How to Shrink Pores (Temporarily), Plus 3 Pore Myths

June 4 2018 update: Thanks to my job as Director of Marketing at Beautytap, I’ve been able to create a set of products that I can confirm work well for me with this technique! You can find the set here.

Originally published March 28, 2015.

Visible pores rank as one of the most common complaints people have about their skin, and photos of models and celebrities with their pores Photoshopped into oblivion make pore problems seem even worse. “Pore-shrinking” toners and masks are always popular, but can they really work? Find out why not and learn how to safely shrink pores (temporarily) with my three-product Super Pore Killer technique!


Affiliate links in this post are marked with an asterisk(*). Products originally provided to me for consideration or review are marked with double asterisks(**).


But first, let’s debunk some common pore myths.

Pore Myth 1: Your nose is covered in blackheads.

That is probably untrue. Those enlarged and darkened pores on your T-zone and sometimes on other areas of your face are much more likely to be sebaceous filaments (SFs), which are essentially a mixture of sebum, bacteria, dead skin cells, and a single hair (I know, I know, gross) that have filled up a large pore. SFs are what this method addresses. In practice, though, that’s mostly semantics. If you think of your SFs as blackheads, you’re definitely not alone!

Pore Myth 2: Pores can be “shrunk.”

Sadly, while you can temporarily diminish the appearance of your pores using techniques like mine, you can’t physically shrink the actual size of your pores. Keeping skin plump and hydrated can help, but in general, the size of your pores is the size of your pores. The only exception I can think of is when pores are stretched out and damaged, usually through the use of peel-off pore strips or pore masks. Those peel-off pore strips may pull out some SFs, and I know it feels awesome to use one and then see how much gross stuff is stuck to the strip afterwards, but the damage they can cause your pores is not reversible and will make the problem worse in the long run, so don’t do it. Also avoid picking at your SFs, squeezing them, or using those little metal extractor tools, all of which also put you in danger of permanently enlarged pores.

Pore Myth 3: Pores open and close.

Pores do not open and close. There aren’t little tiny muscles around every pore in your face, flexing and relaxing depending on what you’re doing to your skin or what you’ve applied to it. The idea that a warm washcloth or steam treatment will “open” your pores to allow products to penetrate more deeply is a myth. And the idea that a splash of cold water or an astringent toner will “close” your pores is also a myth. As I mentioned above, the size of your pores is the size of your pores.

The best thing you can do to make your pores look smaller and your face clearer is to regularly clean out your pores. So let’s find out how!

Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

Regular BHA is key to keeping pores fresh and clear.

What you need to get rid of sebaceous filaments

To clear out your SFs and shrink your pores’ appearance with my technique, you’ll need about an hour, preferably in the morning, and these three items:

How to clear out your pores for fewer SFs

Note: The best time to do this is in the morning, before your regular morning skin care routine. This way, you won’t have to cleanse first and then again at the end of this process.

  1. Apply your BHA product. (If you have dry or dehydrated skin, you may want to limit your BHA and the rest of this process to only the areas of your face where your SFs are most visible.) Because BHAs are oil soluble, they’ll be able to penetrate deep into the sebum filling up your pores, loosening the gunk to make it easier to remove with the following steps. Wait 20-25 minutes to allow the BHA to do its job.
  2. Without washing off the BHA, apply your clay mask. Wait for however long the clay mask instructions specify.
  3. Rinse off your clay mask with tepid to lukewarm water. Be careful with your water temperature here, as both your BHA and clay mask can be quite drying, and you don’t want to overdry your skin by throwing hot water at it on top of that. Dry your face.
  4. Apply your cleansing oil or carrier oil. Wait 15 minutes. The oil will help draw the gunk in your pores to the surface.
  5. Gently massage your face or areas you’re treating for 2-3 minutes. If all has gone well, at this point you’ll feel tiny little grains coming out of your pores! These are the clogs that have been making your pores more visible. Many people call them “grits,” and getting grits out of your face is an amazingly satisfying feeling. Do not apply too much pressure to your skin or massage for longer than 5 minutes, tops. Doing so can result in broken capillaries, and those can’t be fixed without pricey laser treatments. Don’t worry if you don’t feel the grits. Some people don’t, either because the clogs are too small or because there wasn’t enough sebum and dead skin buildup to create grits. Even if you don’t feel any coming out, this process is still clearing your pores and reducing their appearance.
  6. After the oil massage, emulsify and rinse off your cleansing oil or wash off your carrier oil as usual. Continue with your regular skin care routine.

