I’ve always had what I would consider enlarged pores on my face, particularly on my nose, and chin – where daily dirt and grub would collect, and sometimes result in breakouts – not to mention making my make-up and foundation wear unevenly. It took me years to work out what skin type I was, but thanks to my first consultation with Murad last year I was educated to find that I have combination skin. For me this means my forehead and the sides of my nose often get dry, but my chin and the front of my nose oily – go figure! I’m pretty lucky with the rest of my skin, and only tend to get spots in stress related/hormonal areas of my chin and around my mouth. I started using Murad’s Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo summer last year, and am so pleased I discovered it!
The claim from Murad is a fast-acting 2-step treatment that helps to reduce blackheads and seal pores for the ultimate protection against pore-clogging impurities. Sounds good, no? Within the box you get a small pot (Step 1) and a little bottle of serum (Step 2). The pot contains a deliciously thick volcanic mineral clay. Shikakai extract is included to detoxify, drawing out dirt and excess oil to help purify pores.
It’s best to apply this to clean skin, so just follow your usual cleansing routine first. Use your fingers and slather on a generous amount to areas of concern. My skin is feeling knackered at the moment from stress, chilly weather and late nights, so tonight I covered my whole mug! I use this once a fortnight as a minimum, and sometimes may only cover my T-zone, but the recommendation is to use it 2-3 times a week, as needed. The formula is just like clay, white in colour with little to no scent. My skin is quite sensitive but I find this a gentle mask considering its active ingredients. It feels smooth going on even though it will exfoliate when you wash it off.
Leave the mask on for ten minutes, it will feel quite dry towards the end of this time, and during may tingle slightly, but this is just the clay getting to work. Once the time is up add a touch of warm water and massage into the skin. I like to use a cloth to exfoliate further on my nose, chin and forehead, working the product in to help deep clean.
Completely rinse your skin free from the clay, and pat dry. Now is time for Step 2 – follow by applying the Pore Refining Sealer straight away. Pomegranate seed oil is acts as an astringent to tighten pores and refine the complexion – basically, you use the serum to help stop other nasties getting into those open craters on your face! Step 2 is a liquid serum, with much the same consistency as other serum products, though perhaps a little more liquid. It works into the skin easily – absorbing fast. I would usually be clamoring after a moisturiser having cleansed my face but the serum actually feels quite moisturising straight away – however you are recommended to follow with a moisturiser once it’s fully absorbed.
I mentioned that the mask is really gentle, and in fact I have used this in the morning before applying make-up too, which isn’t something I would normally do with an exfoliating treatment or mask in case it left my skin red, but as you can see above my skin was left dewy as the serum sank in (in fact, the reason I have eye make-up on in the pictures is because I was going out later – I would otherwise usually remove this and add a little eye cream before the mask). Before using this treatment I relied on nose pore strips to remove blackheads which I actually felt in the long run were making my pores more enlarged, leaving further space for foundation to cake and pool throughout the day. When using this product at least once a fortnight I’m able to keep blackheads at bay – or at least controlled – which has made my make-up application SO much easier, and I’m noticing a much smoother surface. Yay!
If you’re reading this, and like me are interested in reducing the appearance of pores on your nose, I also hugely recommend using a Beauty Blender sponge for applying foundation over a brush or your fingers as you can use the sponge to stipple a small amount into your skin for a super-even finish.