant to go on the shopbop post btw. i had lots of trouble posting it… and here it is on a different post


Reika November 30, 2014 at 11:15 am

Hi Sonya thanks for the comment 🙂 So glad you were able to get hold of the IRO cardigan! You have an incredible fashion sense.


Sarah November 29, 2014 at 12:18 am

Love your skincare routine. I was considering to buy the clarisonic aria but have decided for foreo luna instead. Have you tried it? Few bloggers did comparison but I still found it hard to choose.


Befaniya December 10, 2014 at 3:10 pm

oha! Cleaning brush I want much, just searching one for me) your blog is great, I m happy to find it


yuni January 22, 2016 at 2:24 am

hi reika,
do you have any suggestions for skincare products from drugstores in france? my boyfriend is in paris for business and i want to ask for a couple of things. what would should I ask for? i like your choices. i bought the clarisonic because of your review.


Reika January 23, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Hi Yuni my favorite French drugstore brands are NUXE, Caudalie 🙂 Other good to try brands include embryolisse (which I think is quite average..), La Roche Posay, Sanoflore, Vichy,. also love the ultra rich body lotions from Uriage for winter. There is another great mid range brand called Ritchual that is very popular in Europe now – I love their hand creams and body exfoliater 🙂


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