So you’ve successfully beat acne! Now you’re left with huge open pores which make you look older than you are and make you feel as uncomfortable as if you still had acne.
Our appearance is always one of the most important aspects of our appearance that we focus on because it’s the first impression we make when meeting new people. Nobody wants to be unconfident because of it specifically if it’s preventable or treatable!
There are various factors that contribute to pore size such as genetics, environmental damage, aging, gender and UV exposure. The risk of you having larger pores is also amplified if you have had acne in the past too. Although we can’t make them disappear, we can reduce their size. Let’s get into 10 ways you can reduce pore size.
1. Cleansing and exfoliating routine
The first step in every skin routine should be a cleansing routine using a good cleansing product. Cleanse your face every morning or evening before you go to bed.
Additionally, it’s important to exfoliate your skin with a facial cleansing brush. We’re big fans of exfoliation and have written about it here and here for more details on how to properly exfoliate for the best results. Essentially it mechanically removes sebum, dirt and toxins to improve skin texture and close pores. Remember to moisturize at the end (see tip number 6 below).
Clogged pores often appear to be larger than they are, and by removing any blockages you will effectively close up these pores. Although counterintuitive, steaming your face once or twice a week will open up your pores to help you remove impurities, dirt and toxins.
How to steam your face
- Boil a small pot of water and remove from heat source
- Hold your face over the bowl and place a towel over your head and shoulders to help the steam go towards your face.
- You can add any kind of herbal tea or if you have acne, add a few drops of tea tree oil which has acne-fighting properties.
- After you’ve steamed your face for 5-10 minutes, rinse with lukewarm water and dry with a clean towel.
3. Choosing the correct skincare products
Products that contain retinol (a derivative of vitamin A) or salicylic acid help to unclog pores and make them look smaller. Retinoids essentially increase cell turnover by chemical exfoliation to unclog pores which in turn makes pores look smaller.
Additionally, other product ranges that can ease irritation and prevent pores from expanding include ingredients like Aloe Vera, tea tree, rosemary and lavender.
If you are not sure about the products that you are thinking to buy, we have a list of natural essential oil recipes that prevent acne and reduce pore size.
4. Clay Face Masks
Clay is a natural, quite literally earthy ingredient with a whole host of minerals. These mineral were deposited from the gradual weathering of rocks over millions of years. Minerals found in clay include iron, calcium, magnesium, and sodium to name a few. This composition varies from different geographical locations across the world (we’ve written about the benefits of Dead Sea minerals here).
Clay masks are excellent at drawing out water and absorbing excess oils from your skin. This, in turn, gives you a tightening sensation and leaves the skin smoother, with an evener skin tone with the ultimate benefit visibly smaller pores.
Additionally, one of the many key benefits of clay masks is that they are safe for all skin types, ages, and genders. Clay masks are also great for acne and we have listed our favorites here.
5. Wear sunscreen
The face is the most exposed part of the body and gets the worst of the elements. This can manifest itself as enlarged pores. To illustrate this point you likely aren’t reading this article if you have enlarged pores on your arms or legs which remain covered most of the year!
It is vital to protect our skin from the sun’s rays, especially our face. Too much sun exposure makes our skin less supple making the pores look bigger. The sun’s rays can even reach you through clouds so wearing sunscreen with an adequate SPF rating is vital. Most health organizations recommend SPF30, especially on sunnier days.
Moisturizing adequately helps keep skin hydrated, supple and soft whilst maintaining a visibly healthy look. A good moisturizer containing retinol, aloe vera or other skin friendly essential oils can help do this whilst keeping you pore size in check!
Although you don’t necessarily need essential oils you can use a normal oil based moisturizer available from your local drug store.
7. Don’t sleep with make-up on (and Sleep well)
By now you must know that clogged pores are the enemy of good skin! Sleeping with makeup on means that your pores will be clogged with synthetic cosmetics which can in some people cause acne and enlarged pores.
Always remove your makeup with wipes and cleanse your face afterward. This goes even when you have been partying hard. Sorry ladies!
8. Eat a balanced diet
Keeping pores unclogged, healthy and happy is also linked to your diet. Unhealthy oils and fats can cause inflammation on your skin.
Opting for a balanced diet with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables will help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.
Additionally, a diet with adequate amounts of Vitamin A helps collagen (the protein that keeps skin elastic) regeneration and reduces pore size. It’s important not to overdo this as excess Vitamin A has been linked to hair loss
9. Avoid Environmental Damage
Our surrounding environment is something we give little thought to when we think about reducing pore size and skincare as a whole. However, it is a large factor in reducing your pore size if you live in extremes of hot and cold weather or are exposed to modern chemicals.
Environmental damage to your skin can be categorized into three groups. This includes physical, chemical and biological.
Physical factors include: Sunlight, extremes in weather like the heat or cold
Chemical factors include: City smog, pollutants in water, cigarette smoke, household cleaners, and solvents
Biological factors include: Insect bites, bacteria, fungi and various pollens
Exposure to these factors breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin. With the absence of these proteins, your skin tends to become less elastic and more susceptible to visibly larger pores.
10. Stick to a routine
Okay, so this last point is fairly abstract but very important. Keeping disciplined and consistent in keeping a skincare routine is key to achieving healthy, smooth and clear skin.
It’s important to understand that these skincare changes can take sometimes to show on your skin. This is due to the many factors that contribute to healthy looking skin and enlarged pores.
Staying consistent is a large factor in the results you see not only with your skincare routine but also in life.
Final Thoughts On How To Reduce Pore Size
Enlarged pores will always be a beauty concern and people will always be willing to pay for expensive products that claim to reduce them.
This doesn’t need to be the case if we can educate ourselves with the right research on how pores enlarge in the first place and then conversely how to reduce pore size.
Before you go and spend money on a magical products that claim to reduce pore size overnight, remember that it is entirely natural to have small holes on our skin.
Good luck and let me know in the comments how it goes!