At this point, you should notice that the appearance of your pores is visibly reduced, whether or not you felt any grits. Congratulations! Pores that suffer from sebaceous filaments do inevitably fill back up, usually within a few days, but treating them with my Super Pore Killer method once or twice a week should help keep them at bay.

What do you do to shrink your pores? Tell me your tricks in the comments! And in case you want to try my pore clearing set at Beautytap but don’t want to scroll back up, here it is!

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266 responses to “How to Shrink Pores (Temporarily), Plus 3 Pore Myths

  1. I’m not sure if its a problem with my oil cleanser, but it starts to dry out right after i apply it to my face! I’ve tried waiting for two minutes but my face was already completely dry and impossible to massage without tugging my skin

    Liked by 1 person

      • Missha near skin oil to foam cleansing oil!
        Ingredients: Water (Aqua), PEG-8 Glyceryl Isostearate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Alcohol Denat., PEG-32, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Elaeagnus Pungens Leaf Extract, Onsen-sui, Yucca Schidigera Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Trichosanthes Kirilowii Root Extract, Actinidia Arguta Juice, Luffa Cylindrica Fruit Extract, Sodium Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum)

        My skin isn’t exactly on the dry side so there’s no way it could be my skin absorbing all the stuff 😦

        Liked by 1 person

    • Seems to me that your skin is probably very dry, or perhaps dehydrated. If this is the case, maybe loading up on more oil would work? Or, after the fifteen minutes, just add more to your hands right before you massage your face?

      This is a later response, so I hope you’ve actually found a way to make this work already! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This might be a silly question, but if it’s true that pores don’t open or close, then why are SFs so much more noticeable and easier to squeeze out of my skin after a hot shower?

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  6. Curious. I’ve come to know mineral oil as a taboo ingredient. Why does it work best to clean pores? Currently, I’m using Skinfood’s Brightening Rice oil cleanser and it is mineral oil based and you’re right, I do feel grits sometimes (mostly dry, flaky skin finally coming off with a good massage), but why is the mineral oil based oil cleansers better than mineral oil free oil cleansers?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm, I’m not sure why mineral oil ends up being one of the best for this purpose, actually! The only point I really know about mineral oil is that it’s recommended as being one of the least comedogenic of the oils, since the molecules are too big to clog pores–it sounds counterintuitive, but Vaseline is in fact one of the mildest and least clogging occlusive moisturizers around. However, I’ve used other types of oil cleansers that work more or less in the same way, so you definitely don’t have to stick to mineral oil if you don’t want to!

      Like

    • Hmm, there’s not a whole lot to be done, since at a certain point those little plugs are just a natural thing that happens no matter what. But regular BHA use will help keep them to a minimum.

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  7. Hi! I tried your method today, I used a prescription BHA lotion (2% BHA, pH around 4), a French green clay mask (the only thing I had at home) and pure mineral oil. I did feel some minor grits, but not too many more than when I use mineral oil as a makeup remover. Do you think over time the clogs will come out more easily if I do it once a week? I have many, many SFs and quite a lot of acne too, so it’s not like there isn’t anything to come out. Or am I just using products that don’t work so well for my skin? Did you feel a lot of “grits” when you first did it?

    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing, I’m so excited to try this out! I have one question. I usually cleanse my face with Su:m37 MRCS in the mornings, so I was wondering if I should keep my ritual? Or do you recommend that I go through your regimen as soon as I wake up, without washing my face?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, I’ve never tried it, since I usually replace my oil cleanser with the Elizavecca mask when I use it–the Elizavecca does a surprisingly good job removing makeup!

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  10. Can I use aztec healing clay mask with apple cider vinegar for this? I have to let the cleansing oil sit on my face for 15 minutes right? Then massage with wet hands?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use the Aztec clay/ACV, but I don’t have any experience with that 🙂 Yes, let the cleansing oil sit for about 15 minutes, but massage first with dry hands. Only wet your hands when you’re ready to emulsify and rinse off the oil!

      Like

      • Thank you fiddy! Something weird happened yesterday. When I cleansed my face with gel cleanser then wiped off with towel, I pumped in some Benton snail essence then when I rubbed it in my face, I felt grains! I got tiny black stuff in my hands. Were those the “grits”?

        Liked by 1 person

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      • It’s Neutrogena’s Pore Refining toner. Been using this for years cause it helps to keep my acne and pimples away. (Though I have a feeling that because I’ve been using this for too long and it’s effects are slowly fading so I’ll be trying out COSRX soon.) I haven’t had the chance to test it out yet but I’m planning on getting some pH strips soon!

