This Pore-Shrinking Mask From an Oprah-Favorite Brand Has Been My Go-To for 5 Years — and It’s Half Off

But only for today.

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Philosophy Pore Extraction Mask Sale
Photo:

Philosophy/ InStyle

If you were to inspect the skin along my nose (please don’t) you’d notice a constellation of greige-y dots; a manifestation of excess sebum production and, consequently, visible pore congestion. Known as sebaceous filaments (and often mistaken for blackheads) the drab dots are impossible to eliminate entirely. Naturally, I’ve tried to minimize the root cause — via extraction tools and sebum-squelching toners and serums. Of all the solutions I’ve tried, the Pore Extraction Mask from Philosophy is among the best.

Hailing from a brand used by the likes of Oprah (a Philosophy moisturizer even made an appearance in her famous Favorite Things list), the mask secured its spot on my skincare shelf in 2018, and has remained unassailable. For my fellow people plagued by pore congestion — sebaceous filaments, blackheads, or whiteheads — the mask is worth every penny; and even more so today, as it’s 50 percent off during Ulta’s Love Your Skin event.

Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Exfoliating Clay Mask

Ulta

Shop now: $19 (Originally $37), ulta.com 

The Philosophy Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Exfoliating Clay Mask clears excess oil, dirt, debris, and sebum from pores, thus reducing their apparent size and prominence. Its pore-purging speed is unparalleled: A single 10-minute application reveals significantly smaller-looking pores alongside my nose.

The magic behind the mask is a trio of oil-thwarting, skin-sloughing ingredients: Kaolin clay, which absorbs excess sebum, salicylic acid, an oil-soluble acid that breaks down grime, and natural exfoliants, which provide gentle physical exfoliation. By breaking through grime, hoovering oil, and nixing debris, these ingredients visibly reduce pore prominence — and quickly. After a single use, my pores appear much smaller. 

As per the instructions, I allow the mask to sit on my oily regions — always my nose; sometimes my entire T-Zone — skin for up to 10 minutes. When I’m particularly in need of a deep clean, I apply the mask in circular motions to dry skin, which intensifies the physical exfoliation. Like all Philosophy products, this mask is easy on the olfactories (which, given its proximity to my nostrils, is a notable pro); the scent is creamy and bright, reminiscent of lemon custard. 

Shoppers who share my sebum-spurred strife love this mask, too. One reviewer calls the results “very satisfying.” Another shopper says their blackheads are “gone” after a few uses, calling the mask “perfect for the T-zone.” 

If you’re plagued by visibly packed pores, the Philosophy pore-extracting mask is worth the splurge, and even more so while it’s half price — which, friendly reminder, is only for today. Time’s ticking.

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