I did NOT just hear that! 3 skin and skincare myths debunked!

by Paris B on · 65 comments

in Discussions,Skincare,Tips

skincare myths I did NOT just hear that! 3 skin and skincare myths debunked!

Recently, I sat through a skincare presentation by a product trainer of a nameless brand, and I was very surprised when I heard some things that I had thought were skincare myths that had already been debunked. I picked out 3, before my brain went into a bit of a tailspin and stopped absorbing the info, because I just could not brain it. You know that feeling? It felt like my head was about to explode from the misinformation.

I thought I’d share them, because incidentally, I also heard similar things being touted not long after and I wanted to clear it up so we are all a little more informed, ok? It would be interesting to know if you have ever been fed these lines, or if there are other skincare myths you’ve been fed.

Myth #1: Your pores will open and close like doors

I’m serious. That was the analogy given and I was gobsmacked. I thought this is one myth that has been cleared up a long time ago! No, folks. Your pores are not like doors or windows. They do not open and close at will. When you use warm water, it does not open your pores. When you wash your face, it does not open your pores. Your pores have no muscles. Using a toner doesn’t close your pores either. The next time someone tells you your pores can open and close, ask them which muscle does it.

Myth #2: Double cleansing means using a cleansing milk or cream to remove makeup followed by a toner to make sure your face is clean

Goodness, how does a toner act as a cleanser, I wonder! This actually does toner a disservice. Double cleansing simply means cleansing your face twice. Self-explanatory. This is a cleansing step which you will find in the Asian or specifically Japanese skincare routine. You will also see it in the Korean skincare routine but I associate it with the Japanese because that’s where I learnt it. You can read about double cleansing, which I shared many years ago.

It usually starts out with a cleansing cream/milk or oil to remove makeup and skin impurities; then followed by a foaming cleanser. This ensures your skin is well cleansed before you move on to the lotions, serums and potions you will then put on your skin.

A toner is not and must not perform a cleansing function. I’d say that this is the general idea associated with a toner, which is why I stopped using one. But I do now, as a skin softener and moisturiser and to moisten my skin to prepare for the serum and moisturisers to follow. It has taken me a while to get round to the idea of using a toner, but I have derived benefits from it. But the last thing on earth I’d use it for is as the 2nd step of a double cleansing routine; and if you are, please stop.

Myth #3: Using a cleansing oil often will eventually clog your pores and break you out

The analogy given is that your pores are like a straw (??) and it “sucks” product. I’m not sure where that came from, to be perfectly honest. But what we were told is that regular use of a cleansing oil will clog this “straw” and therefore break your skin out.

Well, false, false and false. A cleansing oil can break you out if the ingredients do not suit your skin (it happens to me with some oils) and if you do not remove it properly. If you are using an emulsifying cleansing oil e.g. Shu Uemura and its ilk (see the many I’ve tried in my time!) then the method of removal is half the battle won. You MUST properly emulsify the oil before washing it off and that does not mean splashing on the water. You have to do it bit by bit, which is why washing your face can take a while. Don’t rush it. If you don’t do it properly, yes, remnants of the product can clog your skin and break you out. Do it properly and you will reap the benefits. If you are using the oil cleansing method then you need a hot towel and patience.

The other thing is to follow up with another face cleanser. The cleansing oil should not be your first and only face cleanser. It is the first step, of a double cleansing routine. Follow it up thereafter with a face cleanser that suits your skin. This ensures your skin is properly clean but also ensures that the traces of cleansing oil you may have missed, are properly removed.

If I may venture a suggestion, using a face cloth can help too. After you have emulsified the oil for a bit, use a warm face cloth to remove the product. You will find that a face cloth actually removes it a lot more quickly and effectively than if you use your hands. Then, follow up with your other face cleanser.

Have you ever heard these skincare myths and did you buy them? Have you been fed other lines about skincare you want debunking?

I have to admit I too used to fall for the “pores open and close” line back in the early days. But after reading and educating myself about it, I realised it was a mere fallacy. I can’t begin to get my head around the double cleansing with toner thing. That was just so mind boggling! What other mind boggling things have you heard about skincare? Do share, so we’re all better educated icon smile I did NOT just hear that! 3 skin and skincare myths debunked!

