The 60 Second Rule: How it Shrinks Your Pores


Have you ever paid any attention to how long you actually wash your face for? 

I know a full minute doesn’t sound like a long time at all, but have you ever set a timer for a minute and then washed your face? 

I tried with the very scientific method of counting “One Mississippi two Mississippi…” and found that I was probably washing my face for only twelve seconds at the most. I mean, with the right cleansing oil/face wash combo that’s all the time that I needed – or so I thought.

Here’s the thing – there’s a direct link between shrinking pores and cleansing your face properly. It just relies on this one rule: the 60 second rule. 

What is the 60 Second Rule?

The 60 Second Cleansing Rule is the idea that you should take a whole minute to massage cleanser into the skin to ensure that it’s completely clean and free of impurities, and perfectly prepped for your skin care routine.

What I think is the best thing about this ‘rule’ is that it can work into any skin care routine for every skin type. No matter if your skin is dry, oily, acne-prone—what really hinges on the technique working for you is the type of cleanser that you use. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Hada Labo Cleansing Oil, but there are plenty of other products that would work just as well with this method to shrink pores and cleanse skin. 

However, what I think is what really key is using something that is oil-based—whether that’s an oil cleanser, sherbet cleanser, or cold cream. You’ll want something with enough slip to feel comfortable on your skin, plus I just don’t think you’ll get as good results from something that’s not necessarily oil-based. However, I’m not saying that you won’t get results at all—I just have a hunch that oil-based cleansers will work a bit better! 

Does This Really Shrink Pores Naturally?

Now, I’m not claiming this technique can make pores that are stretched out or damaged magically close up again. However, if you have pores on and alongside your nose that you wished would be a little less noticeable (like me), I strongly suggest this technique as a pore minimiser technique.

The reason that pores look visible is because they naturally fill up with oil. Massaging an oil cleanser on your skin helps to grab that extra oil out of your pores, clearing them gently and minimising their appearance. Doing it for the full 60 seconds maximises this effect to keep those pores clean!

Who came up with the 60 Second Rule?

Honestly, I don’t know—but as soon as I saw the hashtag popping up on social media and all the support it was getting from pretty much everyone, I knew it had to be good. So naturally, I gave it a go. 

While I am encouraging the use of it with a cleansing oil, there’s nothing that says you can’t do it with your regular cleanser to get results. However, pretty much every single thing that I’ve read online about it recommends an oil based cleanser (which I agree with) so if you haven’t got a cleansing oil yet, this is a great reason to finally pick one up. In case you’re thinking “wait, I don’t wear makeup. Why do I need an oil cleanser?”

How to Minimise Pores with the 60 Second Rule

How do you actually do the 60 Second rule? Well, it’s pretty simple and is exactly what it sounds like. I love that it doesn’t require anything other than your hands, like a Foreo or other ‘ultrasonic’ cleansing device. 

As always, if you’re using a sherbet cleanser or cleansing oil, you’ll want to massage it onto a dry face.  Get Alexa to set a timer for a minute, or if you’re uber scientific like me, you can count it out. 

Counting “one-one thousand, two-one thousand…” does take me a little bit over a real minute (I set a timer one day out of curiosity) but it’s still the perfect amount of time to do it’s magic. There isn’t a makeup product that will survive a whole minute of oil massage—even the most stubborn waterproof mascaras

It’s incredibly important to be gentle with this—it’s a lot of face contact, you don’t want to be scraping and scratching around on your face! 

Just gently massage, ensuring that you’re getting right to your hairline and to your neck if you wear makeup. I also like to take the time to focus on my problem areas—for me, that’s my nose. My pores there are very visible and this method goes a long way to making them look like I just did a clay mask.  

After massaging for a minute, rinse away with lukewarm water and use your second cleanser. Don’t forget to check if you’re using your second cleanser properly, too. It’s up to you if you want to use your second cleanser for a full minute, but I find that around thirty seconds is enough for me. 

Should I Feel Grits On My Skin?

I’ve heard of a few people massaging their skin so much that they get ‘grits’ out. These are more felt than seen – they’re like smallish grains of sand. I’ve personally never experienced this in all my years of double cleansing!

If you don’t either, that’s totally okay; you don’t have to feel grits on your skin to know that you’ve massaged the cleansing oil on your skin for long enough. 

There are conflicting opinions on whether these are actually clogs that have been dislodged, or balls of lint/dust that have come together thanks to the massaging motions on your skin. 

What Products Do You Recommend to Shrink Pores?

When I first started using this technique in 2020, my go-to products were the Hada Labo Gokujyun Cleansing Oil and the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser. This combination is super gentle and suitable for most skin types – even though I have oily skin, I actually haven’t yet tried the Cetaphil Foaming Cleanser!

Generally, any sorbet, balm, or oil cleanser will do for the first step. Other ones I’ve tried & recommend for this step include the Heimish All Clean Balm and Elemis Cleansing Balm.

For the second step, your usual cleanser should work, too! Other cleansers I’ve tried that I’d consider perfect for the 60 second rule include the Tailor Gel Cleanse or Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel

60 Second Rule: My Results

I have to say, I was really impressed with the change in my skin after I started the 60 Second Rule. For some backstory, I’m still a tiny bit prone to random blackheads even though my acne is largely under control. I also deal with very visible pores on my nose and cheeks that I wish were less noticeable. 

What I love about this technique is my pores always look smaller afterwards, since I’ve removed removing a day’s build up of sebum, sunscreen, and makeup. 

It’s important to mention that you cannot change the actual size (depth) of your pores. What you can change is how they look. In my personal experience, what changes how they look is how much sebum is in them and how hydrated my skin is. 

The other benefits of super-clean skin? Well, the cleaner your skin is (without being stripped!) the better it can take advantage of your full skincare routine. There’s no dead skin cells or lingering makeup in the way so your skincare can absorb better—now I call that a win-win! 

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