ImPOREtant Skin Habits
Terrible puns are terrible.
It seems like in the skincare game, the issue of the pores is pretty common across the board. Everyone’s trying to do the same thing: clear them out and shrink them up. As a point of reference, here’s an image of what it looks like to have large/visible pores and an image of what it looks like to have smaller/less visible pores. Notice how in the ‘after’ shot, the woman’s face is much more mattified and the tiny openings (aka the pores) are less visible right after using a pore refinishing treatment:
It’s that portion of the skin that keeps your face from appearing silky smooth and has it look bumpy and ‘dotted’. There are a number of reasons (both external and internal) why your pores can get clogged and why they’re large; here are common reasons:
- The Family Line – just like most of our physical qualities, our skin’s condition can be hereditary! Chances are if one or both of your parents have large pores, they will stick with you too.
- Dirt – Especially true if you’re in a more highly polluted or metropolitan area, sometimes the day’s grime can really pile up on your face. You would be surprised how much dust and dirt alone can get into your pores just from your environment.
- Makeup – For me, wearing makeup is fun and satisfying. For others, it may be a form of artistic expression. However, it is something that we are literally patting directly into our skin. There’s nothing wrong with wearing makeup but when you don’t do well with removing it, the repercussions can get very real very quick.
- Oil or Excessive Oil Production – You may know of different skin types, one of them is ‘oily’. You’re a person who just so happens to produce a higher amount of sebum which causes your skin to appear and feel oily.
The bottom line is, your skin can’t stay healthy if you’re not clearing your pores. When your pores aren’t clear, your skin is suffocating and can’t breathe! While there’s not really anything you can do about the genetics factor, there are still plenty of steps you can take to clear them out and shrink them up!
Implement a Skincare Regimen
I’ve had pore/acne issues pretty much since day 1 of hitting puberty. Body development was slow, but the floodgates of sebum were strong. So, in a way, I became ahead of the curve when it came to proper skincare because I started so young. But a lot of people still don’t have a skincare regimen. Luckily, it’s really not that complicated. The classic skincare routine is only comprised of three steps. Could there be more steps? It depends on the person, but this is the base:
- Cleanse – A facial cleanser will help to remove grime, sweat, dirt, and makeup.
- Tone – Toner goes further into the skin to cleanse and shrink the appearance of pores. Your cleanser will get rid of the apparent, surface level stuff. But the toner helps to remove the crud beneath the surface.
- Moisturize – This is important for all skin types to do, not just normal or dry. Oily skin and moisturized skin are two completely different things. When your skin isn’t properly moisturized, your body can actually overcompensate for the loss of moisture by producing more oil! So when choosing a moisturizer, make sure you’re choosing one that is suitable for your skin type.
Another practice you may want to adopt is ‘masking‘. Acquire a facial mask that is specifically geared towards clearing and shrinking the pores. For example, I use a Deep Cleansing Mask by Artistry Cosmetics. This wash-off mask is made with Amazonian Clay and Kaolin Clay that works deep within the skin’s surface to remove dirt and oil; the deep clean results in smaller, less visible pores. Simply apply an opaque layer on clean, dry skin and let it sit for the directed amount of time before washing it off. In addition to my daily skincare, I use the cleansing mask 1 to 2 times a week.
Practice Good Habits
- TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP: Sorry for the shouting, but I’m mostly yelling at myself when I say this. I’ve been there: You’re tired after a long day and the thought of putting energy into anything other than falling into your bed depresses you. But you have to power through it! Otherwise the morning after (or maybe two days later) your skin will remind you why it’s so important to take your makeup off before bed. Makeup wipes are helpful right before cleansing so you’re not working as hard to get everything off or overusing your product.
- Keep your makeup brushes clean: Your makeup will apply much better if the brush or sponge isn’t caked with days and days of old product anyway, so you might as well keep them clean. It’s a good idea to have enough to keep in rotation i.e. you will always have other ones to use when you’re cleaning your brushes or waiting for them to dry overnight.
- Wash your pillow cases: It’s not very helpful to go to bed with a clean face only for it to rub up against your pillowcase full of sweat and bacteria. I wash mine at the end of every week; if you don’t have time to do them that often, invest in more pillow cases that you can cycle through until the next wash day.
- Drink plenty of water – no explanation needed!
- Make wise food choices: You know what makes you tick. If you know that having sweets is going to do something to your hormones, practice some discipline and stay away from the sugar! Same for fried/greasy foods. Healthy insides make for a healthy outside!
I use more than 3 step process, but if you’re just starting out with taking better care of your skin that’s where you want to start. I know plenty of people who can manage their skin well with a 3 step (sometimes even 2 step) process. It just really depends on what works for you! So go forth and take care of that skin.
And don’t worry…..I won’t make anymore pore excuses for a pun…..