Our best bet against clogged pores in Singapore’s humid weather? Weekly clay masks that help get rid of all the extra gunk our cleansing toner can’t get rid of. After all, enlarged pores happen when there’s too much dirt and impurities stuck in them, making them look wider than normal.
But consider this: Our clay masks supplement many other products in our combination-oily skin routine that are already geared towards deep cleansing. For example, look into any beauty junkie’s cabinet and you’ll find cleansing brushes, oils, micellar water, “astringent” toners and cleansing wipes. All this for our skin to look smooth and matte in humid weather, never mind Korean star-like dewy skin – leave that all to makeup.
This obsession about looking poreless and matte, says celebrity facialist Hsu Su-man, brings about the temptation to over cleanse our skin, stripping it of its natural oils. And while it may seem like the most basic of beauty know-hows for any well-informed lady, most of us – including me – are still abusing pore-cleaning products like the clay mask.
“I am not a clay mask fan and I don't believe anyone should use them as they tend to dry the skin out, which does more harm than good ... If you continue making your skin drier and fooling yourself with the idea that taut skin is toned healthy skin, you will be doing yourself a disservice,” says Su-man.
She added: “Dry skin [from too much cleansing] goes into overdrive and produces even more oil which attracts dirt and enlarges pores. I know it's a fashion with Asian woman to have matte texture but if you overdo it, you will destroy skin quality and it will age faster.”
So how then, can you achieve poreless-looking skin while laying off the clay mask? Well, take it from the lady who is responsible for the healthy, glowing faces of celebrities like Juliette Binoche and Freida Pinto.
“Large pores happen to people living in cold climates too, and from my experience, the best way to shrink the pores is by having regular facials or taking time to massage products in correctly,” says Su-man.
This, as well as a good skincare routine that includes exfoliation is what works to prevent enlarged pores, says the 50-year-old.
To help deal with this situation, Su-man has created her own massages for the application of each different skincare product, based on her background in dance, together with shiatsu techniques.
These massages are all documented in step-by-step videos on Su-man’s YouTube channel. And you want to watch them – Oscar winning actress Anne Hathaway has called Su-man’s facial massage treatments a “life-changing” experience.
WATCH: Here’s how to apply your cleansing oil
WATCH: Keep your pores small with this exfoliating technique
WATCH: Once in awhile, pamper your skin by massaging in your products like this
So, don’t abuse the clay mask! Keep your pores tiny by cleansing well but not so much that it strips your skin of its natural oils; exfoliate; massage your products into your skin; and go for regular facials.
If you’d like to try out Su-man’s facial treatment, she will be offering the service for $380 at the W Singapore Away Spa from now until July 12, 2015. Call 6808 7290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking.
If you’re a fan of pampering treatments, don’t forget to check out this customisable face and body treatment that left us completely relaxed, or this body sculpting treatment that helps with stubborn fat.