Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub brings back an ingredient (baking soda) that Paula used to recommend as an inexpensive scrub. Years later, as research unfolded, she changed her recommendation due to the alkaline nature of baking soda and its potential to be drying.
Biore's scrub does little to remedy this issue, and adds sensitizing ingredients like menthol and a lingering citrus fragrance to the mix. None of this is helpful for any skin type!
This cleansing scrub is actually a free-flowing powder you mix with water to "activate". Along with the scrub action from baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), you get a cleansing agent and some powder-based thickeners that help create a creamy-feeling, soap-like consistency that rinses clean.
Unfortunately, unless used very gently this can feel too rough on skin, and the tingle from the menthol is your skin telling you it's being aggravated, not refreshed.
Biore advises you can "dial up or down this scrub's intensity by adding water", advice that does work to make this scrub less abrasive, thus gentler, on skin. However, everyone's skin will benefit more from a non-abrasive, leave-on AHA (such as glycolic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant. See our list of Best Exfoliants for the current crop of top picks!
Strengths: Provides complete ingredient lists for every product on the company Web sit; improved cleansers.
Weaknesses: Known for their pore strips, which aren't as helpful as they seem; lots of products that contain alcohol and/or menthol, neither of which improve the look or function of pores; the sole sunscreen option lacks the proper UVA-protecting ingredients.
This drugstore line wants you to know it is serious about keeping your pores unclogged. They pledge that their products will rid your pores of the dirt, oil, and grime that can cause them to enlarge to "manhole-sized proportions." Although that size is clearly an exaggeration, most of the claims Biore makes also stretch what's possible. For example, neither their products nor the manner in which they function take into account the fact that pore size is more often than not genetic and controlled to a large extent by the oil glands that lie beneath the skin, which are themselves controlled by hormone activity, and none of that can be affected from the outside in.
None of the Biore products can shrink the oil gland or help keep it unblocked, and that is the only surefire way to reduce pore size. One of the bonuses of taking prescription Accutane for acne is that in most cases the patient's pore size becomes remarkably smaller due to the manner in which this potent drug works internally. We are not suggesting anyone should take Accutane simply to shrink large pores. But we do suggest it would be better to stop believing that skin-care products that claim to do so are the answer. Effective skin-care products (including some items in the Biore line) can remove or absorb excess oil, which makes pores less noticeable, and a well-formulated cleanser will remove grime and surface oils without drying skin, which temporarily makes pores look slightly smaller. And believe it or not, sun protection plays a role in pore size. As skin becomes more sun damaged, it becomes thicker and unable to exfoliate normally. The buildup of dead skin cells coupled with thickened skin can make pores expand. This can be remedied by using a well-formulated AHA or BHA product along with daily application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen—products that Biore lacks.
That's the extent of it, which is why to a large extent (no pun intended) pore size is something that you must learn to live with, because beyond avoiding sun damage and trying Accutane, there is little that can be done to change it. However, the outlook isn't as bleak as it may seem. With conscientious skin care and proper use of makeup, you can successfully minimize the appearance of pores and prevent them from enlarging any further.
For more information about Biore, call (888) BIORE-11 or visit www.biore.com.
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