Enlarged pores are a common occurrence for some. While it’s technically impossible to permanently shrink your pores, you can make them smaller with a few tips and tricks.
Large pores can look unsightly making you feel uncomfortable. While pore size is genetic and cannot be permanently altered, there are a few things you can do to make large pores appear smaller, from practicing good skin care to getting laser treatments and using home remedies.
Cause of enlarged pores
The skin of each person is covered with fine hairs, except for the palms of the hands and feet. Each hair follicle has a pore in its upper part.
The hair follicle has a gland inside it that produces oil. It’s called the sebaceous gland. When the sebaceous gland releases oil, the oil rises to the top of the skin and accumulates in the pore.
The main reasons for enlarged pores are:
- Excessive amount of sebum: This is when a person’s sebaceous gland produces a lot of oil and oily skin appears.
- Reduced elasticity around pores: This is when the skin becomes less elastic and the pores appear enlarged.
- Increased hair follicle volume: this is when the pore at the end of the hair follicle will be clogged.
When oil collects in a pore and combines with dirt or compound, the pore can become congested. This stretches the pore making it look bigger than it is. If the pores remain clogged, a pimple may develop.
How active a person’s sebaceous glands are depends on their genes. It also depends on the size of their pores.
Having large pores is not a health problem. Pore size is purely an aesthetic consideration.
It may not be possible to get rid of large pores, but most people can reduce their appearance.
How to effectively shrink enlarged pores on the face
Keep your face clean
When pores get clogged with dirt and oil, they can appear larger and more visible. Therefore, it is very important to keep your face clean in order to minimize the amount of dirt and oil on the surface of the skin.
- Wash your face once in the morning and once in the evening. Washing too many times will dry out your skin and cause it to become irritated, making your pores look bigger.
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser (no sulfates) and use warm water instead of hot water. Gently pat (do not rub) your face dry with a clean, soft towel.
Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells that would otherwise mix with the dirt and oil on your skin’s surface, causing blocked pores.
- You should exfoliate a couple of times a week using a gentle exfoliating scrub with fine particles. Scrubs with larger exfoliating particles can be abrasive, causing micro-tears and scratches on the skin.
- Alternatively, you can use a clean washcloth to gently rub your face in small circular motions, or you can make a natural, homemade facial scrub with the ingredients in your pantry.
- If you can afford it, consider using a motorized cleansing brush that exfoliates the skin and is said to be twice as effective as washing your face by hand.
- You can also use a chemical exfoliant, such as an alpha or beta hydroxy acid, which dissolves dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliants are actually more gentle and effective.
- When shopping for a moisturizer, look for one labeled “noncomedogenic” as this means it won’t clog your pores.
- If you are prone to sensitive skin, you should stay away from moisturizers that contain colors or fragrances as these can irritate your skin.
- If you have oily skin, you can also look for a moisturizer that controls oil production.
Steam treatments are great for minimizing the appearance of pores. This is because the hot steam opens the pores and allows dirt or oil to be drawn out.
- To steam treat, boil some water and pour it into a heatproof bowl. Add a couple drops of tea tree oil if you have acne prone skin.
- Lower your face over the bowl and place a towel over your head. Let the steam come to your face for about ten minutes.
- When you’re done, wash your face and then splash with cold water. Steam does not remove oil or dirt, so rinse it off first. Then rinse your face with cold water to help close the pores.
Do not squeeze blackheads and pimples
- Acne picking can also carry bacteria from your fingers and nails, causing your acne to turn into a nasty pimple.
- If you need to remove blackheads, you must do so with a sterilized comedone extractor, which you can buy online or at a pharmacy.
- Be sure to invest in a quality tonic like witch hazel. Toners can be purchased at your local drug store. Daily use of tonic helps to shrink pores.
Use products containing retinoids.
Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A and are used in many anti-aging and acne products.
- Retinoids increase cell fluidity, which helps unclog pores and can make them less visible.
- Retinol is available in many anti-aging products sold in pharmacies and beauty stores. Tretinoin is a stronger retinoid commonly used to treat acne and is only available by prescription. You will need to speak with your doctor or dermatologist before undertaking this treatment.
Effective masks for narrowing large pores
Apply clay masks.
Clay masks can help minimize the appearance of pores by drawing out any clogged oil dirt and dead skin cells. Clay also reduces inflammation and can kill bacteria. There are different types of clay masks. People should choose the one that suits their skin type.
- Clay masks can be made from bentonite clay, fuller’s clay earth, kaolin clay and others. Each one has different absorption properties and minerals. You can talk to a beautician to determine the right type.
- Purchase a clay mask from your local medicine or beauty store, or make your own by mixing one tablespoon of bentonite clay, one tablespoon of oatmeal, and one tablespoon of water.
- Cleanse your face thoroughly, then apply the mask and leave it to sit for about 10-15 minutes until the clay becomes sticky. Your face must be…