Paris B

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[ 65 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

LeGeeque October 8, 2013 at 8:43 am

Oh the pores thing! I had the exact same conversation with someone yesterday about a product to tighten pores. I told her if that ever happens it’s only temporary…

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Yep! It’s surprisingly a common misconception that is still being perpetuated. Pore size is genetic so if you have large pores, gotta blame the ol’ genes!

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liyeun October 8, 2013 at 8:54 am

Oh holy thanks paris for making this clear! I hope any training/education officers and promoters who read this to read up more!!! U noe wat paris, I have always hear those rubbish when I want to purchase any products from various brands. If I were you, I would add the exclamation mark at the end of every sentence. Lol!

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Ting October 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

Li Yuen, I have enough bad experience trusting the sales assistants. Usually, when they try to push too hard I just ignore them and I READ the ingredients no matter what they said. :p These days we can do a quick research about a certain brand or product we want to try before buying so… no more intimidating sales assistants… haahah

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Honestly Liyeun I was horrified to hear that from the mouth of the trainer because I honestly thought they’d know better. Ok, so maybe the cleansing oil thing or double cleansing may not be as widely perceived, but the first one about pores was mind boggling. I hear it a lot too but now I know it’s not the fault of the SA, it’s what they are taught :(

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Firn October 8, 2013 at 9:13 am

I think the toner “myth” depends on what type of toner you are using. Those light hydrating ones (like Hada Labo) will not do a double cleanse, especially if they are patted on. I am using an exfoliating toner and it DOES remove remnants of my sunscreen that my cleanser missed (my cleanser is very gentle so it may not be the best at makeup removal, and I do use a separate micellar makeup remover when I do wear foundation). I am contemplating getting a prescription cleansing milk to get rid of my sunscreen but I fear my skin hates overcleansing/overexfoliation (the cleansing milk contains exfoliant enzymes…).

But the pores thing is total nonsense! I’m defo saving up that question about the pore muscle the next time, some random salesperson tries to pull that crap on me.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm

I’d agree with you re: exfoliating toner, Firn but not as a second step of a double cleansing routine. If a toner helps remove sunscreen/dirt/makeup that the first 2 rounds of cleansing didn’t catch, it’s a bonus but not to be made the norm. I sometimes use an exfoliating toner (but not daily) but when I apply toner with a cotton pad, I do sometimes notice that it still turns grey which I have been informed is skin (brown is makeup) so I’d say it performs a separate function from cleansing. The pore thing boggled my mind! It’s no wonder SAs tells us this, because they are taught that way.

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KL October 8, 2013 at 9:32 am

Myth #1 is not true ? Recently I went on holiday to a cold country , and I could have sworn it was so cold, my pores shrinks with not a speck of oil can be found on my usual, oily, acne prone skin. It’s not just me, most people will comment that they come back from overseas with smooth, glowing complexion. How does cold/dry climate really affects our skin ?

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Coco October 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm

I think what she meant is that they don’t “close” or “open” like muscles but they do look or appear smaller or larger depending on some factors because, after all, skin contracts. So certain products or even cold can make them look smaller.
xx
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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Thanks for chiming in Coco :) Pores can definitely LOOK bigger or smaller but they just don’t open and close at will :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Nope, it is a pure myth. Your pore size is genetic and as another reader has said, it can LOOK larger or smaller. In cold weather, our skin produces less oil and so, pores look less visible because less oil is coming through, as you have noticed. In warmer weather, with sweat, oil and sebum, pores can look larger. You may notice that in warm weather, after you cleanse your skin, your pores will look smaller too. Same principle.

