Budget DIY Ways to Minimize Pores
Pores are a natural part of our skin that everyone has. Unfortunately, some of us may have larger pores than others and we don’t like it! That’s mostly because larger pores have the tendency to trap more oil and clog up more easily, leading to a higher chance of getting acne and pimples. Many of us would love to have smaller, tighter pores because we don’t like how they look. Unfortunately, pore sizes can’t be reduced because they are very much genetic.
What are Pores?
Pores are essentially tiny, little openings in the skin that help oil and sweat to pass into the skin from the glands they are produced from. There are two types of pores — oil pores and sweat pores.
As the name suggests, oil pores have a respective oil gland. They are larger than sweat pores and when we refer to pores we are probably talking about oil pores since these are the openings that can be seen in our skin visibly. Oil pores can be larger depending on the level of oil gland activity. If your oil glands produce more oil, your oil pores are more likely to be larger and more visible since a larger opening is needed to secrete a greater amount of oil. Oil pores are mostly found all over the skin except the hands and soles of your feet.
These pores are found all over the skin. They’re also very, very small, so small we can’t see them without a microscope! These are the pores through which our sweat gets released, hence the name sweat pores. Sweat pores don’t usually bother us because we can’t see them.
Why Do We Need Pores?
Pores are actually super important for our skin to function properly. The oil pores are the main channel through which the oil produced by the sebaceous glands can get to the surface of the skin to add moisture and lubrication. Oil, or sebum, is what keeps our skin soft, supple, and moisturized. If you shrunk the size of your pores, then not enough oil would be able to reach the surface of your skin, resulting in dry and damaged skin. Similarly, sweat pores also help your sweat to move from the sweat glands to the skin surface when your body temperature rises. The sweat that evaporates off the skin surface allows for cooling of the body, which is crucial to make sure you do not overheat. Therefore pores are really important in helping to keep our skin soft and moisturized as well as our body temperature regulated.
How Can I Minimize the Look of my Pores?
The good news is that although we cannot shrink our pores, we can most definitely minimize the appearance of them! Most of these ways involve specialised skincare products that target the cellular levels of the skin. Here are some of the common ways:
1. Use a retinoid in your skincare routine
Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that can also help with your pores by improving the rate of cell turnover. The faster the cell turnover the quicker dead skin cells are shed which prevents the buildup of dead cells that result in clogged pores and pimples. Retinoids can be bought over the counter or a prescription from a dermatologist if you have more severe acne issues.
2. Try an AHA or BHA
Acids are very effective at minimizing and cleaning our pores. There are two main types of acid — alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), and both are super effective and cleaning out your pores. Dirt, grime, and gunk form a layer between the skin surface and cells which essentially causes clogging in your pores, and hence emphasizing the look of them. Acids dissolve this layer and get rid of it from your skin. AHAs target the skin surface by resurfacing and smoothening it out. BHAs deeply penetrate the skin and draw out the gunk stuck inside your pores. It’s an especially good acid for those with naturally oilier and more acne-prone skin and the BHAs will get rid of the excess oils that cause pimples.
What if I’m on a Budget?
Skincare products are often expensive, but don’t worry there are many budget ways to minimize your pores, including some DIY ways!
1. Use fresh aloe vera
Fresh aloe vera can be very effective at tightening pores. If you’re lucky enough to grow these at home, just cut off a piece and remove the gel from inside. Apply it to your face and massage it gently for about ten minutes. You will experience a nice cooling effect. Leave it on for about ten minutes then wash it off with cold water. Your pores will look smaller and you will feel super refreshed!
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a great natural toner and astringent, meaning it can restore the pH balance of your skin. Additionally, it has other amazing benefits such as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to calm your skin and get rid of bacteria! You can use it as a toner to help diminish the look of pores. Dilute apple cider vinegar with an equal part of water and use a cotton pad or ball to apply it to your face, patting it on gently. You will see your skin is tighter and more refreshed.
Honey is one of the greatest natural skin remedies and it can basically work on almost all skin ailments! It is full of many vitamins and minerals including potassium which can help kill off bacteria that causes acne, and it also has antioxidants. Honey is a natural humectant, which is a type of moisturizer. Humectants pull in moisture from deep within the skin but do not add excess moisture that can lead to increased oiliness. It will also help to soak up the oil on your face. You can make it into a mask with yogurt, lemon, or bananas which will brighten, tighten and lift your skin! You’ll be amazed by how much smaller your pores look.
4. Egg whites
Egg whites are another incredible ingredient for tightening your skin. It also has proteins and enzymes that help to kill off bacteria. You can add some lemon juice for additional citric acid for a super powerful mask. Just whip up a couple of egg whites till frothy, then add some lemon juice and apply a thin coat to your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes till stiff then wash it off with some warm water. Be careful not to get it into your mouth though, as raw egg whites shouldn’t be consumed!
Tightening your pores doesn’t have to be an expensive thing to do. There are many natural ingredients you already have in your closet to help you!