Q: What is a good way to get rid of blackheads? Are the pore strips any good?

A: We all want our skin to look as clear as we see on the pages of ELLE — never mind that it’s an unattainable goal! But that doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to keep your skin in peak condition. For the dirt on blackheads, I contacted Dr. Victoria Taraska, a dermatologist at First Glance Aesthetic Clinic in Winnipeg. Here’s what she had to say.

“Blackheads, or comedones, have fats and oils trapped in the oil or sebaceous gland. Some people confuse large pores with blackheads. Large pores will not be changed with the pore strips. Pore strips mostly remove our fine hairs but can remove some of the sebum or oil in our glands.

“Blackheads can also be exfoliated with many different preparations. Look for products with salicylic acid, glycolic acid or retinoids. Neostrata and Reversa acne solutions can help exfoliate and prescription medication is available from your physician. A facial can also help if gentle comedonal extraction is also performed.”

Q: I am in my 30s and my sensitive skin is very dry and sore. I have tried numerous creams as well as drinking two litres of water a day to bring hydration back, but nothing seems to work. I’m concerned I’ll start to look much older than I really am. Can you help?

A: I am always a big supporter of homegrown beauty companies so it seemed natural to get in touch with Canadian brand NeoStrata Canada. One of the nation’s first cosmeceutical brands, NeoStrata develops superior skin-care solutions that really work!

Jennifer Preiato, PR Manager for NeoStrata, gives her tips on achieving healthy radiant skin.

“Dry skin is the fastest-aging skin type. However, all skin types can suffer from dehydration as we start to mature since our bodies produce less sweat and sebum. In terms of skin sensitivity, it is a condition whereby reactions to external variables (chemicals, certain preservatives in various creams) is common. What I recommend is a line of products by the makers of NeoStrata Canada called Cliniderm. These products contain no parabens, dyes, perfume, lanolin, formaldehyde or proteins, which are known to be irritating to sensitive skin types. Try the cleanser and the soothing cream for day and night.

“If your face feels tight and raw, these products will alleviate this sensation and leave your skin moisturized. I always recommend consumers consult with a dermatologist when certain skin conditions persist.”

Miss Blush, ELLE Canada’s resident beauty expert, is a woman who’s in the know when it comes to all things beauty. With an extensive network of friends ranging from celebrity makeup artists to international hairstylists, Miss B will provide trusted advice to help you celebrate your true beauty inside and out!

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