IGNORE Everything You Ever Heard About Pores – This Is How You’ll Make Them Smaller

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that we’ve all been cursed with pores – they’re the bain of our lives, here to ruin our makeup! I spend waaay too much time thinking about cunning skincare regimes to get rid of them once and for all, and carefully trying to disguise them with pore-minimizing primers and HD powders. You’ve probably bought products that claim they will shrink your pores and erase all trace of them, well we’re here to get your facts straight with the ultimate tea on pores from skincare expert Dr. Kelly. Here’s how you can minimize your pores in the only way possible, but curb your expectations too – sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

What exactly are pores?
Each pore is actually the opening of a hair follicle. On the face, the follicles are tiny or sometimes even invisible, but there are oil glands that live at the base of the follicle and these can over-grow making your pores bigger and more noticeable. This often starts at puberty, and feels like it never stops!

Why are some people’s pores so much more visible than others?
The size of your pores is mostly due to genetics and hormones. You have no control over your genetics, but there is a lot you can do to help manage your pores to make them look as invisible as possible.

How can we get rid of pores?
No product can permanently shrink pores, but there are some very effective products that do a great job of making them look smaller. The best topical agent for making pores look better is the nightly use of topical retinoids or retinol, which are forms of vitamin A (a natural ingredient). Retinoids do two things: it increases skin cell turnover, which helps improve the overall thickness of the skin, and they increase the purging of oily plugs from the pores – the less packed the pores are, the smaller they look. Salicylic acid is also an excellent ingredient as it exfoliates deep into the pores, which gets rid of dead skin cells that can make the pores appear larger.

If you have large pores, do you just need to accept it and blame genetics? 
Partly, but there are still many measures you can take to help them appear smaller and to prevent them from getting bigger. The most important thing you can do is use sun protection every day. Sun dehydrates your skin and makes the oil glands over-grow, making the pores look bigger. Some people get a tan because they feel it masks the pores and makes them look smaller, but this is a temporary effect, and in the not-so-long-run, it will make the pores bigger, as well as making blackheads and whiteheads worse from the excess oil that plugs the skin.

Will controlling oil with a good skincare regime improve your pores? If so, what do you recommend? 
Ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide, caffeine, and retinol can have an excellent impact on the size of your pores. Taking antioxidant supplements like niacinamide, zinc, copper, and folic acid by mouth can also be very helpful as they have powerful antioxidant and wound healing effects. They’re also anti-aging – who doesn’t want that benefit?!

Do natural DIYs actually have any effect?
DIY masks can have a temporary effect, but not a lasting one. Using egg white masks and yogurt masks, combined with honey can be beneficial for tightening pores. Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and it doesn’t clog pores.

Try: A gentle steam can hydrate the skin and make the pores more receptive to products you apply. Once your skin is soft and hydrated, you can apply a mask of yogurt and honey or egg white and honey for 5 minutes, rinse off, and then apply 1-2% salicylic acid lotion to help exfoliate deep into the pores. Top it off with a hyaluronic acid moisturizer as this will offer maximum hydration without clogging your pores. The result will be radiant, smooth skin.

I also get a lot of questions about the use of alcohol wipes for the treatment of acne and pores, but this does nothing to kill the bacteria that causes acne, it does nothing for the pores, and it only serves to dry out and irritate the skin.

There’s one other alternative for reducing pores: 
The Clear and Brilliant laser is also an excellent and gentle option for an in-office treatment to help reduce the appearance of pores and improve skin texture. I also find it to be safer than other lasers for my patients with skin of color.

Now that you know the truth about pores – aka you might just be prone to having bigger pores – we hope you feel better about your options. Basically, there are ingredients you can use to minimize the appearance of pores, and by using a thorough cleansing routine and non-comedogenic products (that don’t block pores), you can help to make your pores look as small as possible. You also need to realize that your pores look bigger to you than anyone else. Why? Because you spend all day focusing on yours and not staring at other people’s! And yes, most of the images you see online and in magazines have all been airbrushed, but I can promise you, celebs and influencers have pores too!


6 tips for your summer body!

Hello Beauties! Now before I get started on this post I just want to note that I am not a nutritionist of any kind! This is just simple tips I’ve learned from research, trial and error. They work wonders for me and hopefully they will for you too! My weight has always been up and down since I was teenager and once I became an adult I noticed it being way more up than down. I do still diet every now and then, but these are tips to add to your lifestyle for a complete change. I honestly feel that if I did not incorporate these things in my life I would be a lot heavier. If you have any eating habits that you live by feel free to add them below. Once again, look at these tips as something to add to your lifestyle and not so much “diet tips.”

