Beauty is pain, as they say, and some people go through the most torturous methods for a beautiful face. In addition to tweezing and waxing, there are face masks designed to unclog your pores by ripping out those nasty blackheads, whiteheads and everything in between. Products such as the Hell Pore Charcoal Mask (yes, that's the exact name), Nature Black Mask and other DIY tricks fortified with natural ingredients and available at drugstore counters absorb deep into your skin and are painful to remove (in Hell Pore's case, removal will bring you to tears).
But using masks such as these could actually do more harm than good. According to Zaida Gordon, a licensed aesthetician and certified acne specialist at Skintegrity LA (www.skintegrityla.com), "When you use DIY glue masks and pore strips, you may indeed remove blackheads, but you're also removing skin, and with regular use, it can cause trauma on the skin: distended capillaries, loss of elasticity and, even worse, premature aging."
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However, that doesn't mean you're doomed with unwanted blackheads forever. If you're set on deforesting your face, Gordon recommends getting a facial—a little on the pricey side, but it's worth it for the combination of steam, exfoliants and tools that rid the skin of all kinds of impurities, with minimal discomfort.
Or if you're going for a DIY method, make a scrub out of honey and sugar. "At least this way, you use gentle and safe ingredients that help buff away dead skin cells," Gordon says. "With regular scrubbing you minimize the amount of blackheads and buildup in the pores."
Natural clay masks used once a week are also effective.
So while you may be tempted to go the instant route and strip out your blackheads and whiteheads all at once (and let's face it, we all get transfixed by the sight of those stubborn little guys left over on pore strips), doing so only once in a while is best to avoid damaging, lasting effects. There's no crying in good skin care, folks.