Closed comedones are small, flesh-colored bumps that don’t have a collection of pus on top, and they are seemingly headless and can’t be popped.
Getting rid of closed comedones is relatively easy. All you need to do is pay extra attention to your skincare routine, especially your exfoliating habits.
In this article, I will explain exactly what closed comedones are, how long they typically last, and, of course, the best products to get rid of closed comedones.
10 Best Products To Get Rid Of Closed Comedones
NB: All products are explained below in more detail, plus links for where to buy them from.
Paula’s Choice – Regular Strength 2% Salicylic Acid
Best for oily, acne-prone skin.
The Paula’s Choice Regular Strength 2% Salicylic Acid solution is perfect for oily skin that deals with non-inflamed acne, such as closed comedones, as well as inflamed acne, such as papules, pustules, and cysts.
It has a lightweight consistency that absorbs into the skin quickly, making it easy to incorporate into your daily skincare routine and contains 2% salicylic acid, an oil-soluble acid that dissolves cellular debris inside the pores and unclogs them to prevent breakouts down the line.
Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and swelling associated with acne.
Paula’s Choice – 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
Best for dry and dehydrated skin.
The Paula’s Choice 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant is an excellent option for dry or dehydrated skin dealing with closed comedones.
It contains 8% glycolic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid that effectively exfoliates the skin’s surface and helps unclog pores to reduce the appearance of comedones and mild to moderate acne.
The formula also contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin to help retain moisture in the skin.
The 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant has a lightweight gel texture that absorbs into the skin quickly, making it easy to incorporate into your daily skincare routine.
SkinCeuticals – Purifying Cleanser
Best for sensitive skin.
The SkinCeuticals Purifying Cleanser is a gentle yet effective cleanser perfect for sensitive skin dealing with closed comedones.
It contains only 3% glycolic acid, which gently exfoliates the skin and reduces the accumulation of dead skin cells that are causing a closed comedone to form while also being gentle and non-irritating to the skin.
Overall, this cleanser is an excellent option for those with sensitive skin who can’t tolerate strong, leave-on products but still want to incorporate exfoliation into their skincare routine.
It can also be used as a second cleanser following an oil-based or balm cleanser for double cleansing and thorough removal of makeup.
Medik8 – Press & Clear
Best for sensitive skin.
If you have sensitive skin but still want an effective product for unclogging pores, the Medik8 Press & Clear is a great option.
This gentle exfoliating tonic contains gluconolactone, a polyhydroxy acid (PHA) that effectively removes dead skin cells without causing irritation like other exfoliating acids can.
It also contains glycerin, a skin-identical ingredient that helps hydrate and retain moisture in the skin.
Additionally, it is infused with soothing aloe vera juice to calm and reduce redness, making it perfect for those with sensitive or reactive skin.
Vivant Skin Care – Derm-A-Gel
Best for oily, acne-prone skin.
The Vivant Skin Care Derm-A-Gel is a gentle yet effective retinoid for oily, acne-prone skin prone to clogged pores and breakouts.
It contains vitamin A Propionate, a derivative that helps promote healthy skin cell turnover and unclog pores by preventing the build-up of dead skin cells.
Additionally, the serum also contains lactic acid, niacinamide, and urea, which work together to exfoliate, nourish, and hydrate the skin while reducing the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation.
This product is perfect for those with oily, acne-prone skin or retinoid beginners looking to unclog pores and improve overall skin texture without causing excessive dryness or irritation.
Neostrata – Resurface Smooth Surface 10% Glycolic Peel
Best for oily, resistant skin.
The Neostrata Resurface Smooth Surface 10% Glycolic Peel is a strong and effective option for those with oily, resistant skin dealing with closed comedones and looking for a weekly treatment to maintain clear skin.
It contains 10% glycolic acid that exfoliates the skin’s surface and helps unclog pores while improving overall skin texture caused by closed comedones.
The peel also contains alcohol, so it’s definitely not something that should be used daily or even more than once a week; however, alcohol is often added to peels to help enhance the penetration of active ingredients.
It’s important to note that this product is not suitable for those with sensitive or dry skin, as it may cause irritation and excessive dryness.
It’s also crucial to follow the instructions carefully and patch test before using.
SkinCeuticals – Retexturing Activator
Best for sensitive skin.
The SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator is a unique exfoliating serum perfect for those with sensitive skin dealing with closed comedones.
Its main active ingredients are hydroxyethyl urea and Aminosulfonic acid compound, which work together to gently exfoliate the skin, unclog pores, and improve overall texture.