♥ WATER ONLY – Now I am a human being and I do indulge in a mimosa or two but other than that I do not drink anything but water. I started to drink less soda and no juice. I have an obsession with lemon lime ginger ale soda at my job, I only drink it when I’m at work, I need help! Started to drink coffee again but I’m planning on ending that today. The worst thing you can do is drink your calories. I personally feel that this is how weight sneaks up on a lot of people. If you are having a meal that’s 500 calories, by the time you drink two glasses of soda that’s another 500 calories you’ve added on without even noticing! Yikes! If you are consuming soda and juices all day you could be adding 1500 calories to your diet per day and that’s not even including food. The average person should consume 2,000 per day. Now I am NOT a calorie counter but I do take heed of things I put in my mouth. I’m at a point to where I know I want I can and can’t have. But I will say that only drinking water gives me a little freedom to have more “cheat meals” with actual food. So try to completely cut out all sugary beverages!

♥ CUT THE SUGAR – This one is obvious. Excess sugar is so easily turned into fat. Now while sugar is found in a lot of foods besides sweets, I’ve always felt like that slice of cake or candy bar is just waiting to add itself to my bra roll in the back. If you can, skip dessert! And if you are craving something sweet I always have a mango or a handful of grapes to fight my craving. I now stack up on fruits!

♥ WARM LEMON WATER – Every single morning, I start my day with a glass of warm lemon water. I actually got this tip years ago and even wrote about lemon water benefits on here, BeautyLeeBar.com. I am always raving about the long list of benefits a simple glass of warm water with lemon to whoever will listen lol. Now the benefits I’ve personally researched are very long so I’ll just name the three that stuck out to me.

  • First the obvious being that it helps in weight loss. Drinking the mixture first thing in the morning helps fight hunger cravings, which will lead to either losing weight or just simply not over eating.
  • The second is it also helps in digestion. Feeling bloated and stuffed is the absolute WORST. Lemon water definitely gets everything in your digestive system flowing and helps make you regular.
  • The last is it improves skin. I personally have very dry skin and everyone knows dry skin is something that causes wrinkles. Once I incorporated it in my daily routine I noticed my skin was a lot more hydrated

♥ SAVE IT FOR LATER– Now this is something that I feel was instilled in us all as children. I think we can all recall our parents forcing us to finish our food in order not to be wasteful. But this is not something I practice at all. Always get smaller portions and if you are still hungry go back for more if you would like. But overloading your plate and forcing yourself to eat is not going to help you get that summer body. We all talk about having the itis, but I personally hate feeling lethargic after I’ve eaten. Now I don’t necessarily mean be wasteful, I love a some good left overs. So wrap it up and save the rest for later! So once you get that first feeling of satisfaction, you should be done eating. Never eat until you feel stuffed or sleepy.

♥  GREEN TEA – Listen up. I LOVE GREEN TEA. I wont even go through the very long list of benefits it has but this is the one! The main benefit is that it speeds up your metabolism! Now I will be honest I don’t drink it everyday but I definitely always make sure I consume a few cups through out the week. It definitely gives me a boost of energy when I’m feeling a little sluggish. It’s something about green tea that makes me feel so zen when I drink it lol. So besides the water, green tea is definitely something I recommend you add to your diet. Here is the link to the brand I drink.

♥ MONITOR YOUR BODY – I’m not saying be overly obsessive and step on the scale every 15 minutes. But I will occasionally throw on an old outfit to see whats going on. I never really monitor my body by what the scale says, its all about how I look and feel. If I notice something getting a little tight or if I do decide to step on the scale I know to tighten up my eating habits a bit. The sooner you catch it the better! Its much easier to drop 10-15 lbs over 50+. It’s hard to not let your weight get out of control but if you are person like me who does tend to gain it easily, this tip definitely helps keep it in check.

In closing I want to say that this is not a guide to make you overly obsess or feel like you need to be thin. I am no where near thin and I never will be, but through A LOT of struggle I have and I am still learning to love my body and do my best to take care of it. The older I get the harder it is to stick to a diet so I implemented these small changes and noticed such a difference. Now these tips are not going to make you lose 50 pounds in two weeks but it will give you a jump start to taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle. If you have any tips you would like to share comment below! Thanks for reading and let me know if any of these tips work for you! I’ve linked the green tea that I drink as well!


These 2 Small Changes Had A Major Impact On My Skin

It’s amazing when you find an insane new formula that makes all your skin dreams come true. It might be the perfect pimple treatment, a new cream that’s making your fine lines disappear, or even just a serum that is giving your skin a legit glow. But, there’re two super simple things I’ve started doing to my skin that have made an incredible difference.

The first step – and I cannot tell you enough how important this is – is the process of double cleansing. Double cleansing basically means washing your face twice, which is essential because cleansing once will hardly even make a dent in the makeup on your skin – especially if you love wearing as much makeup as I do. By thoroughly cleansing, not only is all the dirt, oil, and makeup completely gone, but it means that your following skincare steps can penetrate deeper and better absorb into your skin, as there’s no barrier.

