Off with their heads! Hot and bothered by the bumps and lumps besmirching your mien? Try these three speedy steps to stamp out your spots:
1. ‘Suck’ out the little suckers with a cleanser. Sad fact: Clogged pores are the precursor to pimples, which are an even bigger pain in the face. To block these buggers from ever becoming blemishes, treat ‘em with an ad hoc creamy cleanser “mask”.
Dab a dollop onto blackhead-riddled regions like the nose and let dry for about 20 minutes. Ideally, you should gun for a cleanser that comes with acne-alleviating superheroes like salicylic acid, which should get to action straight away to decongest pores virtually instantly.
2. Lube up for comfort. Once you’ve splashed off your makeshift mask with warm water, top up with a dash of – yup, you’ve guessed it – a comforting facial oil.
This technique might be counterintuitive, but think of targeted oil treatments as adhering to the Chinese proverb of fighting poison with poison; using an oil product may actually reduce the amount our bodies produce by tricking sebaceous glands into cutting back on overproduction.
Not sure where to start? Opt for botanical blends with skin-softening sweet almond, sesame and jojoba oils, which are non-comedogenic to boot. These lightweight formulas also take the “kwali face” fear factor out of the equation – they don’t feel greasy and gross in the least, and lend themselves well to all manner of mixing and matching. To purge pores and even zap zits fast, try layering your oil of choice on top of your salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide blackhead treatments; this helps fend off the frightful flakiness that can be a side effect of some of your harsher medications.
3. Strip it all off with a turbo-charged ‘toner’. For particularly pesky bumps on your honker, consider bringing out the big guns by slapping on a peel-off strip. These skin savers work by yanking out the dirt clogging your pores via brute force; that is, a special glue “grabs” onto blackheads and pulls them free when you remove the strip.
To boost your strip’s well, stripping power, try applying a baking soda “toning” solution onto your snout to loosen up the dead skin flakes on the surface. This prepping step helps the glue from your pore strip to adhere better to the offending blackheads. Simply stir one teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of warm water, saturate clean cotton pads and press into your nose. Ditch the pads, re-wet your nose with the same baking soda solution, then apply your pore strip of choice.
After the allocated time as dictated by the package directions is up, gently lift off the strip. Pick at the edges until the entire shebang works itself free. With any luck, you should find the strip peppered with a scattering of unwanted flotsam and jetsam. Hurrah! Instant gratification.
Try these top tips out the next time your nose is feeling congested, and let me know how it goes. Your pores can thank me later!