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xin
Twitter:
October 8, 2013 at 9:33 am

LOL! the pore thing definitely is the most most most common one! and i think all those ‘pore refining’ products are all rubbish too. but but i guess, just a guess, the rationale using toner as final cleanse is..you can wipe the lotion of your face, and if the cotton pad turns dusty/dirty, it means that your face isn’t properly cleansed! it sort of makes sense…no? :D
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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Well, no. If someone cleanses without double cleansing, i.e. use just 1 cleanser then it is likely that an exfoliating toner or just wiping any moist cotton pad over the skin will lift off cleanser residue and makeup/dirt not properly removed. However, a toner should NOT be deemed to be the 2nd step of cleansing. It performs other functions and if it does make skin any cleaner, it’s a bonus. But it’s not its job :P

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Tracy October 8, 2013 at 10:00 am

MAN I wish my pores could close up HAHA! It would be amazing if they could just shut and be like they used to when I was 15! Nice and closed! Wow I can’t believe they were saying these things-so weird in this day and age!
Tracy recently blogged…The New Lancome Artliner 24H Bold Colour Precision EyelinerMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Exactly! And it was a pretty well known brand too. I think if pores could really open and close, honestly, who’d want them open eh? LOL

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Yishan October 8, 2013 at 10:06 am

Lol at #2 and #3! As for #1, I agree pores don’t open or close, but when your skin loses elasticity pores do appear larger so maybe there’s another better way to explain pore visibility.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Absolutely, Yishan. Age, loss of elasticity, genes, skin condition, everything plays a part. I guess saying they open and close just makes things easier eh?

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Ting October 8, 2013 at 10:07 am

Hmm… I thought using warm water or placing a hot cloth or “steaming” the face will open up pores… it’s not true then? Some deep pore cleansing clay mask I use specifically instructs to place a warm tower over face before mask to properly open up pores… >.<

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm

I have to say, I thought so too, Ting! But what that warm towel does is soften your skin so it makes it easier to extract blackheads etc. As for the mask, the most probable reason is that putting a warm towel over the face will soften and relax your skin so then putting the mask will help the dirt get dislodged more easily. No opening or closing :P

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Ting October 13, 2013 at 9:52 pm

I can only say… hoooraaaaah for blog education! :)

I cannot thank you enough for sharing info like these! :p

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Happy to share and happy you found it useful!

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Jenn
Twitter:
October 8, 2013 at 10:20 am

Lol guilty as charged for #1 – I used to think that pores can “open” or “close” at my command too… I even do the warm / cold water thing to make sure my pores are “closed” after washing my face!! Kakaka! :D

One myth that gets on my nerves every single time is when a SA tells me that breakouts after using a new product are a good thing because the skin is “detoxing” and “pushing out all the dirt to the surface”. Hmm… No and NO! >.<
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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:35 pm

It’s not just you, Jenn. I used to believe it too! But using a warm towel helps in a way because it relaxes and softens skin. Also, since I use a face flannel every evening, I find it makes it easier to remove product from my skin. Plus it’s relaxing and when you’re relaxed, it’s just easier to remove dirt etc :D Oh and that purging thing? Tell them to stuff it where the sun don’t shine! Man, I hate that excuse for breakouts. If you breakout, the odds are the product disagrees with your skin! It’s the reason these days, that the minute I see one spot appear, I ditch the product immediately. No purging nonsense! :P

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Lily
Twitter:
October 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

LOL re #2 and #3 but I do admit I believed #1 when I was younger. I know better now, but ya know, I do wish #1 was true. LOL!
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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Yeah I totally believed the pore thing. Even used cold/warm water accordingly! Sigh… should have saved my efforts :P

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Victoria October 8, 2013 at 11:21 am

I read the debunking of myth #1 and #2 on Caroline Hirons blog and I laughed aloud on how she said that our pores are not doors and they do not open and close! LOL. Might have heard of myth #3 too from somewhere. I too thought that when you steam your face with hot water before facial, it helps to open pores? I know users are advised to steam their face with hot water before using the Origin Charcoal mask but I have never done it out of sheer laziness. Haha.

For the cleansing cloth method, do I really need to warm the cloth before removing facial balm/cleansing oil or can I just use normal temperature water?

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm

That’s absolutely it, Victoria! Caroline Hirons has loads of excellent tips. Learning a lot from her too! Actually the steaming/apply warm towel to face thing is just to help you relax and soften the skin. It makes it easier for dirt etc to be dislodged which might be the main premise behind the idea. For the cleansing cloth thing, I use warm water because I like how relaxing it is, and if you are using a balm, I find it makes it easier to remove the balm/oil if you use a warm cloth. It softens the product and cleans it off more easily. I do it all in the shower so the water is warm anyway :)

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nicoles mirror October 8, 2013 at 11:34 am

Yea the pores thing really a myth. When they say use warm water to open up your pores, it doesn’t do anything more than softens your skin and make it easier to clean.. similar to your nail.. it is easier to clip them after you get out from the shower..

