Large pores have been the bane of my existence since puberty hit me like a runaway train. Ok, I’ll admit with my normal-dry skin type, I was lucky to have avoided the whole acne and breakout experience. But these pores – I have tried so many masks, cleansers, serums, and went for extractions time and time again. Pore shrinking, blackhead clearing, what have you. Some helped for a while, some did nothing, and at the end of the day I was still staring at the little black dots on my nose.
Now, let’s talk blackheads for a minute. Or actually I should say, what I thought were blackheads. Turns out, they’re actually this thing called Sebaceous Filaments! These Sebaceous Filaments, or SFs, are a mixture of sebum, bacteria, dead skin and a single hair. Yup, a single strand of hair. And that’s what’s filling up the pore!
What a lot of “home techniques” for clearing your pores talk about steaming your face to open your pores. This is actually incorrect. While steaming can help with increasing blood circulation, which in turn allows skincare ingredients to be better absorbed, the opening of pores is sadly just a myth. Pores really just stay the same size!
And now let’s get to the exciting part – the technique I tried!
I’ve read about this on Reddit a few times but finally got down to trying it over the weekend. What I like about it is that it actually uses the science of the ingredients in these three products to soften and loosen the dirt, thus getting it out. So here is what you’ll need:
- BHA product to soften the dirt trapped in the pores – CosRX’s BHA Blackhead Power Liquid worked perfectly for me
- A clay mask to draw the dirt out. Innisfree’s Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask was what I had on hand!
- An emulsifying oil cleanser to pull and “unplug” the pores. Banila Co’s Clean It Zero is already my go to oil cleanser, so I was plenty pleased that I could double its use for this as well
This process will take roughly, but trust me when I say it was all worth it.
Step 1 – On clean dry skin, apply the BHA product. Let it sit for 20-25 minutes while you go on and do your thing!
Step 2 – DO NOT WASH OFF THE BHA, and put on your clay mask on the area you have the BHA on. Wait for the amount of time specified on the mask and let it dry
Step 3 – Wash off the mask with warm water. Avoid using hot water as it might cause irritation to the skin
Step 4 – Apply the oil cleanser. I use a pinky sized amount just for my nose area! Massage for about 2-3 minutes, no more than 5 minutes
If your pores are extremely clogged, you might have dirt being unplugged as you massage it. Wash off with warm water again.
Depending on your skin, this might be sufficient for you. I went on with Step 5 – squeezing out the dirt! Make sure your hands are clean, and wrap your fingers with a tissue paper to be extra sanitary. I found the gunk being a lot softer and easier to squeeze out after this process! It was disgusting but oh-so satisfying. However, do be careful and gentle when you do this as it might cause irritation to the skin.
Pores do naturally fill up with dirt again, so to clean it you can go through these steps every 2-3 weeks. When I decided to give this a try I had zero expectations but the results truly shocked me. You better believe this is going to be my new go to for clearing up my pores!
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