These components are fantastic for sensitive and reactive skin that can’t tolerate stronger exfoliating acids or retinoids.
Additionally, the lightweight serum is enriched with hyaluronic acid, a humectant that helps retain moisture in the skin, making it suitable for those with dehydrated skin, as dehydration can sometimes be the root of closed comedones.
The formula is also free of harsh ingredients like alcohol, fragrances, and dyes, making it gentle enough for daily use.
Replenix – Retinol + Bakuchiol Concentrated Serum
Best for all skin types.
The Replenix Anti-Aging Retinol + Bakuchiol Concentrated Face Serum is a powerful anti-aging serum that also works wonders in clearing closed comedones.
It contains retinol, a derivative known for increasing cellular turnover and unclogging pores, along with bakuchiol, an antioxidant that reverses cellular damage, boosts hydration, and improves skin concerns such as uneven tone and hyperpigmentation.
This serum is also enriched with green and black tea extracts, which help soothe redness and irritation, as well as licorice extract, which helps brighten and even out skin tone.
Overall, this serum is an excellent option for all skin types, especially those with aging concerns, sensitivities, and closed comedones.
Vivant Skin Care – 15% Mandelic Acid Serum
Best for oily, acne-prone skin.
The Vivant Skin Care 15% Mandelic Acid Serum is a potent yet gentle option for oily, acne-prone skin with closed comedones.
Mandelic acid, the key ingredient in this serum, is boosted by lactic acid, another gentle AHA, and the two ingredients work simultaneously to exfoliate dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover, preventing closed comedones from forming in the first place.
Additionally, the formula is enriched with urea to help rehydrate the skin and sodium PCA to aid in moisture retention.
Niacinamide and inositol, two forms of vitamin B, have anti-inflammatory properties that help maintain cell health, making it beneficial for those with acne-prone skin dealing with stress-induced breakouts and sensitivity.
Finally, the serum has an ultra-lightweight texture that absorbs into the skin instantly and doesn’t leave a sticky or oily residue behind, making it a fantastic option for those with oily, acne-prone skin dealing with closed comedones.
iS Clinical – Active Serum
Best for combination, oily, and mature skin with closed comedones, hyperpigmentation, and skin texture.
The iS Clinical Active Serum is a potent concoction of active ingredients that help address various skin concerns.
It contains a unique blend of botanical extracts, acids, and antioxidants such as arbutin and mushroom extract to brighten dark spots while soothing the skin, along with salicylic acid and sugarcane extract, two potent exfoliants that effectively target existing closed comedones and prevent new ones from forming.
However, due to the Active Serum containing alcohol and menthol, an essential oil that can cause irritation and reactions in sensitive skin, it’s best to patch test and use with caution.
Overall, the Active Serum can be useful for those with combination, oily, or mature skin dealing with closed comedones, hyperpigmentation, and uneven texture.
With consistent use, the Active Serum can help achieve a smoother and clearer complexion.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Closed Comedones?
Closed comedones are small, flesh-colored bumps on the skin that occur when pores become clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells.
What Causes Closed Comedones?
Closed comedones can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes, excess oil production, and the build-up of dead skin cells.
Certain skincare products or ingredients, like heavy oils and comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients, can also contribute to the formation of closed comedones.
How to Get Rid of Closed Comedones?
To get rid of closed comedones, one should consider incorporating exfoliating acids or retinoids into your skincare routine, along with maintaining a consistent skincare regimen and avoiding pore-clogging ingredients in cosmetics.
How to Prevent Closed Comedones?
To prevent closed comedones, it’s essential to maintain a consistent skincare routine that includes gentle exfoliation and avoiding pore-clogging ingredients.
What Are the Best Products for Closed Comedones?
The best products for closed comedones are those that contain ingredients such as exfoliating acids and retinoids due to the ability to unclog pores and promote cell turnover, thus preventing the accumulation of cellular debris inside the pores.
Can You Pop Closed Comedones?
Popping closed comedones can potentially rupture the skin, making it susceptible to infection from external pathogens, which can result in infections and scarring.
Therefore, it’s more advisable to address these bothersome blemishes with a comprehensive skincare routine.
How Long Do Closed Comedones Last?
Closed comedones typically don’t resolve on their own and, if not properly treated, are prone to developing into inflamed pimples.
Therefore, it’s crucial to manage closed comedones using products that contain ingredients like exfoliating acids or retinoids. This can help reduce their appearance and prevent further complications.
What to Avoid for Closed Comedones?
When dealing with closed comedones, it’s essential to avoid oils, silicones, and emollients in cosmetics, as they can contribute to clogged pores.
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
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