        I’ve actually just tried it and I forgot to rinse off my face with warm water after using the clay mask. I used the same products as you with the exception of the BHA. No grits came off tho. :/ It’s either the warm water plays a part in loosening & lubricating the SFs or I don’t have enough SFs and dead skin hahaha.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I read this and went ahead and purchased the Banila Co Balm and the Innisfree Clay Mask late last night. And I got my package today! Is it weird that I’m excited to see how much gunk my face is hiding underneath? I’m seriously considering leaving work earlier than normal just so I have time to do this before bed. Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve tried it a few times now, and I love how my skin feels after. My pores are definitely less pronounced after. Is it weird that I was disappointed that I didn’t feel any grits? I know it’s a good thing, but the weird side of me would have been extra satisfied if I pulled up some grits.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Fiddy! I am very new to the oil cleansing thing. My usual routine is wash off my makeup either with Botanics Cleansing Foam Wash or pure African black soap (free trade) then use witch hazel toner pads, then on a cotton round, I do a few drops of cold water, 2 to 3 drops of grape seed oil and 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil then rub that cotton round all over my face. That mixture seems to remove any left over makeup/oil/grime that was left over. Finally, I use either Nivea Creme or pure whipped Shea butter as a moisturizer at night. I occasionally throw in a Mint Julep mask after makeup removal when necessary. This process has improved my skin quality, but I still get the stupid SFs on my chin and nose and sometimes even on my cheeks where they meet the nose.
    Is the above method kind of like a diet version of what yours does, but on a daily basis?
    Would I be able to use grape seed oil as the rubbing oil after the mask?
    *sorry for being long winded!
    Thanks!

    Like

  14. Hi, do you think I can use Bio Oil for this? I don’t use oil base cleanser or balms because i use micellar water to clean my make up and didn’t want to go out and by another product just for this. Thanks so much 🙂

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  15. Hi! On one of the comments, you recommend doing this process about 2x/week. My question is–what should I do during the other days of the week? Should I use the BHA every day? I have combination skin (oily T-Zone and chin) and I really need help to develop a daily skincare routine. My skin is also super sensitive, and acne prone. I would appreciate any advice you have! Thank you so much!!

    Like

    • Yes, I would definitely start working towards daily BHA use! Start slow, just add the BHA in one more day a week than you are currently doing it, and go from there depending on how your skin takes it. Since your skin is super sensitive, definitely don’t jump into daily use right away, but listen to your skin and give it time 🙂 What kind of cleanser are you using and what is the rest of your routine? I wonder if some adjustments to what you’re doing now may help to reduce the sensitivity somewhat by strengthening your skin’s barrier.

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      • Great! I will definitely work my way up to using BHA daily. 🙂 Well, I’m currently not using any products on my skin, so I don’t actually have a routine. That’s why I need your advice! I have tried some products in the past–from Neutrogena, Murad, Lancôme & a few others–but either they irritated my skin, or made it flake & peel. Toners tend to make my entire face oily, as well. I would love some suggestions for what products to use, and which order they should be used in! I’d love to finally have a good skincare routine. Thanks again so much. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I am going to do this, but I haven’t built up my products collection yet. I have a few carrier oils I can choose from, though. Which do you think might work best? I have castor oil, jojoba, grapeseed oil, almond oil, or apricot kernel oil. I do also have BOSCIA makeup breakup cooling cleansing oil, but I’m not sure of all the ingredients yet. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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  18. Hi Fiddy, I am bookmarking this page and trying it the first thing in the morning ! I have the Paula’s Choice BHA 2% liquid exfoliant (testing for the past week) and COSRX blackhead power liquid (new, untried). I have visible SF’s , more noticeably on my nose from nose strips (I know I know they are bad…) . So tomorrow , before I cleanse I will be using the Paula’s choice BHA exfoliant (20-25mins), then the Aztec clay mask or the Glamglow clay mask (10mins), then wash off with lukewarm water and use the Faceshop Rice brightening cleaning oil (10-15mins) then emulsify to see if there is any grit particles . Lastly follow my AM routine skincare and sunscreen.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Fiddy! I understand if you don’t have time to respond to this but I am seeking advice so I thought I’d try. I’ve always had good skin genetically, almost 20 years old and I could probably recall every pimple I’ve ever had on my face if I really tried. However, I have something of a serious problem. Or it feels serious to me anyway, cause I try my best to take care of my skin, but I always find myself picking and picking at these sebaceous filaments ): I tell myself out loud all the time that I need to stop but I can hardly make a week without breaking. I noticed it happens when I’m upset or under stress, like an instinctive reaction, if I’m stressed out and I go in the bathroom, it’s like I don’t see it coming but next thing I know I’m face up in the mirror picking, Half the time I can say “no!” Out loud and stop but the other half I just keep going and can’t stop myself. When it’s all over I can see and feel the irritation on my face and I get so insecure and mad at myself. I take care of my skin otherwise. But I have tried so hard and can’t quit this awful impulse habit ): I hope it doesn’t seem silly or trivial but it really hurts me on the inside after I’ve picked my face, and it’s like I have an uncontrollable addiction, so that’s why I really could use some kind of advice. If you take the time to read this thank you so much I know it’s a novel, haha, and also thank you for your wonderful well of k beauty and skin care information you’ve taught me so much! You’re an inspiration and the best (: thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Callie, thanks for commenting and sharing! That’s definitely not an uncommon problem–lots of people pick at their skin, so please don’t feel insecure or angry at yourself!

