All About Pores

I bet you want to know how to shrink your pores and make them go away. But you will not be happy with my response. Unfortunately, pore size is genetic, and there is little you can do to change them. Pore size tends to be larger on oily and darker skin types. Pores do not open or close either so all that advice to open your pores with heat and close them with cold water won't help. 

Pores are actually the openings of hair follicles and they contain sebaceous glands which is what produces oil. This is one reason that people with oily skin have larger pores. Therefore, your goal in this case would be to balance oil production.

Other things that cause pores to look bigger include sun exposure, acne, collagen loss, and the main one: picking at breakouts! 

The good news is you can minimize the appearance of pores with some simple methods. The key is consistency. You need to create a skincare routine that you follow on a daily basis. Over time, you will notice your pores will appear smaller. 

  • Regular exfoliation, either mechanical or chemical: Once a week use a scrub, cleansing powder, or mask with fruit acids or enzymes. Clay masks are also mildly exfoliating. If you use a mask you can add in exfoliating herbs or liquids

  • Clay masks: In addition to exfoliating, they pull impurities from your skin and help unclog pores. Charcoal is the most effective but it is very drying. Bentonite is next, followed by rhassoul, french green, and kaolin clays. Again, add in some exfoliating herbs or liquids like oatmeal, powdered herbs, or a few drops or sprays of any brightening product you have on hand.

  • Primers: Many makeup primers help minimize the appearance of pores and help makeup stay put (covering your pores). This is more of a cover up solution but it works.   

  • Washing daily: Seems so simple but many people don't do it. Wash on a daily basis so that your pores do not get clogged up with dead skin, dust, dirt, and makeup. Be proactive and reduce the chances of clogging your pores. However, don't over wash so you do not cause more oil production. 

  • Balance oil production with the right moisturizer. Read this blog post on acne and oily skin for more details. 

  • Facial steams:  Facial steams help loosen debris (they don't open pores) and boost circulation which helps unclog pores. Especially done before a mask they are very effective at reducing clogged pores. Facial steams should not be done more than once a week. Check out our step by step guide to facial steams. 

  • Use anti-aging products: This helps boost lowering collagen production and evens out skin tone. 

  • Toners: Spritzing a bit of toner helps balance oil production and helps cleanse the skin. Look for ingredients like floral waters, witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, willow bark, and citrus.  

  • See an aesthetician: When all else fails or if you want a more personalized approach, an aesthetician can help with those pesky pores. 

  • Diet: Similar to acne diet where the aim is to reduce inflammation in the body and provide overall balance. You want to eat a low glycemic diet and limit or avoid dairy altogether. Remember that if you have oily or acne prone skin you NEED to address products and diet, since oil and acne makes pores look bigger.