I used to be a huge fan of pore strips until I realized that hey, maybe pulling at your skin on a regular basis isn’t going to do you any favors.
Not gonna lie, there is great joy in taking off your pore strip and inspecting the damage A.K.A all the sebaceous filaments (SFs) and blackheads. (I have also spent a decent amount of time looking at pore strip close-up videos. Why am I sharing this.) But in the long run, this is actually pretty bad because you’re also pulling on the skin around your pores and creating tiny wounds. With consistent use, these tiny wounds can reduce the skin elasticity around the pores and make them look bigger.
(Okay, pore strips aren’t entirely the work of the devil. I just really don’t recommend using them so often. Three-step kits like the Holika Holika Pig-Nose Clear Black Head 3-Step Kit are pretty okay as well.)
So how do you degunk your pores then? You know, without the violence of pore strips?
Deep pore cleansing method
I stumbled upon Fiddy’s pore cleansing method while I was looking for a gentler way to cleanse your pores. This method requires three products: a 2% BHA product, a clay mask, and an emulsifying oil cleanser. It’s supposed to deeply cleanse your pores and get rid of annoying sebaceous filaments, resulting in grits (grayish-looking grains produced by the buildup of sebum and dead skin cells). This takes around 45 minutes to an hour but I swear it’s worth it.
Step 1: BHA
- Apply your BHA product on your face, or just in the areas where the SF’s are more apparent. I use COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid for this. When I’m feeling extra, I stretch out a cotton pad and soak it in this before putting it on my nose.
- Wait for 15~20 minutes.
- The BHA works by getting into your pores and loosening up all the gunk, allowing the next steps to work better.
Step 2: Clay mask
- Without removing the BHA, apply your clay mask and leave on for however long the product instructions specify.
- For this step, I’m currently using the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask which, I must say, is peak skincaretainment. Unlike regular clay masks, this one starts to foam while it sits on your face. You get your face tickled to hell and back while you watch yourself turn into a deep sea creature. Thrills.
- Mini-review: Before this, I used the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask, which is another great mask to try. I just really like how my skin feels ridiculously soft after the Bubble Clay Mask so I’m sticking to that for now!
- Now because your BHA has loosened up all the gunk in your pores, your clay mask will have no trouble absorbing everything.
- After 15 minutes, rinse thoroughly with tepid to lukewarm water.
Step 3: Oil cleansing
- Apply oil cleanser and wait for 15-20 minutes.
- Gently massage your face/concern areas for 1-2 minutes from the outside going in. This is where the grits are supposed to come out! But if you don’t get any to come out, it’s fine. Your pores still get all clean and tiny afterward.
- Rinse off your cleansing oil and proceed with the rest of your routine.
- Currently using Banila Co. Clean It Zero. Also tried Heimish All Clean Balm for a while but it stings when it gets into my eye so I switched back. Both do a pretty good job, even though I’ve never produced grits from either one.
How often should you deep cleanse?
I would recommend doing this 1-2 times a week. I usually do this on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. Basically, I sort of live in my bathroom.
I don’t have this product! What can I do?
Clay masking once a week is okay, really! BHA + clay mask is also fine. Clay mask + oil cleanser should be fine as well. Just don’t substitute your oil cleanser with micellar water, it just doesn’t work the same way for this method.
I hope you find this helpful! I’ve been doing this method for a few months now and while my skin is far from being flawless, I believe this really helped with the quality of my skin overall. Let me know how this goes for you! ♡