"Pores" get thrown around in skincare so often that most people never learn about what they are in the first place. Pores are very small openings in the skins surface that are necessary in allowing for toxins to be expelled from your body. While pore size varies among people, the increased visibility of pores is generally caused by the same thing; the collection of dirt, oil, and debris. They not only make our pores appear larger than they are, but if left untreated can result in pimples, whiteheads, blackheads or sebaceous filaments.
While every person has their own method of dealing with #porestruggles, here are some of the basic do's and don’ts for unclogging them.
Do: Use Steam
Steaming is an time-tested method of cleansing pores. After cleaning your face thoroughly with lukewarm water, place a bowl of hot water in front of you on a counter or table. With a towel over your hair, lean in and let the steam soak into your face for approximately 10 minutes. Rinse your face with cool water to wash off any debris and to close up your pores. Finish by putting on your favourite moisturizer so that your skin doesn't dry out.
Don't: Use Alcohol
Although it is great for treating those everyday cuts or infections, alcohol actually has little to no effect on the bacteria that causes acne. Opt for salicylic acid instead; in addition to zapping zits, it also exfoliates and unclogs your pores. You can use it as a spot treatment or in your mask as an ingredient. We recommend Origins Super Spot Remover Acne Treatment Gel ($20 at Sephora).
Regular exfoliation is an essential part of anyone’s skincare regime. By scrubbing away dead skin cells, you reduce the chance of pores becoming clogged. It also aids in cell turnover, exposing your best skin. To avoid irritation, use gentle exfoliators such as theFresh Sugar Face Polish ($72 at Sephora), or an AHA/BHA glycolic-peel such as the Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel ($40 atSephora).
Don't: Be Rough
While it is super tempting to pop every growing zit, scrub off all your whiteheads, or extract that pesky blackhead, being too rough on your skin will only do more harm than good. General rule (or rules?) of thumb, if you’re going to pop a zit, pop only when it has a distinct whitehead. If the blemish is sore or shows any resistance to your usual extraction methods, don’t do it. Throw on some concealer and wait another day.
Do: Try a Mask
Nose strips are great to use for instant gratification, but they actually do nothing for prevention, so try a face mask instead. The activated charcoal in the Origins ClearImprovement Active Charcoal Mask ($31 at Sephora) draws out the dirt and oil from the pores while absorbing any environmental toxins.
Don't: Overdo It
For every person who neglects their skincare, there is always someone who overdoes it. Skin produces its own natural oils and stripping these oils will force your skin to compensate for lack of moisture by overproducing it. Exfoliating too often won't give your skin enough time to recuperate and will likely cause increased skin sensitivity. Follow product instructions, and exfoliate 3 times per week at the absolute most.