A very imPOREtant article…
Happy Friday and HAPPY NEW YEAR from your favorite #skinfluencer! Pores! Large Pores! They are the bane of our existence. What exactly are pores? Pores are the little opening on our face that we love to complain about. However, they are quite important for the healthy functioning of the skin. They aid in producing sebum which helps protect our skin from dirt and bacteria. So, why are they so problematic and how come something so small can look so big? Let’s answer these Skincare questions of the century while finding a way to minimize them together.
WHY ARE MY PORES SO BIG IN COMPARISON TO OTHER PEOPLE’S PORES?
It all comes down to skin types. Large pores are indicative of oily skin with over-active sebaceous glands. People with oily skin, like myself, tend to generate more sebum in the pores. So, when the pore is filled with sebum, it’ll look larger. Just think of it as filling up a balloon with water, it’s going to enlarge. Conversely, people with dry skin have to work extra hard to restore their faces with all the oils that we produce naturally.
HOW DO I SHRINK MY PORES?
1. Avoid heavily oil-based skincare
Use black soap instead! This is a secret I got from my mother. The African black soap holds the secret to cleaning out your pores properly. It has black sugar and charcoal powder which both are great in controlling sebum. Black soap is also excellent in removing all the dead skin on your face for that perfect glow. It’s best to use this in the mornings. There is one called Dudu Osun you can shop at any of your local herbal or hair stores.
2. Use Blotting Paper
Blotting sheets will be your savior if you have large pores/oily skin. Blotting papers are great to remove that extra amount of shine while leaving your products behind. My favorite ones are ANY rice paper from amazon. You can pick up 500 pieces for under $3. They do an amazing job of absorbing oil and instantly turning translucent when you touch them to your face! They are great to have in your bag or even in your wallet.
3. Use Clay Masks
Clay masks are natural detoxifiers. It’s been used for thousands of years by indigenous people around the world. Clay masks aids in pulling heavy metals and other toxins from your skin. They are also beneficial in providing our skin with essential vitamins and balances the skin’s PH Balance. Caudalie Instant Detox Mask is my go-to for this. It’s the only clay mask I’ve tried that reduces the size of my pores without stripping my skin of all its moisture. When your skin feels a little congested and dirty, apply this, wait 15 minutes, wash off and voila you’ll feel an immediate difference.
4. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic Acid is really great for slowing down oil production and unclogging our pores. It aids the glands in producing less oil, that way you can stay more matte. I use Dr. Murad clarifying cleanser because it’s a really light-weight 1.5% salicylic acid. I follow it immediately with Glossier's new exfoliating treatment toner, called Solution. Simply press a cotton pad down on the pump and press it over your skin. The two work well together in balancing out my oily skin, shrinking my pores, all without making me flaky. The combination of both these products aids in cleaning out the pores and removing all toxins and impurities.
5. Don’t Over-Exfoliate
I know! I know! Exfoliating is such fun. However, you want to keep this to a minimum. Perhaps, twice a week. By over-exfoliating, you are actually irritating the skin much more than it normally should. In turn, your skin would try to protect itself by producing more sebum which means blocked pores. Eventually, you are just stuck in a vicious cycle. If you must, go for chemical exfoliation in lieu of physical exfoliation. Chemical exfoliation is much more gentle on your skin. Listen to your skin, don’t over-do it. Overall, you still want your skin to stay hydrated and not stripped of its natural oil.
6. Use More Oils!
I know what you are thinking. What? I already have enough oils! Wrong! It’s a myth that people with oily skin and larger pores shouldn't use oils. This is simply NOT TRUE! When you apply oil to your skin, your body recognizes it as a lipid barrier. So, in lieu of producing more oil, it’s going to tell itself “hmm, maybe I don’t necessarily need more oil”. Remember, our bodies produce oil to hold in moisture, so the more moisture we give our skin the less oil it’ll feel the need to produce. Also, It’s important to replenish the oil on your face after cleansing to build back that glow. A product that works quite well for me is the RMS Beauty Oil. I simply love it for its smell and it works wonders for acne-prone skin and for fading acne scars.
In conclusion, Using an oil-free cleanser along with a brush is great for deep cleaning and releasing trapped debris. Salicylic acid helps exfoliate and smooth the skin, giving it a radiant appearance. Using a clay-based mask helps draw out impurities. Also using the proper toner, NOT alcohol helps remove excess product, re-balances the skin's pH, and has a tightening effect making large pores appear smaller. Applying a good oil-free moisturizer with SPF 30 or above is an excellent finish, to block UV rays. Please keep in mind, pores are a necessary part of healthy skin. The goal is not to get rid of them but just make them less visible. Let's go into 2020 with our pores small and our skin glowing! As always, thank you so much for reading. See you next week!