When the weather gets chilly and windy, skin gets dry, flaky, and easily irritated. No surprise, then, that clogged pores pose a major problem. In warmer weather, using acid or a drying agent like benzoyl peroxide is the easy solution, but when skin is already sensitised, both often just end up inflaming things further. Don't worry, though. There are plenty of gentle ways to keep pores clear. To see three of the easiest fixes, just keep reading.
- Get steamy: Steaming your face is admittedly an old-fashioned remedy, but there's a reason women have been doing it for centuries. Instead of just using hot water and a towel, drop in some fresh herbs like rosemary or mint into your water before you put it on to boil. The herbs create an olfactory experience and help "open" your pores, while the steam is great for relieving stuffed-up sinuses, too.
- Enzyme time: Enzyme cleansers and masks are perfect for sensitized skin because they don't dry skin out or rough it up the way traditional acids and scrubs do. There are a lot of different enzymes that work (papain, bromelian), but look for a product that has fruit enzymes as its active ingredient.
- Fuller up: For the gentlest and most simple clay mask around, use one with 100 percent clay like, Body Shop's Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask ($28.95). Made from China Clay, Marine Mud and Thermal Clay, it's basically just dirt. But the stuff has been a medicinal staple for centuries because it contains higher than average amounts of magnesium, which attracts water (helping hydrate skin), and acts as an anti-inflammatory.