Monday, 13 January 2014

Best Products for Oily Skin and How to Get Rid of Large Pores

As you've probably heard before - there is no "cure" for oily skin or large pores. But fortunately, there are many ways we can lessen the beauty sabotaging effects of these afflictions.
The #1 step on your agenda should be exfoliation. Oil accumulates in the pores very quickly - clogging them, causing them to expand and look enlarged. When the oil mixes with your foundation, it draws even more bacteria into the skin exacerbating the problem. In the morning and evening, wet face with very warm water and use a good grainy facial scrub to purge dirt, oil and makeup from the pores. One of the best around is St. Ives Original Apricot Scrub (drugstores, $4). Exfoliate in circular motions for about 30 seconds - this formula has a creamy consistency, so doesn't feel harsh on the skin. Rinse away all the granules with very warm water.
Note: Many websites state that exfoliation only causes breakouts and skin tears - but that is not true unless you have uber sensitive, thin skin. Oily skin with large pores is typically thicker in texture, and rarely experiences side effects from exfoliation. Dryer skin, which requires very rare exfoliation, is frequently thin in appearance and shows tiny broken capillaries.
Step # 2 is to wash your face with a product containing Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide. Some skin types do not react well to these chemicals, so if you are among that group, try a face wash that contains Tea Tree Oil. Here are some of the best: University Medical Acne Free Foaming Facewash (Salicylic Acid $8 at drugstores) / Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (Benzoyl Peroxide $15 at www.proactiv.com) / Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Face Wash for Acne ($10 at health food stores). Extra oily, congested skin will find it beneficial to use a body glove along with these washes, for even more exfoliation and to further unclog pores. You can purchase body gloves in the health & beauty aisle of most drug stores for around $5. Simply put the glove on your hand, pour some face wash on the glove, and scrub using circular motions. This purges even more dirt from pores, and removes any remaining makeup. Rinse away with very warm water & dry with a fluffy towel. This should be done morning and evening.
Step # 3 is optional, and can be used once weekly to unclog severely congested pores. A peel-off masque can be applied to the skin to lift away the dirt and oil which compose the blackheads in your pores. It's important to do this step within 30 seconds of washing your face, so you can apply the products while your pores are still open. One of the best peel-off masques is the Cucumber Peel Off Masque by Freeman ($4 at drugstores). Apply the clear gel masque all over face, or just on specific areas with very clogged pores. You don't want the masque to be too thin or too thick, so apply a layer no more than 1/8 inch thick. It can take some time for this to dry, but the process can be hastened by using a small fan, or a hair dryer on a cold setting for the first 5 minutes after application. Doing so will take the drying time from about 45 minutes to 25 minutes and will also help the masque adhere to skin, thereby removing more blackheads. Once dry, remove the masque starting from the bottom and pulling upwards toward your hair line. When the mask is fully removed, you can look at the sheet of dried gel and see all of the debris that was just extracted from your face. The results are usually astonishing! Buff away any excess masque using the body glove and a small bit of face wash, then rinse using very warm water. Dry using a fluffy towel.
Now that your pores are open from all the scrubbing and warm water rinses, it's time for Step # 4 - treating your entire face with a balancing toner. Toner helps to tighten pores and prevent them from getting more clogged. The Proactiv Revitalizing Toner (www.proactiv.com $14) or plain Witch Hazel (drugstores $4) work best for oily skin. Both morning and evening, saturate the center of a cotton ball with the toner, and swipe you're your entire face. People with oily skin often think they need to use harsh products to dry out their faces and get rid of oil - but they couldn't be more wrong! Causing your skin to dry out will only force it to self-medicate by producing more oil. Therefore, you want to use a toner that balances the dryness:moisture ratio. Although many people report that the Proactiv Skin Care System is ineffective for them as a whole for preventing acne, many use the Proactiv Toner and Repairing Treatment Lotion because they kill bacteria without disturbing the moisture balance of the skin. In my experience, these are two of the best products on the market, and highly effective for keeping pores clean.
