Sunday, 4 May 2014

Pore-less Skin

Smooth, silky, poreless skin is something all women want. It looks equally amazing with or without makeup and is the envy of any woman that gazes upon it. I normally hear 'it's alright for you, you have perfect skin'. I'll let you into a secret. I don't. I'm just good at hiding my blemishes, my dark circles and, you guessed it, pores.

To help prevent and regulate enlarged pores, I found that understanding exactly the cause helped me better understand and choose which products to use. So, what causes enlarged pores, I hear you cry? Your pores are there to provide room for the hair follicle to grow and to allow the sebaceous glands to produce sebum. Our skin produces sebum (oil) to help prevent it drying out and to stop our bodies from absorbing too much water. If you have naturally oily skin, chances are you have enlarged pores (although not exclusively) this is because as your pores produce oil, dirt and dead skin cells can collect in those pores, causing them to block and appear larger. I don't have particularly oily skin but judging by the more frequent spates of spots in the last few months, I can assume that my enlarged pores have come from a change in hormones causing more sebum production than I'm used to.    

I haven't always had issues with my pores, but over the last six months or so, the sides of my nose, moving onto my cheeks and my chin seem to have developed buckets (like I said, along with spates of five spots at a time) and I'm seriously unhappy about it. I've had to learn through trial and error how to best apply my foundation and powder to make sure that they don't settle in my pores. After understanding exactly what was causing the appearance of enlarged pores I set about finding products that I thought would work best.

First on my list is Soap&Glory's The Fab Pore 2-in-1 Facial Pore Purifying Mask and Peel (£10.00). I really love this product. I feel that it really helps to clear away the blockages in my pores (the lactic and salicylic acids help to prevent spots by peeling the dead skin cells to unblock pores). Microbeads also help to remove the dead skin cells and dirt from the pores and help to exfoliate the skin. The kaolin clay helps to soak up excess sebum for those of you with oily skin to help maintain smaller pores. There is also some fomes officinalis mushroom extract which aids the shrinking and tightening of pores.
All of these factors work together well to provide a satisfying result. I always feel that the look of my pores has changed after use. My skin also feels cool and smooth, making it a very relaxing treat after a long day. 

I immediately follow my Soap&Glory Mask and Peel with Soap&Glory The Fab Pore Daily Micro-Smoothing Moisture Lotion  (£12.00). This has salicylic acid, vitamin B6 and fomes officinalis mushroom  which together create a moisturing, pore-tightening astringent which helps to reduce the production of sebum from the sebaceous gland, making it ideal for those of you with oily skin. It also helps to energise the skin and boost circulation as well as providing mattification of the skin.

Since I only use the mask and peel as a treatment, I thought I needed a cleanser that I could use once a day to help maintain the work that Soap&Glory do. So, Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pore & Shine Daily Scrub (£4.49) has become my morning cleanser. It also has sebum-fighting salicylic acid and teamed with the micro-beads it helps to unblock pores, and to slow the production of sebum. The citrus scent from this also makes it very uplifting for morning use (it compliments Sugar Crush perfectly in your morning shower). If my pores look quite enlarged, I will again follow with the Soap&Glory lotion.

I also use a facial scrubber (I can't find a link, but I'm pretty sure this was from Superdrug and was around the £2 mark). I use this to massage in my night-time cleanser to help unblock my skin. If nothing else, this is pretty relaxing at the end of the night when you are taking of your makeup and removing the daily grime from your skin.

Lastly, when I am applying my makeup if I am still unhappy with the look of my pores I reach for Benefit's The Porefessional (£24.50). If you haven't heard of this product with regards to hiding pores then you probably haven't looked for very long. This product is a best-seller for a reason. You can use it under or over makeup and it helps to hide those pesky pores by smoothing over them. The formula is oil-free so it won't add to any excess oil causing those enlarged pores in the first place. I also carry a travel sized tube of this in my makeup bag for touch-ups throughout the day (Elle magazine has a travel size as it's free gift this month, great to try it out!).

What are your saviors when your pores give you trouble?

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