It’s entirely possible you don’t have time for weekly facials, yet your pores cry out for de-plugging every few days. Here is a quick ritual for your keeping your pores clear. Whether you’re a man or woman, clear pores = a fresher-looking face. And that’s never a bad thing.
Step 1: Get one of these. It’s called a blackhead remover and Revlon makes a good one that you can find in almost every drugstore in the U.S.
Step 2: Soften sebum.
Sexy, isn’t it? Bring a pot of water to boil, then reduce heat until you have a consistent pillow of rising steam. Ideally, it’s nice to have and use a dedicated face-steaming pot that is not also used to prepare food.
Drape a clean towel over your head and lean into the steam, about a foot from the water. Your skin should be cleansed prior to steaming. The point is to soften the sebum and other cellular debris that’s embedded in your pores. This way, it should glide out once you get down to business.
Steam for 10-12 minutes.
Side Note: This is a great time to meditate. Breath in deeply, then exhale; over and again. Nice.
Another Side Note: If there’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell of you actually doing Step 2, then take a long, hot shower and proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: Liberate Your Pores.
The blackhead remover is a flat, handheld device with a small loop at each end. Place the hole on the loop of the extraction tool over a blocked pore. Apply gentle pressure until it releases the plugged debris.
If the extraction is not successful, attempt to do it twice more, exerting pressure on different sides of the pore. Still no luck? Move to another area.
A magnified mirror will help you spot blocked pores and fit your blackhead remover more precisely over them.
You’ll need to get up close and personal to unplug your pores. Hello!
If you do not have a blackhead remover, or do not feel comfortable using it, you can use your fingers—provided you do the following: cut your nails and wrap your fingertips with facial tissue to keep from gouging delicate facial skin. Press the pads of your fingertips (never the nails) on the sides of the pore, with one finger on each side. Be gentle.
Step 4: Clean it up.
Dip a pure cotton ball in toner and apply to the areas where you extracted. This is most likely the T-zone (chin, nose and forehead). Change cottons until the ball’s surface is still clean after being passed over your skin.
Avoid alcohol-based astringents that strip skin. Indeed, the oiliest skin requires nothing stronger than witch hazel. I also like to mix up a batch of apple cider vinegar toner; 1 part apple cider vinegar (well-shaken) to 1 or 2 parts distilled water. No need to rinse off the toner; simply let it dry on your skin.
The key to making this habit is by doing it regularly. Your skin will look much better for it.
Side Note: This is a very abbreviated, quickie way to de-clog your pores in between visits to your aesthetician for a deep-cleansing facial. Alternately, a step by step at-home facial is detailed in the first chapter of my book, Practical Glamour.