7 Ways to Help Minimize the Look of Pores
That said, there are also some downsides. Pores can take on a large appearance—due to anything from genetics to excess oil production—and pretty much ruin our day. Thankfully, there’s plenty you can do to help make your pores appear less obvious. (If you can’t live without them, might as well learn to manage them, right?) Keep reading to discover how to shrink the look of your pores once and for all!
1. Keep Your Face Clean
When dirt, oil, sweat and other impurities clog pores, they can expand and look larger. Kick unwanted grime and grease to the curb by cleansing daily with a gentle cleanser, up to twice per day. We recommend pairing your pH-balanced cleanser with a Clarisonic device, which can cleanse skin up to 6 times better than hands alone. Once your face is clean, be sure not to touch it! Your hands can carry bacteria and germs which can transfer onto your complexion and wreak havoc.
2. Follow Up with Toner
You really want to make sure every last bit of pore-clogging gunk is off your face, which is why following up your cleansing routine with toner can be beneficial. Try Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner. It’s formulated to visibly reduce excess oil, while leaving skin instantly fresh and healthy looking.
3. Exfoliate Regularly
It’s no secret that exfoliation can help keep dead cells on the surface of skin from clogging pores. Use a physical exfoliant (think: facial scrubs) or chemical exfoliant (think: glycolic- or salicylic acid cleanser or serum) to help slough away dead surface skin cell so pores appear less large and in charge.
Editor’s note: Want to take your pore care up a notch? Supplement at-home exfoliation with a professional facial. Celebrity esthetician—and Decleor Ambassador—Mzia Shiman recommends that everyone get facials on a regular basis, ideally once per month. Manual extractions during a facial can help remove gunk and grime out of your pores.
4. Apply a Clay Mask
Clay is one of our favorite ingredients to helpo absorb excess oil and draw out impurities that can clog pores and make them appear larger. Sub in a mask formulated with clay, like Vichy Mineral Pore Purifying Clay Mask, once or twice per week. Immediately after application, skin feels purified and soft to the touch. In one month, pores look less visible and skin is more balanced.
5. Don’t Be Afraid of Retinol
As our skin ages, the production of collagen and elastin—two necessary components of youthful-looking skin—can slow down. As a result, our pores can begin to appear larger. To help minimize these effects, consider using products formulated with anti-aging ingredients like retinol in your daily skin routine. Just remember skin can become more sensitive to sunlight, so always apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher in the AM daily.
6. Get an Instant Fix
When in doubt, fake it ‘til you make it. Temporarily camouflaging your pores can be done in a pinch thanks to the endless amount of primers, BB creams, and blurring products out there. Many of these formulas boast optical reflectors that help mattify skin so pores look smaller and smoother. For instant pore-blurrifying action, try Lancôme La BasePro Pore Eraser.
7. Wear Sunscreen
Applying sunscreen day in and day out may not make an immediate impact in the appearance of your pores, but it can certainly provide long-term benefits. Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher daily can protect your skin from signs of premature aging and even some skin cancers. Reach for a mattifying sunscreen—like SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50—since one that leaves behind a shiny finish can attract unwanted attention to your pores.