Looking for a guide on how to minimize pores? The appearance and size of your pores depend on a few different factors such as your genetics, skin type, overall sun exposure and age. And, despite their size, they serve an important role in your skin. According to dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank, M.D, “pores allow the skin to breathe, and are the passageway between the inside of the body and the outside.”
The point, pores are necessary for our skin – however, they can still be made less noticeable, and doing so is not as hard as you think. Here are 13 tips based on expert dermatologist advice on how to shrink your pores.
1. Stop Using The Magnifying Mirror
No one can see your porse the way you see them close up in the mirror. What you might see as large, oversized pores is normal skin to everyone else. That being said, the first step in dealing with your pores is mental – but the following steps are real and effective ways to reduce the size of your pores.
2. Practice A Daily Cleanse
According to Dr. Frank, “Daily cleansing and regular exfoliation are the best ways to keep pores clean.” Essentially, pore free of debris are going to be much harder to see. Cleansing helps open your pores so you can get everything out. Dr. Frank recommends heat and steam as the best method for opening pores, or to try a warm washcloth to your face before cleansing.
When it comes to cleansing, you can cleanse once or twice a day – however if you choose to cleanse once a day be sure to do so at night as your skin will have buildup from dirt, makeup, and other debris acquired throughout the day.
3. Take A Collagen Supplement
Collagen works with your skin to naturally tighten its outer surface, reducing the overall size and appearance of your pores. Your skin naturally produces collagen starting a birth, however, as you age your collagen levels begin to deplete – this results in signs of aging such a wrinkles, dry skin, and even larger pores. Aiding in your body’s natural collagen production, by supplementing the collagen that it is no longer creating, helps plump, and firm your skin, reducing the size of your pores and giving it a more youthful appearance.
4. Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face
Unless you are practicing your skincare routine, keep your hands away from your face. The bacteria on your hands can get on your skin and into your pores – so it is best to avoid touching your face all together. Also, do not pick your face. Picking at clogged pores can anger your blemishes, causing further bleeding, scabbing, and scarring.
5. Wear A Primer with SPF
Be sure to use a sunscreen that protects your skin from harmful UV Rays. Dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse, M.D. explains, “UV and pollution cause free radicals that break down the collagen and elastin in skin, making the skin less tight and [making] pores look larger.”
While many SPF formulas are shiny, making your pores look larger, primers that contain SPF are a great solution because they matify the face, while providing protection from the sun.
6. Get A Chemical Peel
This in-office treatment will improve the size and shape of your pores over time. These new generation of peels work underneath your skin’s surface to provide an instant glow without making your skin looks worse before getting better.
7. Use a Retinoid Cream
Whether an over the counter retinoid or prescription strength, retinoid cream helps boost your skin cell turnover, adding health to the life of your pores. Your pores will be smaller in size in just a few weeks of consistent use.
8. Apply A Clay Mask For Unclogging Pores
Clay masks work to quickly unclog your pores by removing excess oil build up. According to Dr. Schults, oil build up can make your pores look up to five times larger than normal, making this an essential practice a few times a week.
9. Include A Scrub Once A Week
Dr. Frank explains, “incorporating a scrub into your skincare regimen is also beneficial. Just be careful not to over-exfoliate the skin—a scrub once a week is fine.”
With this in mind, you can look for a gentle exfoliate. Neal Schultz, M.D. explains, “Though exfoliation is important for ridding the skin of dead cells, you can end up irritating it (if you use a rough exfoliator), which can lead to swelling that causes your pores to appear even larger.”
10. Look For Glycolic Acid in Skincare Products
Dr. Shultz states, “My favorite ingredient for treating enlarged pores is glycolic acid because it works the best at dissolving dead cells and absorbing oil.” He also makes a point to include lactic acid, stating, “lactic acid is the weaker sister to glycolic and can be equally effective.”
11. Avoid Oil-Based Creams
Using heavy oils and oil-based creams, even natural oils like coconut or olive, clogs your pores – regardless of whether or not you have dry skin. Dr. Shultz explains that oil-heavy products mix with your dead skin cells and congest your pores. With this in mind, it’s best to avoid this all together and choose a water-based product instead.
12. Use A Oil Cleanser
Despite the last tip, do not be afraid to use an oil-based cleanser. Facial oil dissolves better in oil than it does in water. For those who have oily or combination skin, try a cleansing milk. For those with dry skin, use a small amount of a balm-like product that can add moisture while cleaning out pores. If you’re lost on a where to start, try consulting your dermatologist about the best product to use.
13. Don’t Use Shimmery Makeup
While this may not shrink your pores, avoiding shimmery makeup will help with their overall appearance. Dermatologist Noelle Sherber, M.D. explains, “I often see patients wearing 'luminizing' makeup all over their face, which spotlights enlarged pores. Keep shimmery makeup limited to the areas of the face that naturally have small pores (the tops of the cheekbones, the upper bridge of the nose, the forehead by the hairline, and the eyelids), and use matte products on any areas with larger pores. This will draw the eye to the smoothest areas of your skin.”