Enlarged pores make your skin look similar to an orange peel, and that is not exactly how you want your face to look. Unfortunately, pore size is genetically determined and cannot be permanently reduced. But, the appearance of pores can surely be reduced such that they do not appear as large as they really are.
What are Pores?
Pores are the openings of the hair follicles on your skin. At the base of each pore lies a sebaceous gland that secretes sebum, a natural oil, which lubricates, softens, and protects the skin and the hair strand growing from it. Usually, fair-skinned people have smaller pores, whereas darker-skinned people have larger pores. Also, people with dry skin appear to have smaller pores, whereas people with oily skin tend to have large pores.
How to Minimize Pores
1. Keep pores clear. Clogged pores tend to get stretched and appear larger than they actually are. Use noncomedogenic moisturizers during the day that are formulated in such a way as to keep the pores unclogged. Avoid makeup that contains ingredients such as mineral oil and petrolatum, since they tend to be heavy and occlusive. They can also irritate the pores and make them appear bigger.
Remember to cleanse your skin before going to bed so that the dirt and oil on your face is not pushed deeper into the pores. You should also cleanse before as well as after a workout, since sweat carries beauty products and dirt into the pores.
2. Exfoliate regularly. According to beauty experts at Cherie, you should exfoliate your skin at least once a week to avoid clogging your pores. Use a gentle exfoliating face wash to remove dirt, grime, and dead skin cells from your pores. A washcloth dipped in warm water can also rid the pores of dirt by forcing dirt up to the surface of the skin, from where they can be washed away using water. Products that contain alpha hydroxy acids, retinol, or fruit enzymes can be used since they have the ability to slough off the dead skin cells from the topmost layer of skin. This removes the debris lodged in this layer of skin and reveals fresher and younger skin underneath.
3. Use a toner. A toner is used to tighten the skin and control the production of oil from the sebaceous glands. Toners have astringent properties that pinch the pores closer. This makes them appear smaller. Witch hazel can also be used to make pores appear smaller.
4. Apply clay-based masks. Exfoliating or clay-based masks are very effective in tightening the pores and regulating the production of oil by the sebaceous glands. Such masks deep cleanse the skin and remove excess dirt, grime, and oil. These substances tend to block the pores and make them more visible.
5. Use pore strips. Pore strips are a quick and effective way to remove excess dirt from pores and clear them up, making them look smaller. Do not overdo this, though, since it may stretch your pores instead and make them look bigger.
6. Remove blackheads regularly. Blackheads occur when pores get clogged by sebum, which hardens and turns black on exposure to air. Blackheads make your pores visible and appear much bigger. Do not attempt to remove blackheads at home, since you may cause more harm than good. A professional beautician at a reputed salon can safely remove blackheads and clear your pores.
7. Apply a primer. Primers are lightweight and do not enter pores. They sit on top of skin, giving it a smooth and even texture. Primers act as a protective layer between your skin and your foundation. They prevent makeup from entering deep into the pores.
8. Wear light makeup. Use sheer or lightweight makeup that hides your pores and makes them appear smaller. Thick and heavy foundations settle into your pores and make them appear much larger. Apply only a minimal amount of makeup that provides the greatest coverage.
9. Try chemical peels. If you have stubborn pores that do not react to mild treatments, you may have to get chemical peel treatments done. A glycolic acid peel or a salicylic acid peel can be effective in unclogging pores and making them appear smaller.