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Ask The Makeup Diva
Welcome to Ask The Makeup Diva™! Our resident expert, The Makeup Diva, answers makeup and skin care questions sent in by readers just like you.

Q: I have very visible pores on my nose and cheeks. How can I get rid of them?

A: Which do you want first - the good news or the bad news?

The bad news is that you can't get rid of your pores, and you can't permanently change their size. This is a myth, along with the notion that pores somehow open and close - they don't. Your pore size is hereditary, meaning that if your parents have large pores, it's very possible that you will, too. Pores also appear open and enlarged when they are full of oil or debris. When the pore is clean and free of excess oil and dirt, it appears closed. Cleansers, toners, and masks can only temporarily tighten the skin, making the pores appear smaller but not really changing them at all. Sorry :(

The good news is that there are products you can use and techniques you can try to make your pores appear smaller and less visible. The effects are temporary, but can make your skin look smoother at least for a short time.

Just about any clay facial mask will clean your skin and make it feel tighter and the pores appear smaller, so consider treating your skin to one once or twice a week. A few that I like are Beauty Without Cruelty Purifying Facial Mask, Estee Lauder So Clean Deep Pore Mask, Kiss My Face Organics Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, Better Botanicals Refining Facial Mask, and Garden Botanika Skin Renewing Clarifying Facial Mask.

Keep your skin clean. This doesn't mean excessive washing or scrubbing (cleanse twice a day, gently scrub only once or twice a week), but at least make sure to remove all your makeup and wash your face every night before you go to bed, and try to avoid cosmetics and skin care products that make your skin breakout (the products that do can be different for everybody).

Use makeup as sparingly as possible. Heavy foundations can settle in your pores and make already large pores appear larger by caking on the skin. Be meticulous in your application: apply foundation with a clean makeup sponge and blend carefully for a smooth, even finish. When you apply powder, use a large fluffy brush and be sure to dust off any excess from your skin.

Keep your makeup tools like sponges and brushes very clean. Any bacteria, oil, or dirt they may carry can settle in your pores every time you apply makeup. I recommend washing your brushes every two weeks in a mild hair shampoo or brush cleaner, and sponges as soon as all sides are dirty (also in a mild liquid soap or shampoo).

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