For as difficult as it is to remove dirt, oil, and other various gunk from your pores, you’d think it was supposed to be there. It’s not a walk-in-the-park beauty task—in fact, some give up on lotions and potions altogether and visit a pro to have their pores extracted. We thought we’d heard of every ingredient under the sun meant to act like magnetics for the stuff in your pores (actually, we’ve seen skin magnets, too), but then lava happened.
So we’re not suggesting you rub the fiery molten rock that explodes from the top of a volcano on your nose—just a form of it. And don’t worry, volcanic lava powder, the ingredient of note, has majorly cooled down.
Volcanic lava powder is the star of PureHeal’s Volcanic Pore Heating Gel ($22; ulta.com), a clear liquid gel that dispenses through a massaging bristled tip. As you gently rub the tip on your target area—i.e. the place where your pores are clogged—it generates heat to melt sebum, so you can actually feel a temperature change on your skin. It's more like the feeling of a warm heating pad touching your face, rather than a scolding hot burn.
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The brand explains the volcanic lava powder comes into play by absorbing excess oil and drawing out impurities in the pores. On top of that, PureHeals notes its rich in purifying minerals to calm and balance the skin, and the sulfur within helps deter acne breakouts. Finally, it’s an exfoliant, preventing dead skin cells from further clogging your pores.
Using it is much simpler and safer than buying one of those metal pore extractors and trying to low-key do surgery with it. You’re directed to massage it on your skin for three to five minutes before rinsing with water.
As much as this sounds like an ingredient you’d hear referenced in, like, The Land Before Time, it’s actually becoming quite popular in the skincare world. OMOROVICZA Refining Facial Polisher uses lava powder as one of its main exfoliating agents, while brands often combine volcanic sand and ash with charcoal to create the ultimate detoxifying formula.