Our tried and tested review of this cult blackhead-removing product. By Alyssa Dhaliwal
Photo: Caolion / Sephora
If large pores are the bane of your existence, we feel you. It’s an almost endless pursuit just trying to shrink them and keep them unclogged, especially when our hot and humid climate is working against us.
Caolion is one of the few new Korean skincare brands that have arrived in Sephora stores this Spring, and the one thing the brand is known for and dedicated to? Pores, pores, pores. I gave the Caolion Hot & Cool Pore Pack Duo ($45 for 50g) a go. It’s aims to both open up your pores for a deep exfoliation and then close them up after.
WHAT IT IS
The hot mask is the brand’s Blackhead Steam Pore Pack, which contains charcoal, sparkling water, an exfoliating type of oat flour, as well as other nourishing ingredients like chamomile, olive, and camellia extract.
It’s a self-heating mask that begins to warm upon contact with your skin. Start out by applying a smaller amount on the problem areas of your skin, and then massage the mask into your skin for a minute or two. The fine oat flour and charcoal powder provide a slight grit that gives your skin a gentle exfoliation, while the warming mask helps open up your pores for a deeper cleanse.
The heating feels almost tingly and can get quite intense, especially if you’ve never used a product like this before, though it does feel quite spa-like. I’d say to patch-test the mask on your arm if you have sensitive skin, because it could be a tad harsh. Also, definitely only use it where you really need it, because it can get quite overwhelming to use it on your entire face and you probably don’t have large pores everywhere.
You only need to leave it on for up to 10 minutes, after which you rinse it off with cool water to help close up your pores. The mask does a really decent job at removing blackheads and there was an element of oil control after that I appreciated.
The cooling mask is a clay mask that you can either use right after the steaming mask, or on an entirely different day. I prefer using it the next day, because it also contains volcanic ash and bentonite which purify and brighten the skin and you don’t want to put your skin through too much in one day. The mask dries down on the skin, feeling almost tight like most mud masks and you rinse it off with lukewarm water after about 10 to 15 minutes.
Did I like the duo? Yes. Would I use it often? Maybe two to three times a month interspersed with my normal skincare routine. If you have oily skin, large pores and are prone to lots of blackheads, then definitely give this one a try.
Overall, you get less product for the price than if you were to purchase the items separately, but the duo lets you try them out first before deciding if you want to spend more on the larger volumes.
A version of this article originally appeared on www.herworldplus.com.