I have a heap of people asking me on twitter how to take care of their skin. Since nobody has identical skin, and everyone has various skin issues they need to address, I decided to make a little series in order to inform you guys on how to tackle these unwanted troubles. I’ll start off with the most common of all; pore care.
What are pores?
Pores are little tiny openings found on the skin that are home to our hair follicles. Everybody has them and they cover our bodies from head to toe (besides the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet). Basically, anywhere you can grow hair, you can find pores. Pores produce natural sebum which is released to the surface of the skin, particularly if your skin is dry, in order to restore the balance of moisture and oil levels. It’s important that we have pores, since the sebum allows for our skin to be sufficiently hydrated. If not for pores, we’d have severely cracked and dry skin.
Most people are only able to see the pores on our face, back and scalp. There are rare cases where people can see the pores on their other areas of the body, i.e.: legs and arms. Generally, the visibility of the pore determines how large they are, and how much the glands are stimulated. The most visible pores are on our nose, as the glands overwork to produce a heap of oil. Ever heard someone tell you to never touch your face? When you touch your face, you’re triggering your sebaceous glands to work even harder, meaning more sebum in produced and released onto the skin surface. Sebum collects in the hair follicle, and as we shed our skin consistently, our dead skin cells are incorporated with the sebum and when surfaced and exposed to the air, the mixture turns a black color, which we refer to as blackheads. Throw in some bacteria into the mixture and you get a pimple.
Those who tend to have the most trouble with pores are those who are combination or oilier skin types, those who don’t regularly clean their faces, or clean them properly, and those who don’t protect their skin against the heat.
How do you care for your pores?
With proper cleaning everyday, you can keep your skin and pores as clean as they possibly can be. Since pores get bigger as more sebum and dead skin cells are accumulating inside the follicle, without proper care, your pores can expand. There aren’t many proven studies that show heat is a huge cause for enlarged pores, but there are many suggested studies that do say overexposure to the sun can allow for pores to stretch vertically, thus causing larger pores, more open follicles for waste by-products to clog them and also skin sagging. The most important thing to do is to stop the process of enlargement as early as you can. I have a feeling that once you enter your middle schooling years, you’ve already allowed your skin to become so damaged already, so introducing gentle pore care and working yourself up to stronger products is the way to go. However, if you’re like me and you started properly taking care of your skin well beyond your schooling life, then the damage will be permanent and there’s literally nothing you can really do, other than preventing your pores from getting even larger than they already are.
I would probably say that pore care and cleansing are the most important steps in your skincare routine. Without proper cleansing, none of your other steps will work effectively, as your skin and pores aren’t able to absorb much of the products you slather on your faces. Cleansing once isn’t enough to remove all the dirt, dust and dead skin, and if there is matter left behind, it can re-enter your pores thus defeating the purpose of cleansing. Choosing the right products for your pore texture is vital, in order to have clean skin and pores. If you maintain a good cleansing routine as early as possible, your pores can spring back into it’s shape, meaning your pores MAY shrink and tighten over time.
Some of the studies claim that heat can have an impact on your pores. For every degree the temperature rises, your sebaceous glands increase in sebum production by over 10%. With the increase in sebum production, your pores stretch vertically and causes your face to sag and elongate. If you allow for all for pores to stretch, your entire face will lengthen dramatically. To prevent this, your skin texture must be maintained consistently by cleansing twice a day; in the morning and night, and use cooling products throughout the day to maintain cool skin, especially during days where the temperature is increased. You want your skin to glow, but not be overly shiny. Clean pores allow your skin to glow, so in reality, by removing the dull skin and dirt that clogs your pores, your pores will improve the appearance of your skin.
Cleaning your pores
Most people with pore problems actually have a lot of dead skin, and the skin texture tends to be more rough. Between the skin layers, there are often many dark spots too, which, when surfaced, will become pigmentation marks caused by damage between the rough skin layers. Yellowness is also a sign of unclean pores; the more yellow your skin is under the microscope, the more sebum your skin has produced, and when the sebum surfaces from the pore, they will become blackheads. To clean your pores and prolong the effects of enlarged or clogged pores, here are three must have items to keep your skin in check.
