Here’s a “dirty” little secret: Most deep cleansers do double duty as pore-purging “masks”. (By the same token, products marketed as masks may be used as cleansers in a pinch, since masks – mud ones in particular – are meant to sop up grease and grime in much the same way facial washes do.)
Key takeaway: Clogged pores can (and should!) be treated with an ad-hoc cleanser mask. Simply dab a dollop onto blackhead-riddled regions like the chin and nose, then let dry for about 15 minutes before splashing off with warm water.
Because cleanliness really is next to gorgeousness, grab this carefully curated bundle of bath basics that are well, far from basic, seeing as how they’re multi-purpose marvels that can stand in for your mud masks. Let’s line ‘em up for judgment, shall we. Presenting a fantastic four for your perusal and purchasing consideration, please:
Laneige Mini Pore Waterclay Mask, $38
There are a plethora of pore-tightening poultices lining the beauty aisles, but I’m particularly fond of those containing calming clay, an incredibly absorbent ingredient which is great for getting under the skin and clearing out unwanted riff-raff clogging up your pores.
This lovely Laneige option comes with said clay that’s combined with a cooling mint-infused gel that deeply quenches parched skin and decongests pores at the same time.
Beauty bonus: The incredibly comforting concoction leaves a super supple finish, so much so that I’ve found myself skipping my moisturiser on nights when I just can’t be arsed to follow through with my eight-step regime.
Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Mask, $80
Flush out the day’s dirt and debris by daubing on this detoxifying mud mask, which not coincidentally happens to be one of my favourite me-time treats.
My obsession du jour boasts a naturally occurring, mineral-rich mud said to annul acidity and purify pores, plus calming chamomile and redness-reducing lavender water. Simply slather on a generous glob of the good stuff, kick back your kitten heels for 10 minutes or so, then splash off for wobbly tofu skin.
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Mousse Cleanser, $17
Innisfree’s intriguing pore decongester contains what the K-Beauty brand calls Jeju Volcanic Clusters, an “explosive” elixir of micro-fine clay particles that promise to work like a charcoal mask, sopping up sebum, sunscreen and the day’s debris in one soapy swoop.
Use this as you would any cleanser and with some luck, your skin should be feeling supremely soft, pleasingly plump and pore-free. Fending off the caresses of your #bae when you emerge from your boudoir may be an exercise in futility!
Kate Somerville EradiKate Mask, $85
How’s this for an Aesthetic Horror Story: I know of OLs who dab toothpaste onto their zits (right at their office desk to boot!) and call it a day. Worst beauty hack ever! Never apply toothpaste on a spot, which is akin to pouring stinging oil on a fire: The toothpaste only serves to ramp up redness and inflammation.
What to use in lieu of toothpaste? Try Kate Somerville’s excellent EradiKate Mask, a cool self-activating treatment that works itself into a fine froth on dry skin – no elbow grease required on your part. The fun frothing action sops up grime and grease while driving antibacterial colloidal sulfur and a brew of botanical and honey extracts deep into your pores. And yes, this goes both ways: It’s perfectly kosher to use it as a cleanser as well.
With any luck, your face should boast a smooth-as-silk finish once you’re done with your treatment. Here’s hoping your time spent “poring” over this piece will result in perfectly petite pores on your part!