How to Shrink Your Pores with the 60 Second Rule


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 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. Today’s skin care blog post is going to be all about shrinking your pores.

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. However, this cleansing oil is my favourite and you can find my full Hada Labo Oil Cleanser review here!

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! 

How does the 60 Second Rule work?

My guess is that really having that extra time, instead of going, “Oh my mascara’s dissolved now? I’m done,” really helps cleanser melt down into pores and dissolve whatever’s hanging out in there. Even if you’re not a frequent makeup wearer, there are other factors on your skin that could be causing skin problems—whether it’s product residue, or even just grime from the day not being washed off properly. Yuck! 

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?” this technique is more than just a really, really good way to remove makeup—it’s amazing for your skin.

How do you actually do it?

How do you use 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. 

The 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. 

The changes in my skin were subtle, but totally worth it for doing something that doesn’t necessarily involve buying a new product. My skin was soft like you would expect after exfoliating—with no exfoliating necessary! For me, this is a big deal. Because I already use Retin-A, I avoid exfoliating products like scrubs and acids like the plague. It’s way too easy to overdo it with my skin and leave it completely over-exfoliated with dry, peeling bits—no thank you! Obviously, I don’t think any exfoliating is happening here, just super-thorough, but gentle cleansing. 

The other thing I noticed (and again, is also a big deal for me) is that my pores looked a lot smaller. As always, it’s important to mention that you cannot change the size 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. If you want to know how to shrink pores, that’s technically impossible—but what you can do is minimize any gunk build up to ensure that they look as empty (and small!) as possible. That’s where the 60 Second Rule really helps!

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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