woman using a coffee face scrub to make her pores smaller

How to make pores smaller

Noticed the pores on your face? If it’s starting to make you feel self-conscious, there are more than a few methods and products out there which have real results when it comes to minimising pores.

Before we look at how to reduce them, let’s consider what exactly pores are and why they might look particularly large.

What are pores, and why do some look bigger than others?

Pores appear all over your skin and are essentially small openings which are connected to your hair follicles. They release oil and sweat, which allows your skin to stay moisturised and your body to regulate its core temperature.

How noticeable your pores appear typically depends on a few things, most notably your skin type and genetics. Nevertheless, if you’ve recently noticed that your pores are looking more visible, it could be down to:1

  • Excessive sebum

While sebum (oil) is produced naturally in the sebaceous gland in the skin and is essential for keeping it hydrated, it’s possible to have too much. Having really oily skin may be the culprit of your large pores as it can block them up and make them grow bigger.

  • Sun damage

If you’ve been spending large amounts of time in the sun for years, it might be a contributing factor of your enlarged pores. Skin thickens with exposure to the sun which makes pores grow wider. To avoid any further damage, avoid going outside when the sun is at its highest and always wear sun protection.

  • Less elasticity in the skin

Skin that’s tight and has great elasticity is much less likely to have prominent pores. Unfortunately, as we get older, the skin becomes less elastic. This causes it to loosen and make pores seem larger.

How to make pores smaller

Wondering how you can minimise your pores? Try following these easy steps to see visible results:2
  1. Cleanse daily

Keeping your skin free from bacteria and excess oil is the most important step to securing smaller pores. Make sure you cleanse your skin morning and night using a natural cleanser and warm water. If you have oily skin, go for a water or gel-based cleanser rather than one that’s creamy or contains oil. For the best results, splash your face with warm water and slowly massage the cleanser in for around a minute before rinsing it off and patting your skin dry.3
  1. Exfoliate weekly

Exfoliating should be part of your beauty routine, regardless of whether you have large pores or not. It allows you to scrub away any dead skin cells or excess sebum which may be blocking your pores and making them appear bigger. It’s best just to exfoliate once a week and begin with a gentle scrub that doesn’t irritate your skin.

  1. Use SPF

Keeping your skin protected from the sun’s harmful rays is one key way to reduce the likelihood of enlarged pores. Invest in a moisturiser or primer which contains SPF15 or above. If it’s a particularly sunny day, you may want to switch this up for sunscreen with a higher rating.

  1. Don’t touch your face!

This final tip also applies if you are particularly prone to acne. Our hands are teeming with bacteria which can transfer straight to your pores if you frequently touch your face.4

Great products for minimizing your pores

If you’ve had the same skin care routine for months and it doesn’t seem to be making a difference to your pores, it might be time to overhaul your beauty products. Your arsenal should ideally contain:

Cleanser

No matter how basic your beauty routine is, cleanser is a must. There are loads of different ones out there, and you’ll find many which are designed for your specific skin type. If you have large pores and oily skin, don’t contribute to the excess sebum by choosing a cleanser enriched with oil.

Face scrub

This is another essential if you want to exfoliate and clean out your pores. Use a face scrub which contains salicylic acid (a natural plant-derived hormone) if you can as it’s proven to be beneficial for unclogging pores.5 It’s important you only use a salicylic acid-based scrub once a week, though, as it may dry the skin out too much if used more regularly.

Moisturiser

If you’re thinking that moisturiser might make your skin even more oily, you’re incorrect. In actual fact, excessive sebum production is one of ways your body combats dryness in the skin. By applying face moisturiser after you cleanse, your skin will stay hydrated and soft. This, in turn, will allow sebum to penetrate deeper into your pores instead of sitting on top and blocking them.6

Facemasks

Facemask work in a similar way to cleansers yet they offer a much deeper clean. They should be used once or twice a week to see results, and you typically need to leave them on for around ten minutes to allow their beneficial ingredients to penetrate the pores. You’ll discover a whole range of natural beauty face masks on our site, including the Dr. Organic Manuka Honey Face Mask which is formulated to draw out excess oil from the skin.

Want more expert tips on how to take care of your skin? Head on over to The Health Hub.

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Last updated: 9 June 2020

Sources
  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320775#eight-ways
  2. https://www.teenvogue.com/gallery/easy-tips-to-shrink-your-pores
  3. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-18-193/salicylic-acid-topical/salicylic-acid-for-acne-topical/details
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-to-get-rid-of-large-pores#moisturize
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