I’ve noticed that as I grow up (read: age horribly), my skin issues and skincare routine have changed as well. Other than getting rid of blackheads, I never used to be that fussed about pore size, or the appearance of pores – there are quite a few products out there that can be used to minimise or hide the look of pores, so I never really gave it a second thought.
However, things change and the other week, I found myself looking at those awful nose pore strips that were so popular c.2006 – you know, the ones that look like giant plasters, except they shrink like concrete onto your nose and essentially feel like they’re ripping off the top layer of your skin. Could I really put myself through that again?
Fortunately, Benefit Cosmetics came to save the day and sent me their new Porefessional Instant Wipeout Masks to try. Look how cute the box is, it’s like a tiny spy suitcase!!
What Is The Instant Wipeout Mask All About?
These little packets are basically double-sided nose shaped masks which come in individual packs full of pore-fighting ingredients. The wonder kid of the ingredients gang is mushroom extract which is known to clarify pores. I've seen Mushroom extract pop up in a few anti-ageing products, there must be some science behind it that I don't care to research...
To use these Instant Wipeout Masks, you just squeeze the pop out button in order to release the liquid onto the mask. SO SATISFYING. Doing this saturates the mask in the liquid so that you can open the pack and apply the mask in your area of choice. The mask itself is big enough to cover your forehead, your nose or your chin.
TOP TIP: if you’re super frugal like me, you can actually cut off excess bits of mask and cover all the emergency areas.
Once the nose/chin mask is on, the feeling is super-tingly and tightening in a comfortable way – that must be the menthol inside. You’re meant to leave it to work its magic for 10 minutes before wiping off. When wiping off, you reverse the mask and use the scrubby side of the mask to gently buff your skin. You’re not meant to rinse it off though and I’m guessing so this is that the Mushroom extract can stay on your skin?
Looking at the ingredients, there’s also Glycerin & Castor Oil to help soothe & moisturise, and menthol for that tingling, pore shrinking feeling. I was quite disappointed to see Alcohol being the second most used ingredient but it would explain how it feels dry without needing to wash and dry it off. It's just not meant to be very good for your skin!!
I was expecting the scrubby side to be well, more scrubby, but actually its more like a microfibre cloth so there I guess there is much less risk of overdoing it and damaging your skin. I used to love those apricot kernel scrubs but they can actually scratch skin. Less is always more when exfoliating!
The result is smooth looking, tighter feeling pores which feel squeaky clean and tingly. It does reduce the look of blackheads but only temporarily and I'm interested to see if it's a permanent thing over time. I would use this after gentle exfoliating (with a powder based exfoliator like Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant or Indeed Labs Powder Exfoliator) for best results.
Now That My Pores Are Minimised, What About My Shiny T-Zone?
Good question you ask. Also in this adorable Benefit Rise And Prime package was my new beauty hero. The Benefit Porefessional Matte Rescue gel. A light cucumber/mint looking gel which absorbs quickly and keeps skin shine free.
The scent is sooooo lovely, it's like crack, I can't get enough of it. It reminds me of one of the Benefit boxed powders but I can't put my finger on which one. The Matte Rescue gel is water-based and it's not sticky, silicone-y or powdery - in fact it dries to a lovely clean finish.
My skin is quite oily around the nose so it's not quite strong enough to be a full 'last all day' makeup primer though with my normal foundation - but it does gets my nose through until about lunch. It's more of a pre-primer to me. (Yup, ANOTHER product to add to your routine!)
I use it as a sort of primer under my makeup and the best thing is that it doesn't roll up into bits when I apply foundation. This plus Estée Lauder Doublewear foundation had my skin in perfect condition all day throughout London fashion week. Just make sure you give it proper time to dry between this and your foundation. I'm talking at least 2 minutes.
If you don't wear foundation, this is perfect for topping up and blotting the t-zone during the day because it can't really be applied back over makeup as you'll just wipe everything off.
Definitely one to look into if you're looking for a bit of oil control without that silky, fake feeling. This stuff is REAL matte, not silky matte and that stuff is my jammm!
I'm still on the lookout for the perfect primer - most of them interfere with the blending of the foundation or have that slippery silicone formula which slides off my face during my commute. The Matte Rescue gel is great if you're looking for a non- roll, clean-drying primer to prepare skin for foundation application.
I would definitely consider buying the Benefit Matte Rescue again. I'm going to keep going with the Wipeout masks to see the long-term results. You can find these products here from ASOS, LookFantastic or John Lewis. If you buy both online at Boots, you also get a free Triple Performance Facial Serum!
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What do YOU think? When was the last time you used a nose pore strip? Have you found the perfect "last all day" primer yet?