      Having said that, I don’t have much experience with skin picking myself (my problem is nail biting and ripping at my hangnails, ha ha ha, gross, sorry). I asked my friends from the Snailcast for their thoughts and Snow from Snow White and the Pear has this suggestion:

      “Hydrocolloid bandages. I’m an unconscious picker; my hands wander onto my face and scratch at any raised bumps or uneven areas, so I get myself into bad picking situations easily. By putting a HCB on it, not only does it drain the blemish even better than manually extracting it, the HCB keeps my dirty fingertips away from the blemish, and keeps it safely clean while it’s draining.”

      The HCBs may not drain too much if you’re mostly picking at SFs but she’s right, they’ll definitely create that barrier and help keep you from doing it long enough for your skin to heal up.

      I hope that helps! 🙂

      Like

  20. I’ve always had SFs on my nose and I had always believed them to be blackheads until a couple years ago when I was searching on what to do about them. A blog I found said they were in fact SFs and not blackheads–which made sense as they never really looked like the blackheads I’d get around my lips in my teens. But that blog said there wasn’t anything you could do about them! Wth! Then after delving into Korean skincare, I thought since there’s a solution for nearly everything, surely there is a solution that that a western beauty blog could not tell me. I’m so glad I was directed to this post after hearing success stories. All those products are even in my next in line to buy list lol I’m going to try this myself and then get my mom to try too~ lol

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Should I expect ‘purging’ with this? I followed the routine yesterday morning, and it seemed like my skin loved it, but this morning I woke up to quite a few bumpies, — some in places I wouldn’t normally break out. My skin is congested, dehydrated, and flaky (mild eczema).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Purging can happen with any chemical exfoliation (or actives that speed up skin resurfacing, like retinoids) but I’m hesitant to attribute your bumps to that. Were there any products you used yesterday that are totally new to your routine?

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  22. Hi! I am super excited on trying out this method and getting rid of my SF on my nose! I always thought those were blackheads. I will be using CosRX Blackhead power liquid, Aztec clay mask, and my Shiseido Perfect cleansing oil. I was wondering, could I also use the CosRX AHA Whitehead power liquid at the same time as the Blackhead power liquid?
    Also, would this method helps with closed comedones? I have these bumps on my forehead that never really go away but aren’t pimples and I think they might be closed comedones.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Ooh I want to try this! My sebaceous filaments are horrible on my nose. The only problem is…I would have no choice BUT to cleanse first, then do your pore-killer technique, and of course, cleanse again to remove the cleansing oil. My skin is so oily that even in the morning, and I cannot apply products on top of the thick layer of sebum produced overnight – even if its just BHA and a clay mask.

    I hope I don’t end up stripping the heck out my skin and making things worse. 😦 Damn it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Fiddy!
      Thanks for the method; I used it for the first time last week! I was wondering if it’s likely that the deeper cleansing from the method would cause aha to penetrate more deeply? I found that when I applied aha afterward my skin was tingly and the next day I broke out. It was the first time id used the innisfree mask so maybe my skin doesn’t like it, or maybe the aha worked deeper and caused some additional purging (I’ve only been using it about 3 weeks)? I’d be really grateful for any suggestions you have. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi. This was a great post. I tried it using my current Burt’s Bee’s oil cleanser and my pores did look much better, but no grits. The problem was as soon as I put any other moisturizing products on my face, my pores seemed to fill back up immediately. Will this always happen or do you think I just need to do the process more?
    Thanks,
    Joi

    Like

  25. Hello! I have tons of SFs all over my nose and chin. I’ve tried this twice following the instructions exactly with no luck in getting grits or shrinking pores 😦 I’m using CosRX blackhead liquid, a queen helene plain clay mask, and DHC deep cleansing oil. I am so desperate for this to work!!!