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 5:45 pm

You hit the nail on the head, Nicole :) I do notice that my nails are softer after soaking in water (which from experience, some manicurists do too)

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Sheila
Twitter:
October 8, 2013 at 11:50 am

#2 is probably the most annoying. I’ve actually had people tell me they use micellar cleansing water (like Bioderma) as toner, so basically they use that as their makeup remover, cleanser and toner in one. Not sure how they managed to keep their skin blemish free, but I mostly blame the skincare companies for this one. They keep advertising it as X-in-one so that people keep thinking it’s really multipurpose.
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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm

OMG yes to the micellar water thing! When I reviewed the Bioderma cleansing water, so many people said they just used that and went straight on with their skincare. I was horrified but you know, when that is being “taught” to them by so many sources online (lazy I might add) its hard to change the perception. A micellar cleanser is but a cleanser. It doesn’t even remove my makeup very well. I found out that when I use it and then I use my cleansing balm, my face cloth actually looks brown from makeup residue! Oh and as for keeping blemish free, it’s probably luck but they’ll pay for it later in life :P

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Hanny Daforcena
Twitter:
October 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm

No. 1 was taught to me by La Madre Daforcena when I was a kid re: using a toner to “close” the pores. I do not really subscribe to that school of thought, but my toner *does* remove extra bits that the cleanser cannot remove because it’s an exfoliating one, sometimes even after double cleansing.

I’ve never heard of No. 2 and No. 3 and was pretty aghast when you tweeted about No. 2 the other day =.= Seriously, people would tell that during public workshops? Eeesh. *smacks forehead*
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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I don’t blame her Hanny. It was the mantra back in the day till everyone wised up haha! As for the toner thing, so long as you aren’t thinking of it as a back up cleanser, it’s perfectly alright. What I wasn’t happy about was the trainer telling people that toner was the 2nd step of a double cleansing routine and that is absolutely wrong. A toner isn’t a cleanser although it can cleanse as a bonus.

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Sam October 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm

So how we “tighten” our pores? lol

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm

We can’t. Pore size is genetic and also affected by age. So, the only thing you can do is to keep your face clean, so pores aren’t clogged with sweat and sebum and oil and they won’t LOOK bigger. But there’s no way to “tighten” pores at all. Products that claim to usually dry the skin or exfoliates or make the skin tingle which can make the skin swell and make pores look smaller. You will also notice that the effect never lasts :)

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Connie
Twitter:
October 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Your powder has SPF. You don’t need to use a separate sunblock.

Could’ve saved myself some money

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm

LOL!!! Thank goodness you didn’t believe that crap :P

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Sunny
Twitter:
October 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I put off trying a cleansing oil forever because people kept telling me it could clog pores! When I finally went ahead and tried one, I guessed right that some just don’t emulsify them properly before rinsing off. But then again skin is such a peculiar thing, so it wouldn’t surprise me that some really can’t use cleansing oils!
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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I don’t disagree with you Sunny. In fact, I can’t use some cleansing oils and as of now, my skin hates all cleansing oils! LOL! It strips it too much so I can’t use oils anymore. But yes, you’re right. It is so important to know the proper way to emulsify a cleansing oil and to remove. So often, I see people just try to splash it off, and that doesn’t work because you really have to work at it!

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Evie October 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm

The double cleansing method in the evening, followed by what the Japanese call “lotion” which is not a moisturizer but a liquid that provides skin with moisture, is effective and improved my skin dramatically. But you have to try it on your skin and figure out what works for you. Everyone has different skin and reacts differently to skin care products. My evening routine is this: Shiseido cleansing oil followed by Shiseido Benefiance cleansing foam, then Eudermine “lotion”, then Bioperformance Revitalizing cream. Morning routine: I omit the cleansing oil.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm

You said it well Evie :) I must say that the “lotion” or what I learned to be the “double moisture” technique works well for my skin too and I use it with other skincare, not just Japanese ones. The softening lotions do work impressively well!

