The Underrated Step to 'Smaller' Pores!

When I first started researching about all these, the one thing that stood out to me, blogs after blogs, reviews after reviews, is the importance of cleansing. 

Cleansing is barely talked about cause it's so....natural, I guess? Like we all know it's smth we must do, duh. But the Koreans take their cleansing to a whole new other level. 

Incorporating some of the techniques and methods I came across, I do find that the way I cleanse seemed more effective, somehow.

Go Hyun Jung - this pic was taken in 2011 and she was 40yo at that time. Pls look at that face. HOW THE *#%€<£* is she 40????

Go Hyun Jung - this pic was taken in 2011 and she was 40yo at that time. Pls look at that face. HOW THE *#%€<£* is she 40????

She can pass off younger than me pls??? Totally why she is so many people's skincare goddess 😍 

Her cleansing is as extensive as my entire routine. She takes 15 mins to wash her face, guys. No joke.

There's also a 424 routine - 4mins cleansing oil, 2mins facial cleanser, 4 mins rinsing. SIMI LEH! Four mins of rinsing??? Literally splashing water on ur face for 4 mins. 

I guess it makes a lot of sense seeing as how a clean face is the foundation of good skin. Using harsh ingredients and tools might not necessarily equate to clean. So paying more attention to cleansing is like building a good foundation, allowing those awesome ingredients to actually work ON ur skin, rather than the dirt in/on ur skin! 

I don't have a timing on my cleansing but I have included certain...techniques? Idk what to call it. I realize that as understated as cleansing is, it is really so important. I pick a few notes from everywhere and worked on a set that suited me and my skin. 

To make this post worth its bandwidth, I'm also gonna include my deep-cleansing routine. Once a week, I do a super deep-cleanse where I throw in clay-masking AND oil-cleansing to fully remove all the trapped dirt! 

My skin hates oil-cleansing daily and it seems to prefer the use of Micellar Water so I stick with that. However, once a week, I do a deep-oil cleanse to get the grits and yucky stuff out. Any more often and my skin gets cranky.


So today's deep cleansing post touches on all the above products. So exaggerating but hey, I don't discount what works. 

I'll be including my first cleanser cause I normally do my deep cleansing routine in the pm so I can slap on a sheet mask at the whole end of it. All that clay masks can be super drying. 

So before I begin even TOUCHING my face, I wash my hands thoroughly first. Can I be naggy and add - pls don't touch ur face throughout the day okay. If u must, wash it first!

I've been rotating these 2 as my makeup remover (1st cleanser) depending on what I have on that day. If I use mascara or anything water-proof, the Garnier one works well for me. If I have a light day on with just sunscreen, then I use the Su:m37 one. It smells super citrusy. Damn nice and refreshing. 

I soak a cotton pad and gently swipe it across, repeating till there's no residue on the cotton pad. I'm really very gentle here because u dw to cause any unnecessary tugging on ur skin. I use SHG's method and swipe from outside to inside.

I know, it's super counterintuitive! It was really hard to get used to it at first but the reason why is she does that is because it goes against the grain of the skin and I ASSUME that doing that will help lift up the little hairs off ur face and cleanse around them and all? Like get to all those little nooks and crannies. 

I've come to also realize that Korean aren't really a big fan of tools when it comes to cleansing because it can be harsh. But I'm a sad sad addict to my Foreo mini so I won't exclude my baby out.

After removing all forms of visible dirt and residue, I wet my hands & pump one pump of my cleanser onto my hands first and work that into my skin. 

Also gently, I use the slippery lather to give my face a gentle massage, again, going from Outside to Inside of face. I start from my cheeks, moving to my nose, up my forehead and ending it off with my chin. 

Then setting the Foreo to the lower setting, I cleanse it from Outside to Inside of face. 

It feels really weird at first but it gets better. I can almost do it on auto-pilot now lmao. 

Personally, I find that my skin is WAY softer after that; even with the lower setting switch on the Foreo! The gentler option means I don't tug my skin around as much, I hope. I also get lesser blackheads and my pores are kept cleaner. 

And then, I rinse it off using SWAP's method of just splashing water around my face for about 8-12 times. 

I think she mentioned she learned that from frmheadtotoe (Jen??). I really dk what the heck difference this makes but I enjoy touching my face whilst washing cause it's so smooth now HAHAHA

On regular nights, my cleansing ends here and I follow up with actives > first essence > hydrating toner > serum > sheet mask > moisturizer

On deep-cleaning days, this is just the start of a very long routine


Still one of my HG physical exfoliator. I love that it doesn't actually contain any physical beads. This has got to be my 8th bottle or so already. 

I use about one pump for each part of my face so 2x cheeks, 1x forehead and 1x chin+nose. 

I work from outside to inside and just gently rub till all the dead skin cells pile up and rinse with warm water. 

Since I have so many other actives that does exfoliation, I only do this step once a week. Sometimes, once in a fortnight.

To loosen up all the yucky trapped dirt, I do my usual CNP (PHA) > LRP Effaclar K - (this acts as my BHA) and wait for 20 mins to allow the actives to work. 

AHA cannot work in this case because BHA is oil-soluble and AHA is not. BHA can remove trapped sebum and all which is why it's the one effective against blemishes and blackheads.


