Pores are a constant source of frustration. Despite being, you know, essential to our skin’s survival, many of us have complaints about our own, usually because debris builds up, making them look larger and darker. This has led to some, shall we say, creative solutions to extract the contents and shrink the appearance of them for good, from tape-like nose strips to vacuuming devices. However, whilst many of these tricks are immediately effective, they can cause lasting damage to skin. Instead, we’ve pulled together 7 tips keep skin protected while purging pores of buildup.
1. Always Cleanse Morning and Night
The best place to start is with the right cleanser. ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm helps open up pores and dissolve the contents (remember: oil responds to oil) to decongest without stripping. While it’s crucial to cleanse at night to make sure all makeup and pollution from the day gets off of skin, morning is equally crucial as overnight our skin detoxifies and pushes everything out to the surface.
2. Add a Face Oil Into Your Routine
We know adding oil to clogged skin feels wrong on every level, but compatible skin oils like ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Oil retrains skin by repairing the its natural lipid barrier. When the skin is functioning in top form, it produces less oil on its own which leads to clearer pores.
3. Don’t Skip on Toner
As a general rule of thumb, anytime skin is touched by water we should tone. Warm water encourages pores to soften and relax which is great to unclog, but in order to prevent them from filling up again we need to tone. By using a toner we support the skin's natural protective barrier and enable it to be more effective and responsive so that is remains hydrated and plump while blocking toxins and pollutants. ELEMIS Soothing Apricot Toner is the most universal toner which works with every skin type and balances the skin’s pH. This happy balance means bacteria is less like to grow and settle into pores.
4. Exfoliation is Key
The most effective way to unclog pores is by adding a chemical exfoliation into your routine. ELEMIS Papaya Enzyme Peel gently disintegrates dead skin cells and keratin (a form of protein) in clogged pores to leave skin tingly clean without drying it out. Use twice a week after cleansing.
5. Create Your Own Steam Room
When your shower has been running for a couple of minutes and your bathroom has turned foggy, make that the time you cleanse. The warmth encourages pores to dilate which means that what’s in them can get our more easily. It’s also a good time to mask as when pores are open, it’s easier for skin to absorb products.
6. Find a Clay Mask
Think of a mask as a mini-facial. It goes that extra step to help draw out anything that your cleanser has missed. ELEMIS Herbal Lavender Repair Mask has a mineral rich clay that sucks out impurities, while the anti-inflammatory lavender oil hydrates and soothes.
7. Do Not Squeeze. Ever.
We know it’s tempting, but don’t squeeze clogged pores. When you try to extract the contents, you damage the skin tissue, which means it’ll take longer to repair and, as a result, pores are more likely to clog and lose their shape. Instead, look at the reason why it’s clogging in the first place, and establish a strong skincare regimen like the above.