Pore You: Banish Blackheads and Clogged Pores for Good

Regular dead skin cell maintenance  is a vital component in maintaining healthy-looking, glowing skin. Reducing dead skin cell build-up also lessens the formation blackheads, clogged pores, and other forms of acne. In addition, regular use of pore masks, BHA’s, and exfoliants can help with textural and tone issues in the skin.

At the start of September, having been slacking more than I’d care to admit in the exfoliation department, I jumped on a pore-cleansing bandwagon, whipping out some old favorites and trying some new products guaranteed to pull out blackheads by the roots and liquefy clogged pores. Over the course of the month, my skin showed some major results. All that extra attention really paid off! I learned a lot in the process and discovered a few new products worthy of incorporating into my regular routine.

Three Step Nose Packs:

Pig nose clear blackhead 3 step kit

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This kit uses a 3 step process to remove those pesky nose blackheads. The first step is cleansing, the second is an actual peel-off pore strip, and the third is a hydrogel mask just for the nose area. Each step is worn for 10-15 minutes.

Step 1: It was strongly citrus scented (much like the household cleaners type of citrus) and had a cooling effect. It had a good fit, but was slippery. I had to lay down to keep it on my face.

Step 2: Remove step one, wet nose area, apply the peel-off pore strip. The adhesive side was an adorable shade of pink. It didn’t feel uncomfortable or tight as it dried. It fit only around the nose area, and adhered to all areas (no bubbles, etc).

Step 3: Slowly peel off step two. Apply the hydrogel mask. Wearing this for a full 10 minutes was hard because it smelled so bad. It was something I couldn’t quite place other than something normal skincare product mixed with industrial plastic. Bad combination, especially when it is literally surrounding your nose!

 

The results:

This took out blackheads in their entirety (no half a pore’s worth here), especially around nose edges where the blackhead population tends to grow the most. However, the strip only grabbed the biggest of the blackheads (the “ripe” ones most ready to come out so to speak), but not many of the medium-sized to smaller ones.

It is definitely a step up from the usual drugstore pore strips, and I love the idea of a three step approach that preps and soothes. I also was impressed with the amount of blackheads it removed from the sides of my nose-an area the larger strips tend to neglect.

In all honesty though, these are just not as good as BHA+ Elizavecca Hell-Pore Clean Up Mask combination I usually rely on. This pack maybe hit 1/2-2/3 what that combo does on my nose area.

3.5- I may buy this again in the future, but I definitely won’t be relying solely on these for blackhead management.

Ettang Peeling Soothing Mask:

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This is a two step mask, featuring a mild chemical peeling gel that is followed by a soothing, moisturizing mask.

Step One: The peeling gel comes in a small, detachable packet. It gets rubbed into the face for 30 seconds, then needs to be rinsed off.

This step blew my mind. I am not kidding. Once the gel hit my face, so much, SO MUCH, dead skin and pore gunk started turning white, lifting, and balling up. I honestly wished I had filmed this step because the amount of dead skin that was coming off my face was so large, it was actually scary. I have to now revoke my love for my old holy grail product, Cure Natural Aqua Gel, in favor of this peel. That’s right. It has replaced my longest standing holy grail it is so amazingly awesome!

Since its a chemical peel, many people would expect some painful/annoying side effects. However, there was no stinging, burning, etc during application. After I rinsed off what looked to be my entire face’s worth of skin down the sink, there was a very slight hot/tightly sensation, plus my face was very faintly pink. At the ends of the day, this product is incredibly gentle for how effective this peel is. Frankly, Vitamin C hurts a lot worse.

Step 2: This mask is built to soothe, nourish, and hydrate. The mask is super generous with material, making it a very versatile fit. It reached up to my hairline, had ample under eye coverage, and there was enough material around the chin area to almost completely cover my face underneath.

The mask was also deliciously soft, which is a necessity if following a peel. Good call, Ettang!

The essence was a milky white, containing ingredients such as soothing aloe, nourishing silkworm, and protective and hydrating medowfoam extracts.  It was to be worn for 20-30 minutes, but it was still so wet after the 30 minute mark, I went ahead and wore it for another 20 min. The mask was still damp enough to wear for maybe an additional 15 minutes, but I was in (dire) need of food. That kind of wear time (and without a silicone mask sheet to help!) is amazing.

Taking the sheet mask off, my skin was unrecognizably soft and smooth. It wasn’t pink, irritated, or showing any sign of having lost so many dead cells. My face felt ridiculously clean and hydrated…on levels I don’t think I’d ever experienced before.

That sort of clean feeling is downright addictive!

1-I need this in my life, once a week, indefinitely. Holy Grail, hands down.

Elizavecca Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

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This product is as fun as it is effective. The smile it puts on my face every time I use it would be worth the repurchase alone, even if it didn’t reduce the appearance of my pores and bubble gunk to the surface.

It tickles like crazy as it foams up, but is a lot more comfortable to wear than my beloved Scinic All Day Fine Pore Mask. I think the bubbling “technology” that supposedly allows the clay to stay in a more nutrient-delivering state (over quickly drying up) for longer, meaning more nourishment for the skin, actually works. 

It doesn’t give that tight, clean feeling like traditional clay masks, but leaves the skin soft, moisturized, and visibly cleaner looking. A better clay mask alternative for us dry skinned folk, but honestly, any skin type could use this with great results.

2-it’s too fun not to use on a regular basis, plus I’m growing addicted to the softness and smoothness of my skin after using this.

And, in a post about pores and their maintenance, I would be committing a sin if I didn’t mention Ciracle’s Sebum Control Powder. Acne forms when dead skin cells, debris, and bacteria become trapped inside of a pore because excess sebum has essentially “glued” them together, inside the pore. When this cocktail is exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns black, forming a, you guessed it, blackhead. 

This powder not only has an amazing, budge-proof hold that can be a lifesaver for setting/preserving makeup (even in Florida summers!), but really helps manage oiliness (sebum) throughout the day without being drying in the slightest. This effect can help prevent the formation of acne by helping control excess sebum which may clog pores.

Regular attention to pore maintenance and dead skin removal can make an amazing difference in skin texture and appearance. A routine that incorporates exfoliation and specific pore products around 2-4 times per week will make skin healthier and give it a natural glow, no makeup required. Many of these products are really fun and unique as well; skintertainment at its best!

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