What you need to know about...
Okay, so once you have noticeable pores, there is no ‘closing’ them, but you can use some inexpensive tricks at home to help shrink them. The best maintenance for affected areas is a regular clay mask. Kaolin is a clay commonly used in face masks for oily/combination skin; check your local chemist or health store. Failing that, paint a little whipped egg white on your skin for 10 minutes and rinse. Ultimately, keeping pores clear of debris is crucial to preventing blackheads and ever-expanding pores. If you can afford it, professional extraction is wonderful or, at home, the Bliss Pore-fector System, €150, is a unique pore-cleaning device. Failing that, the old-school pore extractor from a chemist is still better than attacking your skin with your fingertips. When finished, swipe the area with astringent witch hazel to shrink the pore and remove any bacteria.
Slathering on foot cream but getting no closer to smoother soles? Then you need a new routine. The soles of the feet are notoriously dry and become rough easily because, with 2,000-plus pores per foot, moisture is continuously lost. Tackle the hard skin in two ways: after showering, while your feet are still warm and damp, buff the skin with a crystal foot file; or use a stainless steel version on dry feet. Brands such as Vichy and Scholl have specific heel and foot creams that will give the skin extra moisture; these are great for feet that are really suffering. For everyone else, a daily dose of body lotion, butter or foot cream should suffice ahead of sandal season.
In a bid to get in bikini shape, many of us are trying to eat more salads. And what’s good news for your waist is of benefit to your face, particularly if you keep it colourful. Nature’s finest food is great for the hair, skin and nails. Green leaves like rocket, spinach and cress are great sources of vitamins. Tomatoes, carrots and yellow peppers have antioxidants that fight skin-ageing free radicals. And super cool cucumbers are rich in silica, which aids collagen formation, essential for strong bones and better hair, skin and nails.