Can You Get Clogged Pores At Any Age? The Causes And Solutions

Clogged pores: a phrase that can make anyone pause and inspect their skin a little closer. But have you ever wondered if age plays a role in this pesky skin issue? Sure, we all know about teenage acne, but what about later in life? Is it a problem that fades with time, or does it evolve, taking on different forms as we age? Let’s uncover the intricate link between age, skin type and the best approaches to keeping your skin clear and healthy without clogged pores, no matter your age.

Why Do We Get Clogged Pores? What Causes Pore Changes?

Why Do We Get Clogged Pores?

Clogged pores typically occur when hair follicles on your skin get jammed up with oil, dead skin cells and other unpleasant gunk. Pores are tiny openings that contain these hair follicles and are connected to oil-producing sebaceous glands that keep your skin supple and protected.Signs of congested pores

Your pores play an important role in regulating skin’s moisture balance but when they mingle with dead skin and pollutants, it can spell trouble. Are you unsure what clogged pores look like? They can manifest as congestion on your skin, in the form of annoying blackheads, whiteheads and other symptoms including: 

  • Excess Oil: An oily or shiny appearance, often more noticeable in certain areas like the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), often goes hand in hand with pore congestion.
  • Whiteheads: These are small, raised, white bumps on the skin’s surface, resulting from pores clogged with sebum and dead skin cells. 
  • Blackheads: Similar to whiteheads, this form of congestion appears dark due to the oxidation of the debris inside the pore.
  • Dull Skin Appearance: Congested skin often loses its natural radiance, appearing lackluster and tired. This can be connected to lingering dead skin.
  • Enlarged Pores: Pores may appear larger due to the accumulation of oil and debris.
  • Rough, Bumpy Texture: The skin’s surface can feel uneven and coarse to the touch, indicating underlying congestion.

Now that you’re familiar with what clogged pores are, you may wonder if you can get them at any age. 

Clogged pores infographic

What Causes Changes In Pores?

The likelihood of you getting clogged pores will depend on several factors: 


As your skin matures, a natural part of the aging process is the depletion of collagen levels. This reduction in collagen can cause the skin to lose its firmness and plumpness, which in turn may lead to enlarged pores. Enlarged pores are more susceptible to becoming clogged with oil, dirt and dead skin cells, which can result in clogged pores.


According to DermNet, acne is associated with clogging enlarged pores “through weakening sebaceous gland and hair follicle openings, making them more prone to blockage.” This blockage can also involve bacteria, leading to acne spots or lesions, or can be a result of an overproduction of oil, the accumulation of dead skin cells and the body’s inflammatory response. 

Neglecting Your Skin Care

Inadequate cleansing, such as not washing your face properly or often enough, can lead to oil, makeup and dirt buildup, causing clogged pores. On the other hand, over-washing or using harsh cleansers is another cause for concern, as these approaches can strip natural oils and lead to increased sebum production, increasing the likelihood of developing clogged pores.

Genetics: You Have An Oily Skin Type

Genetic predisposition plays a role in skin type and its characteristics. Those with naturally oily skin are more prone to excessive sebum production and, consequently, clogged pores. Essentially, if oily skin runs in your family, you might find yourself more prone to issues related to excess oil, such as whiteheads, blackheads and enlarged pores.

Sebum Overproduction

Sebum, the natural oil produced by sebaceous glands, is essential for keeping the skin hydrated and healthy. But, when produced in excess, it can lead to a greasy look and feel. Plus when excess sebum mixes with dead skin cells or pollutants, pores frequently end up blocked and clogged. Skipping makeup removal before bed? That’s practically an open invitation for clogged pores. Leaving makeup on too long traps sebum and dead skin against your skin, preventing their natural shedding process and leading to unwelcome clogs.

Neglecting regular exfoliation can allow dead skin cells to build up and clog your pores. Ideally, the natural process of skin shedding involves the removal of dead skin cells from the surface. However, if these cells are left to accumulate on the skin’s surface and within the pores, they mix with sebum and other substances to form clogs. 

Hormonal Fluctuations

You might have noticed that at different times, your skin seems to behave differently. Often, this is linked to hormonal shifts that occur alongside puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause. During these times, your body experiences changes in hormone levels, which can lead to an increase in sebum production, which as mentioned earlier, is a key factor in the development of clogged pores.

External Pollutants

Daily exposure to pollutants, dirt and makeup can contribute to clogged pores. These external pollutants accumulate on the skin, mix with sebum and dead skin cells and further exacerbate pore blockage. 


Though it may not seem obvious, the connection between stress and clogged pores, specifically acne, is well documented. A study from the Archives of Dermatology observed a direct correlation between stress levels and acne severity. During certain times, your body experiences changes in hormone levels, which can result in increased sebum production. As mentioned earlier, this heightened sebum production is a key factor in the development of clogged pores.

Whether you’re in your teens and 20s, or in your 50s and beyond, it’s helpful to consider these factors when pinpointing the reason for a sudden outbreak of clogged pores. Dealing with clogged pores is a bit like solving a puzzle — it’s different for everyone and changes over time. If you’re keen to dive deeper and discover effective methods to unclog your pores, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on how to decongest clogged pores. There, you’ll find detailed skin care strategies and tips for maintaining clear, healthy skin.

You can also visit your local Eminence Organics Spa Partner to get a personalized and professional routine to assist with your clogged pores or any other skin issues.

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