You may think you’ve tried everything to reduce enlarged pores and get rid of blackheads, but before you give up, check out these simple tips you might have overlooked, or simply didn’t know about. This advice could get you the trouble-free complexion you’ve always wanted!
The Truth Behind Enlarged Pores
Pores are the openings to oil glands, which are concentrated on the nose, cheeks, and forehead. Typically, people with oily skin tend to have more enlarged pores because the excess oil, or sebum, along with dirt and dead skin cells gets trapped in the pores which eventually stretches out the pores and makes them look bigger. The fact is you can’t get rid of your pores, or even shrink them, but the best way to make large pores look smaller is by keeping them clear — clogged pores appear bigger (and cause blemishes.)
1. Use a pore-refining cleanser – Look for a cleanser that sweeps away dirt and impurities with a little exfoliation action while also controlling excess oil production. And make sure to avoid bar soaps as the ingredients that keep bar soap in its bar form can clog pores. Try Olay Pore Minimizing Cleanser + Scrub.
2. Skip the astringent – Avoid using aggressive astringents and harsh acne products that contain alcohol or peroxides. According to skincare expert Paula Begoun, the alcohol and other drying, irritating skin-care ingredients tend to stimulate oil glands to over-produce oil, leading to an increase in the size of pores.
3. Absorb excess oil – If you have combination to oily skin, stop using skincare products that are too emollient (meaning thick or greasy creams) with a rich, creamy texture or contain heavy ingredients like petrolatum and mineral oil because these might clog your pores. Instead, try an oil control treatment like Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Serum that tones and hydrates while minimizing the appearance of pores and controlling shine. Another great option to keep oily shine in check is Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish.
4. Clear pores by exfoliation – Use a pore minimizing product that gently exfoliates not only on the skin’s surface but also inside the pores to clear away excessive sebum and debris. One of my all-time favorite skincare products to get rid of blackheads and stubborn clogged pores is Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA (salicylic acid) Liquid Exfoliant. It really works like magic and you can see improvement within a week of use! Anti-aging bonus: it also calms redness and builds collagen!
5. Make a Homemade Pore-Tightening Mask – Give yourself a weekly pore-purifying facial treatment by making a deep-cleansing clay mask using ingredients such as Kaolin clay or basic Fuller’s earth clay (find it at a health food store) and adding citrus, strawberries, apple cider vinegar, or rosewater.
6. Go makeup free (as much as possible!) – The more you can go without makeup, the cleaner your pores will be, and the less likely you will be to have break-outs. Secondly, skip thick foundation formulas and pick up an oil-free, lightweight foundation or tinted moisturizer. And don’t skip primer before applying your makeup that not only helps it glide on smoothly but also prevents it from settling into your pores. Most importantly, just be sure to thoroughly cleanse your face at day’s end to keep pores from getting clogged with makeup residue.
7. Treat yourself to a professional facial – Facials are not only extremely relaxing and calming, but they also deeply cleanse the pores and safely remove unpleasant blackheads, which are pores obstructed by dead skin cells.