How to Minimize Pores
Simple strategies for reducing the appearance of enlarged pores with natural skin care
Posted on October 25, 2019 Written by: 100% PURE®
Next to blemishes and wrinkles, enlarged pores are one of our top nit-picking obsessions about our skin. We stare ourselves down in the mirror, seeing a million HUGE pores, wondering: “how can I make these go away?!”
While you can’t shrink the actual size of your pores, you can take steps to drastically minimize their appearance. For a soft, airbrushed complexion – without the filter – check out how to minimize pores with simple skin care strategies!
Pores are tiny hair follicle openings on the surface of you skin. Wherever you have hair, you have pores – but don’t curse the existence of your pores just yet. They secrete sebum to keep skin supple, moisturized, protected while fending off early signs of lines and wrinkles. But when your skin’s oil production levels are out of whack, your pores get easily stretched out.
Keeping your pores clean and oil production is only possible if you regularly cleanse, hydrate, and moisturize for your skin type. Dirt and other toxins can gather on the surface of your skin, leading to an uneven skin tone and blackheads. And when pores get clogged up, that’s when the dreaded acne flare-ups occur. In short: regular cleansing and care are necessary to unclog pores, and prevent the appearance of large pores and acne.
Thanks to the magic of genetics, people are actually born with different sized pores. Often, people with more oily skin will have larger pores that secrete more oil. But not so fast: even people born with smaller pores can suffer from the appearance of enlarged pores!
We’d love to reduce pore size across the board, but there’s one important thing to remember: pores are part of your genetic code, and their size cannot be changed. However, you can make them LOOK smaller!
While sebum keeps skin moisturized and smooth, stress can cause skin to produce more oil than it needs. This is caused by an increase in stress hormones due to lack of sleep, stress, and anxiety. The oil piles around the edge of your pores, weighs them down, and stretches them out for a more enlarged appearance.
The same happens when dirt settles on your skin, which is why you must always cleanse properly. If you don’t remove dirt and makeup, these foreign particles will make pores look larger. They will also create an uneven canvas, making it difficult to get a smooth, seamless makeup application.
Enlarged pores also naturally occur with seasonal changes and aging as your skin loses elasticity, and thickens from accumulated sun damage. That means even people with dry skin can suffer from the appearance of enlarged pores! With that in mind, we’ve formulated pore-minimizing cosmetic products that work for all skin types.
Cleanse Every Day
Washing your face is important for clearing away surface debris, which eventually clogs the pores. You want a cleanser to sweep away makeup, dead skin cells, oil, bacteria, and toxins, to start. Choose a cleanser with natural ingredients that won’t strip your skin, made without sulfates and detergents.
Our Tea Tree & Willow Acne Clear Cleanser checks every box for oily, acne-prone, and large-pore complexions. It sweeps away unwanted impurities and soothes red, inflamed skin with calming witch hazel and willow. This cleanser uses salicin – a gentler alternative to salicylic acid – to help purge and unclog pores.
For a deeply detoxing option, the skin-purifying Charcoal Clay Cleanser is your best bet. Activated charcoal powder, bamboo charcoal, and kaolin clay act like magnets to draw buildup from clogged pores, while banishing excess oil. The base of algae extract and essential oils make it a potent cleanser that won’t strip or dehydrate skin.
Exfoliating a few times a week removes dead skin buildup, which causes pores to stretch out. Make sure you choose a nourishing exfoliator or scrub with no harsh synthetic exfoliants: enter the award-winning Acai Pulp Facial Scrub. This facial scrub harnesses the power of grape seeds and acai pulp to buff away bumps, flakes, and surface toxins.
Don’t have an exfoliating formula handy? Use a Charcoal Konjac Sponge with your favorite gel or cream cleanser, to help freshen and brighten your skin. Detoxifying bamboo charcoal and konjac clear impurities from your pores for smoother skin, and are gentle enough for sensitive skin. Just add a dime sized amount of cleanser to the surface of your wet sponge, and buff away your skin woes.
Use a Powder Cleanser
The detoxifying and pore-refining Pore Herbal Detox Powder Cleanser thoroughly washes away impurities and blackheads for less visible pores. This cleanser is a great alternative to popular glycolic acid products, which can be irritating for some skin types. It sloughs away dead skin and excess oil while gently exfoliating for a smoother, brighter complexion.
This purifying herbal cleanser targets enlarged pores by gently exfoliating your skin, while flushing away pore-clogging toxins. The result is a reduction in oil, shine, and a minimized appearance to pores. It’s all thanks to mineral-rich green clay, antibacterial and detoxifying herbs, and nourishing botanicals.
PRO TIP: Note that this cleanser is specifically designed to target oily skin, breakout-prone skin, and congested or enlarged pores. If you have dry or sensitive skin, patch test this formula to decide if it’s gentle enough for your delicate skin.
Not all ingredients are pore-loving. In fact, the wrong products with the wrong ingredients might actually be contributing to your pore build-up. That’s why we included two pore-refining superstars, straight from Mother Earth. Introducing the pore-reducing dream team: dandelion root and coneflower.
Dandelion root’s detoxifying properties help to purge toxins and oils from the pores. These can accumulate and clog the pores, causing them to look larger than they are. This magical root also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles and tone unbalanced skin. Coneflower tackles pore-clogging bacteria with its antimicrobial properties, plus bonus healthy proteins and oils that help lock in hydration.
Tone More Often
Using a toner – or more specifically, an astringent – is a great way to minimize pores. They shrink pores by constricting them, which also stops the secretion of excess sebum. Astringents can also dry out excess oil in the skin, thanks to their component of alcohol or witch hazel. For those of us that are breakout prone, astringents can reduce acne with their antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
The main reason we love retinol in our pore-minimizing routine is because it shrinks pores by resurfacing skin. By stimulating skin cell turnover, retinol cleans old debris and dead skin that have been deep-set in pores. As we know, a clogged pore is a BIG looking pore – and retinol can clarify without leaving you skin tight or dry.
To use a nighttime retinol treatment to shrink pores, you have a few options. Try a high potency retinol balm for targeted, intensive results. A retinol cream will deliver deep moisture, while a retinol serum gives a lightweight finish and pore-minimizing effect.
*Retinol is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult your doctor for more information.
Cycle In a Caffeine Mask
Another pore-refining hero is caffeine, which constricts the pores to them appear tighter. Using a caffeine mask with ingredients like green coffee, coffee cherry, black or green tea will do the trick. Try a DIY mask made with coffee grounds and apple cider vinegar, for a dual approach to excess oil and pore minimizing.
Always Wear Sunscreen
A mandatory step after using pore-minimizing retinol is to add on a layer of sunscreen the next morning. Since retinol helps to create new skin, it can leave the new cells on our faces vulnerable to sunlight. Be sure to use your retinol products in the evening, and layer on the SPF the next day for good measure.
Sunscreen helps to minimize pores because it protects the qualities in our skin cells that maintain youth and tightness. Overexposed skin has a leathery look, because UV exposure degrades collagen and elastin in the skin. When UV exposure damages your skin’s matrix of collagen and elastin, pores also become more relaxed.
When your collagen and elastin levels drop, so will your skin – literally. These key elements of youthful skin keep things firm and perky, including your pores. So before you step out every single day, be sure to protect your skin’s matrix and pores with a natural sunscreen. We recommend you wear sunscreen made with physical UV blockers like zinc oxide, to protect the skin from environmental pollutants.
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