Archive for category Exfoliators

Big Pores and Flaky Skin and Foundation Woes, Oh My!

Maya wrote to me complaining of enlarged pores on her otherwise relatively healthy skin, and was wondering what I could suggest to combat them.  She also suffers from mildly dry patches that seem resistant to manual exfoliation, and look awful when hidden under a heavy foundation (her pale skin also prevents her from finding a suitable, not-so-expensive option).

Well Maya, let’s tackle these issues one-by-one.

  1. Pores: Assuming that you can’t shell out for my beloved Clarisonic, I’ve got bad news for ya: pores really can’t be shrunk once they’ve been enlarged.  Pore size is partially genetic, and may partially be due to stretching (potentially from ripping them with harsh abrasives or tugging on them when attempting manual extractions).  Of course, clogged pores will look larger than clear ones, so keeping what you have clean is important.  The only way to possibly “shrink” pores is through professional microdermabrasion or laser skin resurfacing, which forces multiple layers of skin to regrow and gives you the hope that they’ll be back with smaller pores.  If that’s not an option, check out my discussion of my favorite cheap manual exfoliator, and I’d recommend investing in a product with a low percentage of salicylic acid to provide some chemical backup and keep those skin cells rejuvenating. Read the rest of this entry »

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Clarisonic Review

It’s finally here!! My fabled Clarisonic review that I’ve been promising all of you since… forever.  Check out a preview and hit that link after the jump.

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Exfoliator of Choice

Skinscrubs asked what my favourite exfoliator is.

Well, if you plan to go all out, my favourite one is the Clarisonic Skincare Brush.  It cleans and lightly exfoliates at the same time, and let me tell you, my skin has never been smoother after using this for three months.

For a more heavy duty, much cheaper exfoliator, you can actually go right to your pantry.  Now, this is a pretty well-kept MUA secret, so don’t tell anyone where you got this!  Take some plain, ol’ baking soda (about a dime size amount), and mix it with enough of your regular facial wash to create a thin paste.  Massage this mixture using small circular motions all over your face, avoiding the eye area and paying special attention to the creases around the nose and the edges of the lips.  This should sting very, very slightly.  Do this for about a minute, then wash off.  If your skin more than just stings, you’ve either used too much baking soda, or you were too harsh in working it in.

Never use this method more than once or twice a week.  If you are on any acne medication that chemically exfoliates your skin (such as Retin-A, Duac, Epiduo, or Accutane), NEVER use this at all.  You can severely damage your skin, making it red, raw, and sensitive for days (trust me on this…)

Otherwise, if you’re in the market for a storebought exfoliator, always look for ones with “beads”.  Some exfoliators claim to use pieces of shells or the like (apricot and walnut being particularly common), which, because of their rough nature, can actually “shred” your skin and catch in your pores.  Not a pleasant thought.

I especially like Aveda’s tourmaline charged line, or the Peter Thomas Roth Botanical Buffing Beads, both of which contain, well, beads, as opposed to shards.


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