    Like

  26. Omg!! This is so helpful ♥♥ I should definitely try them out. I use Innisfree pore clay mask but i doesn’t seem to reduce the appearance of my pores. Do you have any clay mask recommendation? I would much appreciate it 🙂 Thank you so much in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya! Hmm, I don’t really use regular clay masks anymore because I find them too drying now that I use tretinoin. Instead I like hybrid clay masks. Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask is really nice (and fun!) and My Beauty Diary makes some 2 step mask packs that have single use creamy, moisturizing mud masks and clay masks that I like (my favorite is the 2 step with the algae mud mask). But I find that regular use of a BHA is much more effective long term than just using a clay mask once in a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Tried for the first time tonight with 2% salicylic acid astringent (since that’s the medication I use anyway), re:p calming herbal mask, and baby oil with aloe and vitamin E. Sadly no grits, I was very very careful about the massage because some threads on reddit say no more than 1 minutes massage, but since a lot of people also said they didn’t get any the first time I’m willing to be patient and just keep trying it!

    Although with one difference! The oil made my rosacea on my cheeks flare up like crazy, even though I only felt mildly warm. It’s gone down a little now after washing my face with cold water and spraying thermal water but like.. there is a clear line where the oil stopped omg. I think I will just not put anything on that area in the future, since I don’t really have pores there anyway but for now, I’m trying to find my last manefit cucumber mask to cool things off before class tomorrow whoopsss

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I can’t believe I first tried this like a year and a half ago!! Anyway I gave up after a few weeks but today tried it again on a whim and had stunning success!!

      I used the same 2% salicylic acid astringent, and baby oil, but for the clay mask I used the body shop’s tea tree 3-in-1 wash-scrub-mask. After following all the instructions perfectly (well I left the mask on until it dried completely), I got tons of little grits up by massaging very gently! It helped to use an up-down motion on my forehead, and the same on my nose in addition to scrunching it up.

      I definitely didn’t get all of them up, but it was sooo satisfying to watch them slide out in the mirror, and I stopped when my time limit was up to avoid damage. Can’t wait to do it again in a few days and keep those suckers clean at last!!

      Like

  28. Another option that did jaw dropping wonders for me, was rubbing sesame oil on my face and then washing it off with a good cleansing product followed by toning. It took 1.5 weeks of doing this everyday first thing in the morning for all my pores and sebaceous filaments, except some far up the bridge of my nose where it’s bony and some far down my chin, to completely dissapear. Its been 2 wks and they’re not back. I still do the sesame oil thing every other day. What hasn’t dissapeared has shrunk. I don’t know why it works so well. They say sesame oil draws out impurities and it could perhaps be a goid solvent for sebum. Most oil makes me break out I can’t use products with any hint of olive or argan oil , & can’t use rosehip oil. Tsubaki is ok occasionally. I used dark sesame oil for cooking (kadoya brand) which costs like, $6 at the Thai grocery store. So what the hell? I know this post is supposed to be about k beauty products but I was giving this a shot before I let myself spend a bunch of money on acids and it worked amazingly well. Finding a good toner seems to go a long way to helping it work. Also I messaged the half teaspoon amount of oil over my face and neck well for about 2 min before washing it off. I use a konjac spong and a cleanser. As far as skin type, have very dry yet acne prone skin. Holy crap. So much sebum is gone outa my face it’s like my cheeks deflated.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Just a quick question– does the quality of the cleansing oil matter?

    I’ve been using this decently rated Neutrogena cleansing oil the past few times I’ve tried this and still have not gotten grits, which is frustrating because I can still see some SFs after I wash away the oil. At this point, I’m not sure whether the things on my face are SFs or clogged pores. (Pretty sure they are SFs tho…the Google images of SFs look like what’s on my face.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can you type the first few ingredients in the list? It might not be the right base to get through to the pores on your skin. I notice a lot of people respond best to mineral oil when using this system.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Here are the first few ingredients: Mineral Oil, Isopropyl Isostearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polysorbate 80, PEG-8 Caprylic, Sorbitan Trioleate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate,

        Was just frustrating because I still see SFs after massaging the oil.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m afraid of the BHA being too drying, so I only use it once a week. Should I up the amount of days I use per week then?

