- Pore size is genetically determined.
- You can’t really shrink pores permanently, but you can minimize the appearance of pores.
- Pores allow the skin to breathe and let out sweat.
- With aging and exposure to pollutants, your pore size can increase.
- Regular cleansing, exfoliation, clay masks, etc. are ways to minimize pores.
Can you actually reduce the size of your facial skin pores? Well, the answer is both Yes and No! Pore size is genetically determined, based on the structure of the glands below the surface of your skin. Hence, though you can't really shrink them permanently, you can minimize the appearance of pores.
What Causes the Formation of Large Pores?
Pores are actually essential for our skin. They allow it to breathe and allow sweat to escape the skin. The existence of pores prevents the body from being heated up. However, with aging and exposure to pollutants, your pore size can increase. People with dry and fair skin tend to have small pores, while those with oily skin and those on the darker side tend to have more visible pores. Though one cannot shrink the pores, one can make them less noticeable.
Keep reading below for tips on how to minimize pores and make them look flawless!
Ten Tips To Minimize Your Pores
#1. Follow a Regular Cleansing Routine
The key to minimize pores is to keep them clean always. This is because your pores can stretch when they are clogged, that makes them more visible. Follow a regular cleansing and exfoliating routine. One can apply steam to open up the pores before cleansing them. Cleanse twice a day, especially at night. At the end of the day, there can be dirt build up on the skin, and hence it is essential to cleanse at night before going to sleep. Also, make it a routine to wash your face before and after a workout.
#2. Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliating with a good exfoliating scrub is crucial as it removes dead skins from the surface. Because your pores will ultimately fill back up with dead skin cells, one has to use the exfoliator of his/her choice regularly for getting the best pore-minimizing results. One can exfoliate three to five times a week if he/she has a standard, hardy skin, while those with sensitive skin can limit the exfoliating procedure to twice a week. Remember when you exfoliate, you must use an SPF product daily because exfoliating removes the dead skin cells and the skin thus becomes more sensitive to UV light.
#3. Unclog your Pores with Acids
The word "acid” may sound scary, but certain acids like alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids are the best bet when it comes to penetrating and cleaning your stubborn pores. These acids will keep them from stretching and becoming more visible. Salicylic acid is another good option that works differently. Unlike other acids, salicylic acid is oil-soluble, meaning it can penetrate deep into the pores and smoothly push out all the bacteria, dirt and other debris that clog them. Once unclogged, the pores will look much smaller in size.
#4. How about a Chemical Peel?
While a chemical peel cannot modify the pore size, it can definitely minimize their appearance and make them less noticeable. Chemical peels remove the superficial damaged layer of the skin and work underneath to tighten the pores. They can give you an instant glow. It is better to get chemical peels done at the dermatologist’s office, as they will be able to select the right type of peel based on your skin type.
#5. Clay Masks
Clay masks are another good option, as they wick out the oil from the skin's surface easily, and quickly unclog the pores. Oil build-up is a common cause for enlarged pores, and clay masks can thus be your secret weapon to prevent large pores.
#6. Ingredients to Look Out For
Look out for glycolic acid and retinoids. Glycolic acid helps to dissolve the dead skin cells and the oily secretions on the skin's surface and hence is a good option for enlarged pores. Retinoids, on the other hand, enhance cell turnover and collagen production. Higher collagen production keeps the skin firm and thereby minimizes the appearance of pores. A higher cellular turnover greatly helps in exfoliating the dead skin cells, dirt, and oil, thus giving you a flawless skin sans big pores.
#7. Things to Avoid
Avoid heavy oil-based creams and choose water-based products, even if you have dry skin. Opt for non-comedogenic skin care products and make-up that do not clog or irritate your skin. You can check with your dermatologist for pore minimizing cleansers that are gentle on the skin.
#8. Special Skin Care Procedures
For the persistent pores that do not minimize with any of the above methods, one may require special skin care procedures done by a dermatologist. Microdermabrasion is an in-office procedure that exfoliates the top layer of skin, and thereby, making it look plump. This makes your pores look very small, plus the exfoliation that is done by sloughing away the dead skin cells will increase the effectiveness of all those serums and creams as they can now penetrate deeper.
Also, various radiofrequency and micro-needling treatments can be undertaken that stimulate the production of collagen naturally, tighten the skin, enhance its texture, and minimize the pore size. Fillers and laser treatments are other options. One must talk to a dermatologist to get the best advice for such specialty treatments and select the right one based on your skin type.
#9. Do Not Use Heavy Foundation
Heavy foundation creams and make-up containing emulsifiers are a strict NO. Emulsifiers (those that are added to creams and lotions to blend oil and water like lanolin, lauric acid, etc.) can clog pores and make them look more pronounced. Opt for light make–up that are powder-based.
#10. Eat Healthy
Foods that are high in fat or contain unhealthy oils can cause inflammation of your skin, resulting in clogged pores. Hence, it is a good practice to follow a healthy diet. Avoid junk foods, and instead opt for wholesome, low-fat foods like vegetables and fruits. Try to include more lentils and pulses in your diet. Lentils are a rich source of nutrition, while pulses help to maintain a healthy balance of oil on the skin.
Some other wholesome foods include citrus fruits, cucumber, nuts (they contain omega-3 fatty acids that help to cure problems with oily skin), whole grains, fish, raw fruits and vegetables, and coconut water.
Now that you are aware of how to minimize your pores, start working on the above tips, and you will soon see your pores vanish in no time.