After waiting comes even more waiting. 

WITHOUT rinsing off the actives, I layer on my 'detox masks' and wait somemore. Literally. 

Any clay or activated charcoal masks will work here. Look at ur ingredient list for kaolin and/or bentonite. My fave clay masks are from Origins. I've emptied 3 of the OOT and 2 of the Activated Charcoal. My Rose Clay was bought more recently only but definite repurchase too.

I found this in my Instagram folder that iPhone has kindly created for me for my instastories. #luckyIneverdelete

It goes:
Origins Out of Trouble (White): forehead
Origins Rose Clay (pink): cheeks
Origins Activated Charocal (black): nose/chin

I leave this on for around 45 - 60 mins, which is really very long but I find that this helps loosen even more dirt and comes out easily when I oil-cleanse later. 

After everything is truly dried down and dying to be washed off, I rinsed it away with lukewarm water. Never hot water cause that dries out your skin even more. 

The important part after this step is patting ur face dry. Oil and water don't mix well so u want the oil to be able to enter and swish-swash in ur pores, without any water blocking its way. 

🔺🔻🔺 I use a carrier oil for my oil-cleansing step but I don't recommend it cause if u don't cleanse properly after this, ur pores WILL get clogged from the oil residue. What I recommend is getting an oil cleanser that emulsifies so it's easier to cleanse. I tried Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil before and it works very well for oil-cleansing! In fact, I'm alr planning on stocking that up when I go back!

An emulsifying oil will turn milky upon contact with water and will make cleansing off easier. However, still do pay attention to make sure u cleanse properly and don't leave any oily residue 🔺🔻🔺


When I was researching for a carrier oil, I landed upon jojoba cause that was the one that had properties resembling human sebum. I figured, it really can't go wrong right? Rosehip is a dry oil and plus it's not very cheap and has so much good stuff so I wouldn't use it for this tbh.

What I do after I completely dry my face, is dribble the oil from my forehead down my nose, cheeks and chin. Then I gently spread the oil all over making sure I cover all parts. This goes the same even for a regular oil cleanser. Mine comes with a dropper so I just use that but most oil cleanser comes with a pump so u can just pump it out then spread on face. 

I let it sit for about 2 minutes and then GENTLY, from Outside to Inside, I start using my fingertips and massage in small circular motions, from bottom of face to top of face. Then I'll go back and work on specific areas - especially the nose. 

I'll massage it in clockwise motion first before going anti-clockwise, applying slight pressure to squeeze all the SF and dirt out of my pores. Everywhere else, I just go around in circular motions. 

🔻🔺🔻Don't be too pressure-happy here cause ur skin is much naturally thinner on the face and u can burst capillaries if u do it too long. The MAXIMUM amount of time I normally do is 4 mins. 🔺🔻🔺

Now this is where grits might or might NOT happen. 

Getting grits is still a debatable topic on Reddit with some saying it's lint of cotton pad, or just surface dirt. Others claiming it's trapped, hardened dirt in ur pores. I am a believer of the latter! I do see and feel a difference after oil-cleansing. 

The grits are loosened up by the actives and clay mask. As like dissolves like, and the oil comes into contact with these already-loosed grits, they just come right out of ur pores! 

For me, I can usually predict it cause I've been doing my own face lah haha. 

• I (almost) definitely get grits if I leave my BHA & clay masks on for the allocated time I've written above. 
• I get MORE grits if I skip one week of oil cleansing.
• I get MORE grits right before my period where my face is all cranky and moody like me. 

Some girls never ever get grits so don't fret if u don't. Maybe ur skin just very nice and don't trapped dirt??? Lucky leh! Hahaha

I post too much tmi nonsense to instastories (@/beautypeadia)

Anyw, this was also from my last deep-cleanse session and look at all those yucky grits! Gross pls. They typically look like a plug or a white-ish head. Those of u who've done extractions would know what I'm saying. Almost all are hard and gritty. Which I assume is where they derived their name from??

SF also comes out this way but do note that SF are recurring and cannot be fully rid of. It's ur body's natural sebum after all! 

Before I moved on to my before/after, I just wanna add:

My title has 'small' in quotation marks cause I wanna clarify smth. Our pores can't shrink. Not with cold water, or BHA, or wtv the brand companies are trying to sell u. They can be stretched and damage with NOSE STRIPS but they can't be shrunk. They also don't have abilities to open and close by themselves. However, they can be cleansed out so the appearance of them (filled with gunk and sebum) is minimized.

I really NEVER would imagine posting such super close-ups of my pores to so many people at any point in life lmao. The number of people who have seen all my pores......🙃🙂🙃🙂🙃🙂 For the sake of reviews, I'm sorry but looks like y'all are stuck with me and my pores. 

As u can see, my skin is pretty okay now with my routine but apparently, it always can get better. The SF and blackheads on my nose are gone plus my pores by the side of my nose are all cleaned out!

Ok recent 2017 image of her at 47 years old.

So after I get all the grits out, I have to now remove all the leftover residue on my face! Since I'm using a carrier oil, I go thru the additional step of removing all of the gunk with my micellar water and then using my facial cleanser, I wash my face thoroughly again. This is not really necessary if ur oil is an emulsifying one.

Then it is normal skincare as usual! It's the same routine as this