        I have recently been trying an AHA sample (Good Genes by Sunday Riley) from Sephora, but will not introduce the AHA into my routine anytime soon. It doesn’t seem to be doing anything to my skin problems.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I would definitely up the BHA–why not see how your skin does with twice a week and then every other day? The BHA will steadily do the work of loosening the clogs up and they’ll stand a better chance of just falling out in a few weeks 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Hi, I just got my COSRX BHA Liquid have been using it for three days now! I use it with the Banila Clean It Zero Purity balm following your method (excluding the clay mask step) daily in my night time routine.

    So far, it hasn’t broken me out and I dont’ feel that it is too drying. Is it recommended to do so daily? I only use it on my lower forehead, nose and the cheeks area near my nose, aka areas with enlarged pores)

    I don’t feel any grits, but I do see white stuff on my nose when I rub the oil! Although they do disappear when I rub it more, but if I leave that part of my face aside and massage other areas, they come back! I tried on various parts of my face to see if it’s just “oil foam” or gunk, and I think it’s gunk because they only form on my nose 🙂 So cool and satisfying!!!

    I see less gunk on the third day though, maybe because they have been massaged out!!! Although the pores look really clean right after this routine, they still come back after an hour or so! It works on my nose but not on enlarged pores on other areas (maybe because the pores on my nose are bigger since I used to use pore strips).

    Will update you when I try it with a clay mask! Avoiding it for now as I used the Aztec Indian clay mask last week and left it on for too long, so now I have several pimples 😦 Doesn’t usually happen!

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  31. Hi fiddy. I was wondering how much Bha do I need for the first step? I’m using Paula’s choice. The first time I used a cotton pad and rubbed it on my face. No grits. Just wondering do I need to put more on? Or is a thin layer enough? Thanks

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  32. Hi Fiddy,

    I am really excited to try this method! I don’t have an acne problem, and never have, except for the occasional breakout. But, I too, thought my SFs were blackheads for a long time!

    I have been using 1% BHA for about 1 month right now. I use it 2-3x/week. I have been leaving the treatment on my skin and applying moisturizer afterwards. I have been getting crazy PAINFUL pimples all over my chin. Like I said, breaking out was never a problem for me before, just trying to clear my SFs. Should I try your method? Should I give my skin more time to purge? AM I even purging or does my skin hate BHAs? So many questions… Help!

    Thank you 🙂

    Like

  33. This was a great post! I use the Cosrx Blackhead liquid daily as part of my nightly routine and Scinic’s All Day Pore Fine mask once in awhile but I will try this deep cleanse method. I assume that when you do this deep cleanse that you have already removed makeup?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! Actually I recommend that people do this routine in the morning on a weekend or some day when there’s time, so that you don’t have to cleanse your skin an extra time. Just start with the BHA first when you do this (as it’s oil soluble, it will get through any oils on your face anyway). That helps to prevent it from being too drying!

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  34. I have battled big ol’ pores for many of my 44 years (mainly SF, periodic blackheads) on my chin and nose. What drives me crazy the most is when I wear foundation, seeing it “catch” on the SFs which just makes it look worse. I just tried this method using Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil-Eliminating Astringent (salicylic acid – the only thing I had on hand that was BHA), Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask, and DHC Cleansing Oil. I rubbed and rubbed and rubbed (circles, back and forth, up and down) and definitely got some black pellets rolling off my face which was SO exciting to see. After rinsing, I still see some clogged pores, but it looks much better and my skin feels insanely soft. That clogged bumpy pore feeling is gone from the sides of my nose too! I am going to invest in some Corsx BHA as the Neutrogena has tons of alcohol and evaporates really quickly.

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  35. Really looking forward to trying this method to attack my stubborn SFs.

    I just received the Elizavecca Carbonated Clay mask. Do you think I could use this here, or would it be too ‘active’ in this context? Should I hold off on this method until I have a regular clay mask?

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  36. Hi there. Great post! One question – thanks to rosacea, I can no longer tolerate BHAs (or glycolic acid). I have some Dr Wu 18% mandelic acid though which I can use, do you think that would be as effective as the BHA? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya! I totally sympathize with being unable to use acids the way you used to 😦

      As far as the mandelic acid, well, that’s an AHA so its mechanism of action will be a bit different than BHA. AHAs are water soluble and their effect is on the surface of skin rather than down into pores. I wonder if one of the gentler moisturizing clay masks might be a better option for pore control for you?

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