Contrary to what some may believe, the steam does not open your pores. Pores are not windows, they do not open and close. What the steam does do is soften the hardened oil in the pore. The trick though, and this is the most important part, is to lock in the moisture the steam has created. If you don’t, once the steam is turned off, the oil dries up and you are back where you started.
I always apply Hyaluronic Acid Serum and a moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated and soft. This is great for the skin but will also make the extractions easier. My clients do not leave red or irritated.
Ok, so we all have blackheads and it seems like they never go away. The good news is, there are solutions and ways to prevent, control and get rid of them. Let’s start from the beginning though and I will tell you what causes a blackhead.
Causes of Blackheads– Basically when a pore gets clogged with too much oil (which enlarges the pore) and then it mixes with built-up dead skin cells that cannot shed normally. The combination of the two then get exposed to air, which causes it to oxidize and turn black.
How to Get Rid of Blackheads– You need to remove and absorb excess oil and also remove dead skin that isn’t shedding on its own. Not all products will do this, even though they claim to. Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid help along with gentle manual exfoliation. Scrubbing harshly and vigorously will not get them out. You will only irritate the skin. This is one of the reasons that pore strips do not work. These blackheads are not just sitting on the surface of the skin so it may appear that you got them out but you actually only got the tip of the blackhead. Using proper skin care products will balance out your skin and keep the blackheads away.
When I was younger, I remember going through my sisters beauty treatments she had stashed in our bathroom cabinets. It was fun for me to try different things and see what they would do for my skin. The problem, and I didn’t know this at the time, was that she had (still has) oily skin and I have dry skin. So I would apply these masks and my skin would feel super tight and dry. I thought that was a good thing. It wasn’t.
Now I know that we never want our skin to feel like that even if you have oily skin. Anytime you are taking something out, you should always be replacing it so that your skin is hydrated. That is what I think, at least. Stripping your skin of their natural oils and water is not healthy.
I first read about the Kitty Litter Mask a year or two ago and I dismissed it. Definitely not something I would want to do and I wouldn’t recommend it to my clients so I didn’t bother reading more about it. Then, I had a client send me a link to it because she thought it was funny. It is funny and ridiculous but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be good for your skin, right?
I watched the YouTube video explaining how to do it and a couple of days later I purchased some unscented kitty litter and tried the mask for myself. Clay masks are generally not good because they will strip everything from your skin. They will actually tell you that! These masks pull out all the impurities, toxins and oil. Kitty litter contains sodium bentonite clay so it is basically the same as those clay masks you been purchasing. Yes? No, probably not.
My Thoughts After Using the Mask
1. I did not like it. At all. My skin felt tight, like the blogger said it would, and then I felt a little tingling. As I said, I have dry skin so this was extremely tight on my skin and the tingling didn’t feel right.
2. Even though she said just to use the water but it would be okay if some of the “rocks” got on your face, it wasn’t okay. My skin was definitely being exfoliated and not by anything I would want anyone to use. They can tear at your skin and/or breakouts and cause bigger problems.
3. My skin felt softer after I removed the mask but let me tell you, my skin was craving my serums and grapeseed oil. It was so dry and tight! Skin should never feel like that.
4. It is now over an hour since I removed the mask and even though my skin has 3 hydrating serums on and my grape seed oil, it still feels tight. That feeling didn’t come back until about 30 minutes ago. My skin is still suffering from it.
There is absolutely NO benefits to this mask. It’s actually a risk to the health of your skin to use it. I’m all for DIY facials but not all of them are good for you or your skin type.
One of the most frustrating things about these DIY bloggers is that they don’t have all the information and so everyone thinks they can do these type of masks. IF, and that is only hypothetical, I were to recommend this, it would be for oily skin clients and certainly not for dry skin. That wasn’t mentioned but it is really important.
*update- My skin took about 1 week to recover from this mask. That may not be true for everyone but for this girl, who has dry skin, it changed things for a bit.
One of the biggest skin issues I think I hear about today is large pores. People want to know how to make them smaller, less visible, etc. Well, I have some bad news for you…it is not possible. Your pores are your pores. That is why it is so important to use the right products for your skin, and to properly exfoliate your skin. These will help keep your pores clean. The bacteria, dead skin and oil is what enlarges them.
So if this is a concern of yours, I would avoid getting your nose pierced. It is a large pore that will never go away. It is actually larger than your regular pores too. Makeup will get stuck in it…I’ve seen it! Is this something you want when you’re 40?
Maybe it’s a pimple but could it be a whitehead? Do you know the difference? Most people don’t so I’m going to clear it up for you. If you have a weak stomach and don’t like to read about different types of pimples, don’t keep reading! 🙂
Blackheads– These are formed when oil and dead skin are clogged in a pore and then when exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns to black.
Whiteheads– Probably the most misunderstood but they look like small, white hard bumps. Another name for these is “milia”. They are normally found under the eyes but can be anywhere on the face. Stubborn and difficult to remove but hydration and exfoliation is usually key.
Pimples (papules)- Pimples are pink to slightly red bumps with a soft white surface filled with fluid and oil.
Large Pimples (pustules)- When pimples become large, engorged, and swollen, a papule has become a pustule.
Cysts and Nodules (deep, painful pimples)- Cysts and nodules are the largest, most painful, and most difficult type of acne to treat. A cyst does not always look like a pimple; it can be just a large red swollen lump. If left untreated, they almost always lead to scarring because the cysts are in the deeper layers of the skin.
Hopefully this helped clear some things up for you.