A combination of oily skin and staying in a hot and humid climate like Singapore does nothing good for your pores. The heat and humidity keeps your pores more open and actively produces sebum throughout the day. Having large pores causes your makeup to slide off, complexions to start looking aged and old, blackheads to clog and build up, and your skin to look anything but smooth and soft. To sort out that problem, we’ve gathered five skincare and five makeup items that are pore-fecting in their own ways. Scroll through the gallery to look at these oily skin saviours, from deep cleansing to pore tightening skin care and pore-filling to pore blurring makeup.
Text: Alicia Ng / HerWorldPlus / August 2017
Additional text: Cheryl Lim
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For more beauty stories, read 10 Top Full-Coverage Foundations For A Flawless Complexion and Valerie Lim Shows CLEO Her Beauty Shelf.
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam, $49
The first step to pore-fected skin is making sure you aren’t letting dirt, dust and other environmental pollutants clog them in the first place. You want a cleanser that purifies well without stripping your skin of too much moisture (which will only make your skin compensate by overproducing oils).
This cleanser is keeps skin conditioned while still foaming up enough to provide a deeper cleanse, so your skin still feels soft after. If you’re taking off a day’s worth of makeup, you should still double cleanse using a cleansing oil, micellar water or makeup removing wipes beforehand.
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores, $50
It’s not enough to expect a cleanser to keep your pores unclogged, or to suffice when your pores are already clogged. And when pollutants, dirt, dust and micro particles get under your skin, they jam your pores and cause breakouts or troubled skin. Using a detoxifying charcoal or clay-based maskonce or twice a week will keep those pores in the clear and your complexion smooth.
This particular mask is a cult favourite that contains activated charcoal which acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers, as well as a clay to absorb toxins and an ingredient called Lecithin that rids your skin of impurities. Though you may be tempted to, definitely avoid leaving this on for longer than recommended or it’ll be extra tough to remove which can do more damage than good to your skin.
Caolion Pore Tightening Memory Sleeping Mask, $57
Pore purifying aside, it takes a little more to minimise or shrink your pores as much as possible. Korean beauty brand Caolion is ahead of the pore game with its massive range of masks and cleansers dedicated to your pores.
This one in particular is a cooling sleeping mask that works overnight to hydrate, tighten pores, calm your skin and boost elasticity so you wake up with firmer, more supple and refined looking skin. If you love your pore strips, this makes for the perfect follow-up mask to soothe and tighten your pores.
Pixi Glow Tonic, $28 for 100ml
If you’re not a fan of physical exfoliants, then chemical is the way to go. Gentle acid-based exfoliants are a great way to resurface your skin without getting too aggressive or damaging your skin. Pixi’s Glow Tonic is a cult favourite for what it does and it’s particularly affordable price point. It’s essentially a toner that contains glycolic acid to gently exfoliate your skin, leaving it more even-toned, brighter, and clearer in the long run. It’s also got soothing ingredients like aloe vera, ginseng and botanical extracts that make it gentle enough for sensitive skin.
After you’ve cleansed your skin or rinsed off your detox mask, saturate a cotton pad with this glow tonic and sweep it across your skin, focusing on the areas that need particular attention (like your pores). And when you’re using acids, it’s always important to be vigilant with your sunscreen if you’re heading out in the day.
Su:m37 Water-full Timeless Pore Essence, $108 for 40ml
There’s always something to get excited about when a Korean beauty brand arrives on Singapore shores, and premium brand Su:m37 is no exception. With a focus on keeping your skin properly hydrated, this essence controls sebum with the help of fermented fruits and pine tree leaf extracts.
Fermented bamboo sap and an Aquafirm technology are what nourish and moisturise the skin, keeping it well balanced throughout the day. Apply this after your toner and before your favourite moisturiser, concentrating it on your cheeks, forehead, nose and chin.
Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector, $56
When dealing with makeup in a hot and humid climate, primer is the key to looking your best all day long. If you’ve got oily skin, you want something that will help you stay matte all day, control the oil levels on your skin, as well as make your pores look near-invisible. If matte is truly your goal, give this primer a shot. It works both under and on top of foundation to control oil and minimise the appearance of your pores.
It does have a thicker consistency than most primers, so we recommend using it on well-moisturised skin, and warmed between your fingers so it’s easier to blend out.
Nars Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer, $65
If you’re not a fan of visible pores, then the words diffusing and soft focus are most likely music to your ears. Available in four shades for different skin tones, the new Nars Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer is a gorgeous matte bronzer that is going to be your new staple. Made with a soft blurring technology, it captures light and diffuses imperfections in order to enhance your complexion without drawing attention to skin texture and pores.
It’s the perfect time to embrace summer skin and with a wash of sun-kissed warmth. With a large fluffy cheek brush, apply this bronzer anywhere the sun is likely to give you a tan: Your cheeks, temples, jaw, and even across the bridge of your nose.
Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional: Pore Minimizing Makeup, $53
If high coverage or heavier foundations aren’t your thing, this is a great alternative that’s also going to do wonders for your pores. A more recent addition to Benefit Cosmetics’ Porefessional line, this lightweight, mattifying and long-wearing makeup base minimises the look of your pores without clogging your skin.
The formula is a really runny liquid that applies best with a brush (a sponge absorbs and wastes a fair bit of product) and gives fairly light coverage that is just enough to even out your skin tone for a your-skin-but-better look. You can use it under a different foundation for some lightweight pore-blurring, or on its own for makeup-lite days.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Cushion BB Compact All Day Wear Liquid Compact SPF 50/PA+++, $75
If you prefer more coverage or a foundation that’s going to give you a more natural finish, here’s our pick that even comes in a handy compact. Estee Lauder’s BB compact version of its classic oily skin favourite Double Wear foundation is the perfect hybrid. Not only does it last all day, minimise the appearance of pores, fine lines and imperfections, it’s also oil-free, lightweight and comfortable on the skin.
Coverage is more of a buildable medium, but some of the best things about this foundation is that it keeps oil under control, minimises imperfections, is water-resistant and comes with a high level of sun protection. Stick it in your bag for touchups throughout the day whether you need more coverage or just some added SPF.
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed, $48
We’ve raved about this one a couple of times before, but Bye Bye Pores is arguably one of the most mattifying and pore-blurring powders in stores right now. It’s a talc-free anti-ageing finishing powder that gives you airbrushed-looking skin in an instant without drying out your skin.
As for the anti-ageing properties in the powder, it’s formulated with peptides, hydrolyzed collagen and real silk all of which are supposed to help your skin look younger and more perfected. And of course, the handy pressed formula in a compact makes for fuss-free touchups throughout the day. If however the skin under your eyes is on the dry side, then you might want to avoid setting your under eye concealer with this powder or it will look a tad dry.