The most effective double cleansing method is to use an oil cleanser first, and then follow with a water-based cleanser that suits your skin type, like a gel, foam or cream. If you don’t have an oil cleanser, you can wash twice using your usual cleanser. And remember to take your time; gently massage your skin to make sure the cleanser can work its way into your pores. I like to spend at least 40 – 60 seconds on both cleanses, as this will also give time for any skin-boosting ingredients to perform. Check out my full guide and tips on how to double-cleanse properly here.

The second skincare trick I swear by has meant that the performance of each of my products has improved, and I’ve seen a massive change in my skin without even replacing my products. It’s as easy as switching the order that I apply my creams and oils – I used to use my face oil after toning, and I’ve noticed a huge difference since I made oil my last step. Layering your skincare in the right order is quite possibly one of the most important things you should learn. For example, if you apply a moisturizer before your serum and eye cream, because moisturizers have occlusives in (ingredients that create a barrier on your skin), the potent ingredients in your serum and eye cream wouldn’t even get a chance to penetrate your skin and work their magic. Typically, the rule is to always apply the most lightweight formulas first, finishing with the heaviest creams and oils. Check out my in-depth guide to layering products like a pro here next week.

Finally, the most important thing I’ve found when trying new skincare products is to do it one by one. I know it’s tempting if you’ve just bought a few new skincare products to start using them all at once, but if you do, you won’t know which are the ones improving your skin and which could potentially be breaking you out. So try to be patient, and don’t forget to double cleanse and ensure you layer your skincare in the right order. I hope you guys find this helpful, and let me know in the comments if you have any other skin concerns you’d like advice on.

Mind Blowing: This Basic Beauty Step Is THE Most Important Of Them All

When writing about beauty 24/7, sometimes it’s easy to forget that the skincare steps we’re so used to aren’t necessarily a worldwide phenomenon. While there are certain steps in your skincare routine that could be skipped now and again, there’s one thing above all, that should never, repeat never, be skipped – especially if you like to wear makeup as much as I do. The basic essential beauty step? Double cleansing, aka washing your face twice – I told you it was basic! If you’re already in on the secret, tell your friends, because honestly, you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t double cleanse.

Double cleansing is THE fundamental rule of K-Beauty routines and a must for anyone wearing makeup. At the end of the day, if you’re not removing pollution and bacteria that can lead to breakouts, aging, and rashes, then no amount of moisturizer can fix that. It also means that your next layers of products won’t be able to effectively penetrate your skin.

Think about it, when you wash your face once, all you’re really doing is removing the makeup on top of your skin – you’ll notice if you’ve ever used toner after, that there’s still plenty of makeup left on your skin. This is why washing twice is SO important, as the second wash will actually be able to do its job, penetrating your pores and remove impurities from your skin. Especially if your face wash contains active ingredients like salicylic acid which targets blackheads, or AHAs that gently get rid of dead skin cells. But it is possible to overwash; in the morning or if you haven’t worn any makeup all day, you don’t need to double cleanse.

How to double cleanse:

The technical way to do it is to start with a cleansing oil, and then use a water-based cleanser:

Step 1: The cleansing oil works to break down makeup, SPF, pollution, and sebum on the surface of the skin. This is a super gentle way of removing dirt as the oil binds with impurities and is washed away without stripping your skin. They’re also made up of natural oils, which are antibacterial and packed with antioxidants that help to improve your skin texture while retaining your skin’s typical moisture level. Shop cleansing oils here.

Step 2: Using a water-based cleanser (like a foam, gel, or cream) will remove any water-based impurities like sweat and dirt, while it’s also able to clean deeper into your pores. Another important thing to remember is to massage both your oil and water-based cleanser into your skin for at least a minute each. If you only do it quickly it won’t give your skin time to absorb the restoring and treating properties of your cleanser. Think of it like brushing your teeth, you need to do it for at least two minutes. Shop water-based cleansers here.

TIPS: If you don’t yet own a cleansing oil, you can still double cleanse, just use your face wash twice. We’ll be honest, on the days when we really cake it on, sometimes we even go three times, using micellar water as our final step. It’s also important to make sure you use warm water. If it’s too hot it can strip your skin of its natural oils and make acne or rosacea worse, so stick to lukewarm water. If it’s your day for exfoliating, do this after your double cleanse.

No matter what your skin type, trust us, if you’re oily or acne-prone a cleansing oil is still amazing – it will actually help with blackheads! You can find different cleansing oils that have different ingredients to benefit different skin concerns, and it’s the same with your water-based cleanser. Check out our guide for finding the best cleanser for your skin type here.