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Pores for the People: Blackhead-Fighting Products for Men & Women

By Amalah

Hi, Amy.
My husband has HUGE pores on his nose, and they’re always looking gunked up. I’m trying to convince him that his addiction to those Biore strips is not the answer! I read the post in your archives about “pothole pores” and was wondering if you would recommend the same products to clean up a man’s face. (Obviously skipping the concealer step.) He’s on board with trying out a new skin care regime, I just don’t know what products to buy.

My husband will pretty much use whatever I put in front of him, provided it isn’t pink or smells like flowers. He rode the drugstore product train for a looooong time — dozens of Aveeno and Biore washes scattered in our recycling bin — but still had the same old complaints. Dry, sensitive skin on his cheeks and forehead, with a ton of blackheads on his nose and chin.
Then I bought the (grooooan and waaaait for it) Philosophy line and stuck the face wash in the shower. I didn’t even realize Jason was using it until a few weeks later, when he looked in the mirror and proclaimed his love for “that yellow stuff in the shower.”
Jason’s skincare is far from perfect — he washes his face in the shower every morning, but not at night. He never uses sunscreen or moisturizer and even when I handed him a tube of eye cream and implored him to use it for the purposes of this column (“If I write about it I can expense it! I need your opinion to HELP THE PEOPLE”), he used it two or three times, tops.
(Meanwhile, the man owns approximately 14 jar of hair products, so…I don’t know.)
But, whatever. Men get away with this nonsense on a regular basis and have the gall to look better all weathered and wrinkled. But blackheads and pothole pores? Not a good look on anyone. So…yeah. At the risk of sending hundreds of foreheads slamming down on keyboards out of boredom, I’m going to recommend the Philosophy Purity Made Simple wash YET AGAIN.
I love stuff that my husband and I can both use — one bottle on the shelf, less soapy rings I’ll have to scrub off the tile later — and the Purity is so one-stop-shop it’s insane. It removes your EYE MAKEUP, ladies. But your husband probably won’t read the fine print on the bottle and see the thing about the makeup removal. It’s not pink; it smells like nothing. It’s the “yellow stuff in the shower” that quietly performs miracles.
I do get a little bored pimping the Philosophy week in and week out, so I recently tried out the Dr. Brandt Poreless Essentials system. (I’m such a sucker for starter kits.) It reaffirmed everything I’ve come to expect from aggressive skincare routines. Especially ones that include toners, as it stripped my skin dry and made me break the eff out and did NOTHING for the pores on my nose or the smattering of blackheads I still get on my chin (I sleep curled up with my hand on my chin and CANNOT STOP IT). Too medicated, too strong, and totally upset the balance I’ve achieved with Philosophy. (However, I absolutely loved the microdermabrasion scrub and the primer samples included in the kit, and I’m sure I’ll find opportunities to yak about those later.)
(Although…$75 for that microdermabrasion scrub vs. $25 for the Philosophy version? Cough. COUGH!)
If you can get your husband to apply moisturizer, the Hope in a Bottle exfoliating moisturizing is also amazing for pore/blackhead problems. But, you know, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.

Published November 6, 2007. Last updated November 6, 2007.
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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