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Need to Know… Skin Gritting

Online craze or an efficient way to power wash pores? Melina Harbers reports

The size, contents and various ways to erase our pores has obsessed us for decades. From extractions to DIY methods like Band-Aid-style strips, we’re always on the lookout for a fresh way to pore-purge – and now a new three-step routine promises to dramatically unblock them.

‘Skin gritting’ starts with an oil cleanser massaged into dry skin, then a clay mask, then a final application of oil cleanser. This is intended to bring the oil, bacteria and dead skin cells (the ‘grits’) that form blackheads to the surface. But is this triple threat effective? Experts aren’t convinced.

“Blackheads typically don’t loosen from oil and take longer than a few minutes of massage to unstick,” says New York

dermatologist Dr Rachel Nazarian. “You’re probably removing other parts of the oil gland instead.”

But the technique does have its benefits. “Clay lifts dirt from pores and is better for skin than scrubs,” says Nazarian. Massage also boosts circulation and can remove pre-loosened blackheads, but be
gentle: “Aggressive massage can irritate skin,” warns Nazarian.

For best results, go bespoke. “I use gritting before any treatment,” says Dallas aesthetician Joanna Czech, “but I cleanse with oil or milk to suit different skin types, mix a facial oil with the clay mask to soften pores, then use a gel cleanser to remove oily residue.”