A deep pore facial is a cleansing treatment to remove oil and dirt from facial pores. It can be performed by an esthetician, also known as a skin care specialist, or at home. A deep pore facial typically includes cleaning the face with an exfoliant or scrub to remove dead skin cells, applying steam to loosen dirt and oil from pores and then extracting the debris either with an implement or hand.
These facials can also involve applying a mask to rid the skin of surface oil and create the appearance of less visible pores. There are several mask ingredients that can be used for this type of facial. Kaolin clay has oil-absorbing properties and is the main ingredient in many masks for oily skin. Salicylic acid is an organic compound and mild exfoliant that can be added to a mask or cleanser. It can also be applied during a deep pore facial in stronger concentrations known as chemical peels.
A deep pore facial done at home can include masks made from ingredients found in the kitchen. Strawberries are a natural source of salicylic acid. Honey has natural antibacterial properties and can be combined with ground almonds or oatmeal for a scrub that absorbs oil. Beware of food allergies when applying these products to the skin.
Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial and antiseptic found in natural food stores and most pharmacies. It can be added to a pot of steaming water for a deep pore facial. The pot is then taken off the stove, and the user drapes a towel over her head as she lets the steam rise up to her face. Herbs with antibacterial properties like rosemary and sage may be added as well.
While these facials can benefit the skin, pores do not shrink, nor can they be made smaller by applying products. The appearance of large pores comes from oil that is trapped in the pore and exposed to the air. This makes it dark in color and produces what is called a blackhead. A pimple forms when the blackhead becomes infected with bacteria.
Experts say deep pore facials, whether conducted at home or at a spa, should not be done more than twice a month. Even for very oily skin, heavy application of products or manipulation of the skin can cause further breakouts and irritation. Pores are meant to produce oil to lubricate and protect the skin. If the cleansing methods are too harsh or frequent, the skin's appearance may suffer.