- Cleansing Oil
- Cleansing Foam
- Cleansing Brush
Oils break down foreign material in your skin and fine dust found on the skin surface and deep in the pores. The oil molecules attach itself to the waste matter and slowly melt them down to allow the process of cleansing to flush it out from the pore itself. Simply massage the oil using your hands and work it around the face, focusing on the areas with larger pores. Your hands aren’t actually removing the waste matter; by using your hands, you’re helping the process of oil molecules to attach itself to the waste, which then increases the chance of more sebum and dust to melt away for cleaner skin. Using an oil everyday also allows for your skin to stay hydrated and improves skin texture overtime, which alleviates rough skin. Oils are best used during the night to remove your sunblock and makeup effectively off your skin, and any of the product that has sunk deep into the pores. Oil type cleansers are good for all skin types, whether you’re oily or dry, as oils add hydration to your skin whilst stripping you off the unnecessary layer of sebum.
When using the foam, I suggest trying to make it look as elegant as possible. It sounds stupid, but actually, it really makes a difference in how your skin appears and feels after washing. Whip the cleanser into a foam and apply to your face and neck until fully covered. Look straight ahead into the mirror and using your middle and ring fingers, buff your skin gently in circular motions working towards the outside of your face, then working inwards to thoroughly cleanse your face. Using all your fingers at once can be too overwhelming for your skin and cause unnecessary damage to the texture of the skin. The key focus is to cleanse skin effectively whilst improving the condition of your skin by being as gentle as possible. After about 3 or 4 minutes (the recommended time for cleansing), splash your far with lukewarm water until your face is clean. Using this method can reduce the layers of dead skin that have accumulated on the surface of your skin and caused your skin to become dull. Cleansing foam is the best and most effective for improving skin texture, and caring for your pores. Make sure to get a cleanser that is compatible with your skin type, and doesn’t strip you of your hydration.
Just like the cleansing foam step, whip the cleanser and apply liberally on your face. Now, rather than using your fingers, use a brush to buff at the skin in circular motions without using too much force. If you’re using a manual brush, then just let the brush sit on top of your face and with gentle circular buffing motions, work the brush along the skin texture moving outwards for 2 minutes, then inwards. If you’re using an electronic brush, like a clarisonic for example, just sit the brush on your skin, and allow the oscillation to do all the hard work for you. The order in which you should cleanse your skin, is
Using the brush vs using the foam itself shows that the brush is able to buff the skin more efficiently and more effectively to greatly improve the condition of your skin. Under the microscope, your skin becomes more pink, which is a huge indication that your pores are immensely clean, rather than using the foam on it’s own. A cleansing brush is necessary for those who are often exposed to dirty environments with a lot of dust or dirt or those with extremely rough skin texture, because the brush can clean underneath the skin very well to remove unneeded sebum.
Those who clean effectively can improve the cleanliness of their skin, improve skin texture and overall have more brighter and radiant skin. Your skin becomes radiant when your pores are clean, and those with clean pores need less base makeup and highlighters.
CLEANSERS AND OILS
I’ll compile a list of effective cleansers that I found have helped with my pores a lot, and are great for cleansing at the same time.
POLA D Cleansing OilYou guys may have heard me talk about this a lot, but this oil is unlike any I’ve tried before. The D cleansing oil is specifically designed to breakdown makeup, sun protection and impurities deep in the pores and on the skin surface to reveal clean and well nourished skin. The D range from POLA is known for it’s detoxing abilities to reduce inflammation, care for your skin, improve skin texture and strengthening, and tightening pore care all at once. Definitely recommended for those who have oilier skin types or suffer from acne skin, or for those who have pore issues. It’s also allergy tested for those with sensitive skin types, so don’t be worried if you easily get irritated to a lot of products out in the market.
I have written a review on this product before, which you can check here. It’s probably one of my favorite items out in the market and definitely one of our most popular products in store. It’s a sherbet type balm, so it comes solid, but emulsifies into an oil with the warmth of your hands to thoroughly cleanse your skin. It’s also enriched with acolera and papaya extracts for brighter, more nourished and healthier skin and tackles melanin production too, so definitely a good candidate for those who use whitening products and are looking for a whitening cleansing oil. It also doesn’t clog the pores and is suitable for almost all skin types. Be warned if you have ultra sensitive skin, as this does contain papaya and it’s noted that papaya tends to irritate sensitive skin types.