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leona leong October 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I m those born with large pores and I guess it gets more obvious with age. Then everytime SA or d facial lady will target this n say Ohh I never take care my skin that why I have large pores despite my explanation. Then they start saying how using this product will closed my pores/making it smaller. The only thing making a difference is by eating right and using suitable products so my skin won’t get inflamed and skin texture will be better but d pores will always be there. Only thing I hv learned to make pore smaller even disappear is through good make up skill ..hehe. so I been improving myself so much in this area.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

You are absolutely right, Leona! and I hate it when a total stranger feels like they can point out your flaws and determine your skin type based on how you look at a particular time. Sometimes, they tell me “Oh you must have oily skin” because I’m wearing a crappy foundation that’s all oiled up and I just go “No, I have dry skin” which puzzles them like crazy LOL! But you are right. We can’t help our pores but we can help improve our skin texture with proper lifestyle and skincare. Oh and makeup is a Godsend, I tell you! :D

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Catherine October 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I heard about all of these, the worst is the closing/opening pores lol I wonder who does invent these

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

A very smart marketing man I’m sure! :P

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Veyroniqa October 8, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I’ve heard that steam opens up your pores the same way heat expands and cold contracts. Any truth in that?

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Nope! It’s probably the most popular myth. What the steam does is soften and relax your skin so it is easier to dislodge blackheads or dirt. Doesn’t make pores open or close :)

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Lavender October 8, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Oh gosh! Pure rubbish. And they still go around training ppl. But then my beautician still talk about pores open n close thingy. I m lazy to lecture her.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Haha I think most people believe the pore story sadly enough. I suppose it’s an easy way to explain things but it irks me when people try to push things to close pores or tighten pores when it can never happen! Then they wonder why it doesn’t work.

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Seraph October 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Owh… i’ve always thought pores can open and close! Now i’ve been enlightened… but at the same time devastated… coz this means there is no 2 of getting small pores to have a smooth looking complexion… :’(
How then do some people have smooth skin like they have no open pores at all even without make up on?
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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Nope, sadly pore size is genetic and the older we get, and the more collagen and elasticity we lose, the larger they can appear. The best way is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, try to slow down the loss of elasticity, keep skin clean with good skin care and it’ll look better. Some people are just lucky! Yeah, I’m jealous of them too :P

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Juan
Twitter:
October 9, 2013 at 3:07 am

haha u crack me up with the doors and windows analogy. I agree with one of the comments here that the skin can be softened with particular products making it easier to remove impurities but I basically still have open pores. sigh…
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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Yep, oily skin people tend to end up with larger looking pores because of the oil. On the plus side, that oil is keeping you looking younger! ;)

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melanie October 9, 2013 at 8:08 am

I hear the one about the pores all the time. Salespeople are always trying to sell me something to spackle over them. I read on a dermatologist’s website that using those pore strips that basically rip the blackheads out of your nose will stretch the pores, and over time and make them bigger. I’ve never heard that anywhere else so who knows if it’s true. I’ve never been concerned about my blackheads.
As for cleansing oil and toner, I don’t do that (the toner) but… I most often just cleanse my face at night with the oil and then emulsify and rinse very well. I have fairly sensitive skin and some days it just can’t take double cleansing even with the most gentle of cleansers. I’ve never had a problem with just using the oil. I use the Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil from Kose. It is the most gentle I’ve found and it rinses clean, no residue and my skin feels very clean afterwards. Another plus is it’s cheap. A bottle is less than ¥500 and refills are even cheaper.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Interestingly Melanie, I’ve read about the pore strip things being detrimental to pores too! I too don’t know how true it is but it does sound logical. I’ve never used one so I can’t say. As for the double cleansing thing, if it’s working well for you just using it on its own then I suppose it’s fine. The key thing is to emulsify it properly and make sure your skin is totally clean or it can clog pores and break a person out. That might be why the Japanese skincare method advocates using another cleanser. Just an insurance as well :) Oh and I love the Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil too! When I was using one, it was the best I’d ever used. Cheap and excellent :D

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