Step # 5 is optional - some people really do have skin that is too oily for moisturizer, but others have combination skin that craves extra moisture. How can you tell? If you skin feels extremely dry and tight after washing, or if you notice any dry flakey areas, then it probably needs moisturizer. Sometimes, you may only need to use moisturizer when the seasons change, as that can often disrupt the balance of the skin. One of the most superb moisturizers for oily skin is Dr. Brandt's Pore Effect Refining Cream. It contains both Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil to refine and tighten pores and prevent bacteria while also moisturizing - a truly amazing feat! Many moisturizers on the market are a nightmare for oily skin, this one is a refreshing treat. The price is a bit intimidating at $55 for a 1.7oz jar (www.drbrandtskincare.com), but this item is worth its weight in gold if you have oily skin. The good news is, a little goes a long way, so this jar will last you for almost a year. To date, I haven't found a drug store brand that functions well on oily skin, but whether you're opting for a drug-store brand, or a high-end brand, make sure you choose one labeled "oil free".
Step # 6 is to apply a translucent mattifying face powder, both before and after foundation. This will ensure that your face stays oily free for several hours, and will also prevent pores from getting clogged throughout the day. Many mineral makeup companies make what they label as a "Mineral Veil" for this purpose. Most function fairly well for the purpose of mattifying skin, just be sure to avoid any that are tinted and contain Mica and Pearl Powder - these two shiny ingredients will only cause oily skin to look greasier and draw attention to large pores. One of the best choices for oily skin is Mattify! Loose Powder by Mattify! Cosmetics (www.mattifycosmetics.com for $8).
It's a transparent clear powder that soaks up oil for about 4 hours on extremely oily skin, and 6 hours on combination skin. It contains Kaolin Clay, which absorbs debris from the pores, and when applied before your makeup, prevents foundation from further clogging pores. It works best when applied all over the face with a fluffy powder brush, before and after your foundation. You'll love the air-brushed look you get from applying it over foundation, as it makes pores virtually disappear. Don't skip the eye lids either! Applying this to eye lids before your eye shadow helps to keep the shadow crease-free all day. The Mattify! Cosmetics line also provides an array of mineral eye shadows that stay in place even when lids get oily. These do contain mica - but your eye lids are the one place you shouldn't be shy about adding shine and sparkle.
Don't skip the eye lids either! Applying this to eye lids before your eye shadow helps to keep the shadow crease-free all day. The Mattify! Cosmetics line also provides an array of mineral eye shadows that stay in place even when lids get oily. These do contain mica - but your eye lids are the one place you shouldn't be shy about adding shine and sparkle.
Step # 7 really comes in handy if you have a tough time with your makeup staying in place throughout the day. The use of a makeup setting spray will ensure streak-free foundation and smudge resistant eye makeup for nearly 8 hours. Two of the best are Model in a Bottle (www.modelinabottle.com $18) and Ben Nye Final Seal (www.funhousetheatricalcostumes.com $16). After ALL of your makeup is in place, close your eyes and spray one or two light mists of the setting spray onto the center of your face, keeping eyes closed for 10 seconds afterwards. The Model in a Bottle tends to be the better brand - skin feels natural and soft after use. Also, you can touch-up liquid makeup over the Model in a Bottle during the day, without problems. The Ben Nye sealant may feel slightly heavy for some, and if you're touching up with liquid makeup, can cause it to become a bit cakey. Both products allow makeup to be water, oil and sweat resistant for 6-8 hours.
If you follow these steps, you will notice a big reduction in the amount of oil your skin produces, and the amount of gunk clogging your pores. While you cannot banish oily skin and large pores, sans a magic wand, you can at least reduce their effects in order to look your best!
Additional tips:
Here is a list of products to avoid if you have oily skin:
Cream-based eye shadows
Cream-based and oil-based face wash
Lotions, face wash and foundations that contain oil
Mineral foundations or veils that contain mica and pearl powder