Fact: you cannot change the size of your pores. What you can do is make sure they appear smaller by keeping them clear of any dirt, dead skin or sebum by making sure you thoroughly cleanse your face everyday. By using the right cleansers and ensuring that your pores are clean and clear, not only are you making them less apparent, you’re also ensuring your skin is less prone to blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. And you know what that means: A clearer, more even complexion.
To help you along the way, we’ve put together a list of products that thoroughly cleanse and exfoliate your clogged pores without irritating your skin and causing flare-ups.
The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser, $22
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that sinks into the pores to gently coax out dirt, sebum and dead skin, leaving skin clear and helping reduce the chances of breakouts. This cleanser is ideal for oily, acne-prone skin.
Bybi Beauty Crystal Clear Gel Cleanser, $46
This cleanser takes a multi-pronged approach to keep skin clear and blemish free: Salicylic acid and rock quartz crystal clarify and cleanse pores, while Inulin a prebiotic powerhouse strengthens the skin’s natural barrier by keeping the skin microbiome balanced and healthy. Used regularly, you can expect fewer breakouts.
Aesop In Two Minds Facial Cleanser, $43
Ideal for combination skin, it gently but thoroughly cleanses skin to remove any gunk hidden in pores so your skin soft, smooth and refreshed after.
Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel, $21
A gentle blend of alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids help to gently exfoliate skin, decongest pores, cleanse away impurities and wash away bad bacteria leaving skin smooth, soft and less likely to break out.
Philosophy Total Matteness Pore Minimising & Mattifying Cleanser, $45 from Sephora
Promising to absorb all unwanted oil for a smooth-to-the-touch finish, this Total Matteness Pore Minimising & Mattifying Cleanser from Philosophy is formulated with glacial clay to help unclog pores. Here’s a fun hack to try: Pamper your skin by slathering a thick layer on as a weekly purifying rinse-off mask while bingeing on your favourite Netflix series.
Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser with Saw Palmetto and Mint, $41 from Sephora
Want maximum strength and zero irritation? Then try out Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser that is fortified with fatty acid-rich saw palmetto, mint and salicylic acid, all of which are said to work in tandem to cleanse your pores and eliminate excess oil that causes shine. Bonus: This nifty cleanser doubles up as a wake-me-up cleanser with its minty sensation.
Caolion Hot & Cool Pore Foam Cleanser Duo, $36 from Sephora
A two-step cleanser from Caolion that promises to deep cleanse your pores with a ‘steaming’ effect, before tightening enlarged pores by cooling them. How? Simple: The steaming step involves the activation of natural brown sugar to gently exfoliate your pores. As the cleanser heats up upon contact with your skin, it is said to dissolve dead skin cells and prep your skin for the next step.
Next comes a cooling and tightening foam cleanser that promises to calm and depuff the skin with the addition of kaolin clay and peppermint oil, leaving you with an enhanced firmness of the skin. Bonus: It’s a super fun ‘pore-ritual’ before bedtime.
Estee Lauder Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Purifying Cleansing Jelly, $30 from Sephora
The latest addition to the Estee Lauder family, this Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Purifying Cleansing Jelly is fortified with a soothing blend of algae extract. Packed with antioxidants and minerals, this detoxifying jelly cleanser is said to lather into a light silky foam that removes impurities for a more balanced and refreshed complexion with no excess shine.
Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser, $40
While we understand that excessive oil is bad news for our skin, we should take note not to strip it of all its natural oils. Enter Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser that is formulated with a purging blend of Amazonian white clay, among other ‘natural’ ingredients. The creamy cleanser promises to gently remove toxins and impurities that might clog up your pores without depriving you of natural oils.
Murad Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo, $99
With the recent launch of its oil-blotting pink cushion, Murad has got our attention when it comes to squelching shine and blurring pores. This new two-step care by Murad is a blackhead and pore clearing treatment that’s said to mattify the face and reduce the recurrence of blackheads by ‘sealing’ the pores for the ultimate in protection against pore-clogging impurities.
Dr Jart Poremedic Pore Minish Bubble, $32 from Sephora
Fun fact: Our skin cells are one of the fastest to regenerate, leaving us with a significant amount of dead skin cells every day. Over time, they can clog up our pores when it doesn’t desquamate (read: peel off) from the top layer of our skin, which can lead to a bumpy appearance. This Pore Minish Bubble from Dr Jart promises to unclog all of that trouble by removing dead skin cells and controlling excess oil to give a brighter and more supple complexion without irritation or dryness.
Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Exfoliant, $55 from Sephora
Part of the Umbrian Clay collection from Fresh, this gentle exfoliator promises to polish away dead skin cells for an instantly even and more radiant complexion. The purifying formula is said to work harder for you by refining skin texture and absorbing excess oil for a perfectly balanced skin with less apparent pores.
Biore Marshamallow Whip Facial Wash (pore care), $13.90
Fluffy and dense, Biore’s latest version of their beloved marshmallow whip facial wash features an improved formula that promises to ‘protect’ the skin during cleansing. Forming a thick and fluffy layer that shields the skin from any harsh tugging during the cleansing process, the micro-sized bubbles are said to penetrate deep into the pores to remove oil and impurities without drying out the skin. Complete your beauty regime with Biore’s lightweight sunscreen before heading out and about.
Dr Brandt Skincare PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator, $81.78 from Lazada
Do you have large pores and oily skin? Then try out Dr. Brandt’s PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator. It promises to minimise pores while smoothing and mattifying one’s skin. The dual-action wash is also said to help in the tightening of pores by removing congestion and clogging-causing impurities.
Orbis Powder Wash +, $25
Swearing off oil in any of its skincare products, Orbis’ Powder Wash + is a unique cleansing powder that removes keratin plugs (read: ‘hardened’ sebum and accumulated old keratin) trapped within your pores.
Formulated with two different enzymes that promise to break down the grimy keratin plugs, the powder dissolves and lathers quickly. Bonus: It contains collagen, royal jelly extract and hyaluronic acid that are said to firm up your complexion while simultaneously hydrating it for soft and plump skin.
Perricone MD Pre:empt Series Exfoliating Pore Refiner, $62 from Cultbeauty
Unlike most harsh microbead exfoliators, Dr. Perricone’s ‘scientific’ formula is a gentle yet efficient scrub that is said to penetrate deeply to purify the skin and ultimately reduce noticeable pores, dullness and uneven skin texture. The result? A natural and healthy-looking complexion.
Text: June Chen / Her World Plus / June 2017
Additional text: Smita DeSouza
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