Minimize Your Pores the Dermatologically-Proven Way
Before we get into this, let’s get this hard fact out of the way.
You can’t shrink your pores.
You really can’t. Sorry, we don’t make the rules, that’s just how the skin works. There is no magical formula or serum or cosmetic procedure that can literally make your pore size smaller. No matter what a phony cosmetologist or prettily-packaged product tells you. You can’t shrink your pore size.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk a bit more about pores. The reason why you can’t shrink your pores is simple — your pore size is genetic, it is inbuilt into your unique DNA. Like it or not, you don’t have control over how large these openings in your skin are. And that’s totally okay. You didn’t lose out on the genetic lottery by having larger pores, that’s just how your skin is and it’s perfectly normal. But what you can do is minimize the appearance and visibility of your pores. While you can’t change the size, there are plenty of ways that we can keep our pores clean and prevent them from being too obvious.
Let’s use a simple analogy. Take a wide seashore, for example, miles and miles of smooth white sand. And this stretch of sand has many small holes of the same size dug into it. Some holes are filled with seaweed and other stuff, while others are not. Let’s say you are flying in a helicopter from high above. Which holes are more obvious? The ones with stuff in it of course! The empty holes are much less obvious and visible. That’s how pores work. If there is dirt, grime, oil, or dead skin cells clogged up inside they are going to appear much more visible on your skin! Hence, there are a few steps to minimizing the look of pores: unclogging, cleaning, tightening, and de-emphasizing.
Unclogging Your Pores
Use an acid
A key step in unclogging your pores is using an acid, many dermatologists will advise. Acids are pretty popular and for very good reason! 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 are like a clingy ex, super hard to get rid of without some extreme intervention. It forms a layer between the skin surface and cells which essentially causes clogging in your pores, and hence emphasizing the look of them. Acids help by dissolving this layer of stuff and getting 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.
Cleaning Your Pores
Double cleanse your skin
If you are someone who wears makeup on the reg, chances are your makeup will cause even more clogging in your pores. It isn’t enough to merely use one round of makeup remover because you’re unlikely to get rid of a lot of residue. If you wear makeup, go for a double-cleansing method at night. Use micellar water or oil-based makeup remover to remove your makeup as much as possible. Once you have removed your makeup, cleanse once more with a gentle cleanser to remove the residue and any other stuff that might remain. The second cleanser should be something very gentle and preferably non-foaming so you do not over-cleanse your skin.
Deep-clean with a clay mask once a week
Clay masks are super effective at deep cleaning your pores in a way that your daily cleansing doesn’t do. Set aside one night a week, maybe the weekend, to pamper yourself and your pores with a deep-cleansing clay mask! Clay masks are super good at unclogging your pores by pulling out the dirt and grime deep within. Did you know that gunk in your pores can make them look five times larger? Ew! So get yourself a clay mask, such as a mud mask, kaolin clay mask, or French green clay one, and slather it all over your face. Leave it on until it hardens, take some cute selfies, then wash it off with some wash water! You’ll see a noticeable difference in the visibility and of your pores.
Tightening Your Pores
Retinoids are another holy grail skincare product for a reason. These vitamin-A derivatives are touted for their many benefits including anti-aging. They’re also excellent for tightening your pores and preventing acne formation. Retinoids work by speeding up the rate of your skin cell turnover, meaning dead skin cells are shed faster so they do not clump up and clog your pores. The only downside of retinoids is since they are quite strong you have to build up a tolerance to it. You might experience some itching and redness during the first week or so, but as your skin gets more used to it you will start to see the benefits of it! Use it on alternate days that you use your acids, and apply it only at night as it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
De-Emphasizing Your Pores
Steer Clear of Shimmery Base Makeup
We all love a gorgeous luminous glow, but unfortunately, shimmer and pores just don’t go together! Glitter and shimmer only emphasize and draw attention to pores, as the shimmer creates more contrast against the pores. Especially shimmer in base makeup such as foundation, powder, highlighter, and blush. If you are trying to draw less attention to your pores, you’re better off using a matte finish for your base so that your pores don’t look so obvious. If you love shimmer and glitter, keep it to the tops of your cheekbones and tip of your nose where the light hits naturally. You can also use more of it on your eyelids if you really love glitter!
These four easy steps will ensure your pores not only look good but feel good! Having clean pores is one way to prevent acne from forming, so be diligent about your pore hygiene!