Tricks of the Trade: How to improve oily skin and minimize pores

Marni (2)

Hi Kelly. I’m a teenager, and though I’m glad I don’t get many breakouts, I’m really  bothered with my huge pores, oily skin and dull complexion, which I notice after an especially long day. I feel that my skincare routine—a deep-cleaning soap-free facial cleanser, oil-free moisturizer and a weekly exfoliating facial scrub—doesn’t work hard enough. Can you suggest some skincare products to improve my skin and will keep me feeling refreshed until after-hours? Thanks.—Patricia

Teenage skin can be quite a challenge to treat. Hormones are usually going wild at this age, which may lead to skin that’s exactly how you described it: dull and oily, with pronounced pores. This seems to be every young girl’s problem—that and the emergence of pimples. Let me just say, though, you are one of the lucky few that don’t really experience breakouts. Really, you must celebrate this fact and realize that you must also be doing something right with your skin.

As for your skincare routine, you are on the right track. I would’ve recommended exactly these products for your skin. But I know how you feel. You want your skin to be the best it can be, and that means minimizing the appearance of your pores, reducing oiliness and improving dull skin tone. Well, there’s no need to fret, as there are more than a few ways to improve your skin. And no, these don’t require expensive treatments and high-priced creams. Below is a list of tips and tricks to help improve your skin’s situation.

Try a BB cream. BB stands for beauty balm/blemish balm. The formula was created by German dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek initially to protect her patients’ skin after surgery, but was eventually discovered by the beauty industry because of its notable benefits. The BB cream works as both skincare and a makeup, as it keeps skin nourished while providing adequate coverage for everyday use. Some even contain SPF and whitening/anti-aging elements, which really make all the difference. But the main reason you should try this is because most formulas contain ingredients that keep skin matte and fresh. Try: Pond’s BB Plus Cream Flawless White 











Apply a makeup primer. You may think this is just another step to add to your skincare/makeup routine, but this is so worth the extra minutes. Aside from preparing skin for makeup, it creates an even surface for your foundation to adhere better. The best part: it keeps skin looking fresh as it inhibits oil production. This is great news to anyone who has oily skin; the primer can be used under makeup to extend it for a couple more hours. Try: Smashbox Photo-Finish Foundation Primer


Blot away. Oil-control paper is your best friend. Seriously, these oil-zapping sheets should be inside your purse at all times. These are handy and convenient (they fit right into any bag or clutch), and these quickly blot away the shine. Try: Clean & Clear Instant Oil Absorbing Sheets


Powder your nose. Powder soaks up oil, so you need to apply it on your skin’s oiliest areas (the T-zone: forehead, nose and chin). Both loose and pressed powders do the trick; just make sure you use the correct shade. If you’re not sure about the color, opt for a translucent powder. Try: Laura Mercier Translucent Powder


Find a pore refiner/minimizer. Pore-minimizing creams that contain ingredients like vitamin A, retinoic acid or tretinoin don’t necessarily make the diameter of your pores smaller, but it does its job to tighten skin and improve collagen production. This makes pores look and feel smaller, which is what you are after. After a few weeks of use, you’ll be able to see visible results. Try: Murad T-Zone Pore Refining Gel


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