The Tutorial: Pore Care

By October 23, 2014

While there are not many things that I regret in life, if there were two things I would tell my former high school/college student self to do it would be to:

A. Stop working so much! (For some reason I felt the need to start working at age 16)

B. Maintain your freaking pores!!

Like most of you have emailed me in frustration, big pores are annoying and unsightly and they don’t seem to go away. It makes the “no-makeup makeup” look hard to pull off and this I know because I have enlarged pores around my nose and some even in my cheek area. You’re not alone if you’ve wondered, “If only there was a way to shrink them back…”

Well. Here’s the bad news.

Pores become enlarged because of sebum production in your follicle, causing blackheads and even breakouts. If you don’t maintain your pores by cleaning out the debris in the follicle, your pores will become permanently enlarged. It makes sense because once they get stretched and stuck in that state for some time, they’re not going to go back to its original form. You heard me—enlarged pores will never completely go away. It’s not pretty, but it’s true.

Blackheads and large pores are typically found in normal, oily and combination skin types because the combo of sebum production in your follicles and dead skin cells causes your pores to become blocked and then enlarged.

(If you have dry skin, I’m envious because you probably have zero to very little pores. Your skincare goal will likely be to continuously hydrate your skin because you’re more prone to fine lines and wrinkles.)

Now here’s the good news. You can reduce blackheads and maintain your pore size by keeping up with a solid skincare routine. And if you’re lucky enough to read this before getting enlarged pores, listen up. Here’s how it’s done.


Step 1: Use an oil cleanser!

Make sure you remove any oil-based debris in your pores using a gentle oil cleanser. All that makeup and oil based debris will rest quite comfortably in your follicles and block it unless you clean it out. Remember what I said earlier about the double cleanse.


Step 2: Exfoliate!

Mechanically exfoliate once a week with sugar crystals


By mechanically exfoliating with sugar crystals once a week, you clear out the major debris and soften the skin. I love mechanical scrubs because it also promotes blood flow and gives you that baby fresh glow.

Chemically exfoliate often with a salicylic acid (BHA) 


Salicylic acid loves oil! Think little yellow pac man eating the sebum in your pores (NOM NOM NOMZ). It’s also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial so good for those that have acne. It also continues to work in your skin for about 5 hours which is another reason why salicylic acid is my bestie.

Draw out impurities with charcoal or kaolin (clay) once a week

Again, a good one for acne and oily skin types because it absorbs sebum, while drawing out toxins and pore-cloggers. Charcoal is also a magnet for environmental toxins and debris.
Optional: Routinely get professionally extractions by your esthetician!


Now, if you’re like me and you missed the no-pore boat here’s how to deal.

Look for silicon-based primers to smooth the surface of your skin so that you start with a fresh canvas when applying makeup. Just make sure to use an oil cleanser to remove the silicon every night!

I have found that cushion compacts do wonders at filling in my pores because they dispense a very thin layer of the product to give me that flawless, natural look and finish.


Are you pore-y like me? I would love to hear your pore concerns and questions. Ask me anything in the comment section below!