Etude House Baking Powder Pore Cleansing FoamWhy does Etude House always have to have the longest names for their products? Nonetheless, this cleanser is a 3 in 1 multi functional cleanse enriched with baking powder to deep cleanse your pores, remove impurities from the skin and breakdown UV products and makeup residue. It’s specifically designed for those with larger pores for better deep cleansing, and tightening effects, so I wouldn’t recommend this at all for those who worry about that tight feeling after cleansing. Used in conjunction with their other pore care products, this does wonders for relieving you of open and clogged pores, is compatible with oily and dry skin types depending on which bottle you choose (the blue for oily, and the pink for dry) and great for tackling acne as well. You know, actually thinking about it, any product designed specifically for pore care has anti acne abilities too. Keep that in mind.
Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner
This toner that claims to do 10 in 1 is one of Etude House’s most popular products in their entire cosmetics selection. It works to deep cleanse the pore, cool down the skin, tighten pores, control sebum, hydrate all the layers of skin and rebalance the skin’s natural pH levels (pH 4.5) after cleansing. I’ve used it on and off and honestly speaking, it’s the best I’ve used so far in terms of pore aid. As for the best toner I’ve used, meh, it does it’s job but I’m not raving completely about it. Note that the Freshner has a high content of alcohol so it’s best intended for oilier skin types and something you may need to steer clear from if you’re dry or sensitive. On the plus note, it contains no mineral oil, fragrance, colouring, talc, animal ingredients or silicones. Patch test if you’re concerned as to how your skin may react using this, but for what I’ve noticed, it’s pretty decent for a toner, and can be substituted as an essence or a mist as well.
The History of Whoo Bichup Ja Saeng Essence
Probably one of the more pricier items, but this essence alone does so much for the skin. Not only has it shown results in taking care of acne and the scarring, but it helps with pores, yin and yang harmony in the skin, moisturizing, aging care and also dull skin. It’s a huge investment, but it’s a do it all serum that many people are raving about when it comes to high end Korean skincare products. The entire line of History of Whoo actually revolves around this one essence, so it’s pretty up there in terms of how effective it is. Definitely not for those one budgets but if you can get your hands on this, then without a doubt grab one for yourself. It’s patch tested on my incredibly sensitive skin and no irritations whatsoever, so for all you fellow readers with sensitive skin, this one may be the product for you.
Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence
Of course this would be in the post. It does wonders for the skin and is the dupe of the SKII essence without the hefty price tag. Some people have complained at how much this essence costs, but honestly speaking, you’re saving yourself probably $50+ buying this Missha version over the SKII. It helps to soothe, hydrate, brighten, whiten, improve skin clarity, texture, firmness and shrinks pores all in one step. It feels pleasantly cooling as well to restore skin’s natural yin and yang harmony just like the Ja Saeng essence, but feels so moisturizing at the same time. I used this and noticed instant results upon the first day, and my acne problem was miraculously cured within three days of using this. My skin wasn’t irritated at all, even after shaving, and now that I’ve run out and have been smacked in the face cold turkey and facing a good two weeks without using this essence, I can definitely see how this one product has effected the appearance of my skin. I definitely swear by it, and I recommend you all get one, no matter your skin concerns or skin types.
This brush became revolutionary to the skincare world as is now a staple in all the lives of famous bloggers and youtubers. The brush oscillates to deep cleanse the skin and pores with it’s vibrations and improves skin appearance by shedding your skin of dead cells and unclogging pores. The small bristles work along the skin texture for softer and smoother skin, and is able to reach deep down into the pores for more clearer skin. There’s nothing more to say other than get one if you have the money to purchase one, because your skin and pores will love you for it.
What are your go to products for keeping your pores in check? Have you used any of these suggested products before and how did they work for you? Let me know in the comments below, or hit me up on my SNS. As per usual, if you liked this post, don’t forget to like and subscribe to my blog for future posts, and stay tuned for the next installment of Skin Solutions. You can also suggest future post material for this mini series, or for any future posts I make, as I’m always happy to take on recommendations and any feedback is greatly appreciated. Until the next post~
Anthony signing out.