Pore care to keep you clear
By Roshni Riar, Staff Writer
As we shift into spring weather, pore care has become a prioritized skincare goal for me. The seasonal change can introduce pore-clogging factors that drier, cooler months don’t necessarily feed into. Sweating, sunscreen, dirt, and excess oil production can all negatively impact the way your skin behaves.
If you’re anything like me, the slightest change in wind direction will clog your pores. For some, they’re simply prone to blackheads and textured skin. For others, different products can change the way their skin reacts. It’s hard to know where to start when embarking on a personal pore care journey. That’s why I’ve provided a few tips and tricks to keep in mind and help you achieve smooth, clear skin for spring.
Beta Hydroxy Acids
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) are chemical exfoliants that work to control oils and treat blackheads. They loosen and dislodge build-up within pores, purging them to help minimize their appearance.
BHAs are active acids so if you don’t have experience with chemical exfoliants and peels, please make sure to start slowly. First, try patch testing—applying some product to your arm or behind your ear—for a few days to monitor your skin’s reaction to the product. Watch out for burning, stinging, or redness. If any of this occurs, maybe stay clear of that product. The trick is to find something that agrees with you.
If you react well, then start by using BHAs once a week for a month until you feel comfortable increasing the frequency. Starting slowly will help minimize any potential irritation. BHAs are drying, so be sure to moisturize thoroughly after applying!
The most common and effective BHA available is salicylic acid—a well-known, widely available acne and blackhead treatment. The Ordinary’s is a great place to start your BHA journey.
Witch hazel can be found in many toners and facial sprays. It’s a clear liquid that is derived from the bark and leaves of the North American witch hazel shrub.
Much like BHAs, witch hazel lifts dirt and debris off the skin while simultaneously tightening the pore. Witch hazel is an astringent (meaning it constricts body tissue) and can be drying, so don’t forget to moisturize afterwards so you don’t strip your moisture barrier. Even if you have oily skin, its important to keep your skin hydrated—it’ll make your skincare journey a lot more successful in the long run.
Check out Thayers Witch Hazel Toner for an affordable, reliable first foray into witch hazel toning. It’s a soothing formula that contains aloe vera to calm the skin. It is also available in a variant with rose water if you’re also dealing with occasional redness.
Check for silicone
Another helpful tip is to monitor the effects of silicone on your skin. It might be a surprise to realize how many skincare products have silicones in them. While most people would never notice, there are some who experience pore problems when they run into silicones in their creams and cleansers. If you sense silicones might be an issue, dimethicone is a popular silicone to watch out for in the ingredients list of your skincare products. Try removing the products from your routine for a month, marking any noticeable changes.
Keeping your pores clear is the key to making them look smaller. You can’t actually shrink your pores, but you can certainly minimize their appearance by keeping them free of build-up and dirt.