This is what your clogged pores look like through a microscope
As anyone who has struggled with the painful curse of puberty will know, blocked pores are a common occurrence for anyone with problematic skin. They come in all shapes and sizes, all colours and shades, from blackheads to whiteheads, raised lumps to weird craters - and all of them, universally, are a total pain in the butt.
When we see one peering out from our faces, then, our usual instinct is to give it a quick inspection in order to assess the damage. The more masochistic of us might go in for a prod or a squeeze, while the sensible folk amongst us will splash on a bit of water or cleanser and wait for nature to take its course.
Regardless of how we deal with the problem, though, we're all very familiar with what a blocked pore looks like... from a distance. But have you ever wondered what they look like close-up? Like, really really close-up? No - of course you haven't. But I bet you're wondering now.
Fortunately for you, one redditor who goes by the username Fit-N-Funky had the curiosity (and a USB microscope) to check out the state of their skin at an uncomfortably close level - and they've posted the pictures for everyone to see.
Quick warning though: they're sort of gross.
The above picture was taken before Fit-N-Funky made any attempt to clear their pores. As you can see, there are dozens of tiny holes in a minuscule area of skin - and some of them are obviously more blocked up than others.
The redditor then went on to show more pictures of what their pores looked like after a bit of attention.
"I started by cleaning my face with a scrubber and hot water," they said. "Moved on to a nose strip and finally a peel-off face mask. I am surprised at how much my pores closed up after some light treatment. Really goes to show that a little goes a long way."
Here's what their skin looked like after a scrub with hot water:
Here's a close-up of their nose pores after using a blackhead removal strip:
And here's what their cheeks looked like after using the all-over mask:
Compared to the first image, it's obvious that the masks and scrub did the trick of clearing out and closing up some of those blocked pores. However, the redditor posted one or two more images to show the more stubborn areas of sebum that flat-out refused to leave the skin no matter how much they were scrubbed:
If you're someone who struggles with blocked pores, first of all: don't worry. You're not alone, and you almost certainly care more about the state of your skin than anyone else does. Secondly, as these pictures show: there are ways the problem can be helped. It might take some dedication, a few trial-and-error experiments with different products, and a lot of time - but you can get there.
And if you want to invest in a USB microscope, you can track the weird close-up grossness of your skin along the way.