A Harris Poll sponsored by L’Oréal found that 23 percent of women said they would give up their favorite cocktails for a year just to have smaller pores. If this is your own resolution as well, there might be no need for that because in this article you will be learning some few but simple steps on how you can reduce those daunting pores on your face and have that nice looks you so much desire.
Don't skip exfoliation
When dead skin cells pile up, they can creep into your pores, making them look larger and more pronounced, says dermatologist Shari Marchbein, MD. The easiest way to make sure that doesn't happen? Exfoliate two to three times a week. If you're prone to breakouts or have oily skin, look for a product containing a category of chemical exfoliants known as beta hydroxy acids, like salicylic acid, which also help dissolve sebum and buildup. For normal to dry skin types, try an alpha hydroxy acid, which exfoliates your skin by breaking up the bonds that hold your cells together, so the dead ones can easily and gently be washed away.
Unclog with face masks
News flash! When your pores are clean and free of any built-up gunk, they look much smaller. And wearing a charcoal- or clay-based mask for 15 minutes will work like a charm. Both ingredients act like magnets to draw impurities, bacteria, and oil out of your pores. Masking once or twice a week will help keep them clear.
Use retinol consistently
Retinol is a miracle ingredient for many reasons. But when it comes to pores, there are two main reasons it's a dermatologist favorite. First, it has the ability to increase cell turnover. The skin cells on your body naturally shed about every 90 days, but consistent retinol use speeds up this process. The second reason to use retinol for your pores is because it boosts your collagen production. Collagen is your natural skin plumping protein, but over time it breaks down. This is a problem because "collagen strengthens the walls of your pores, making them look tighter," says Dr. Marchbein. If you're new to retinol, start using it once a week and slowly work your way up to every night.
Steam your skin
Cecilia Wong, a holistic aesthetician and owner of Cecilia Wong Skincare, suggests opening up pores and removing debris, oil, and other impurities with an herbal facial steam. To do this at home, combine hot water, fresh red rose petals, lavender, pansy, rosemary, basil, and mint in a large bowl. Cover the top of the bowl with a dish towel for five minutes, then remove the towel and slowly move your face over the steam. Inhale the aromatic scent, and remain under the towel for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the steam to bring oxygen and moisture to your face while cleansing pores. Afterward, rinse with tepid water, and pat dry.
Exposure to UVA and UVB rays creates free radical damage, which slows down cell production. "Slow cell production forces your skin to work harder," says Shawn Solomon, a paramedical aesthetician and owner of Thornhill Skin Care. "In turn, the stratum corneum, skin's outer layer, thickens, and this can make the pores look large and ruddy."
Book a spa day
One of the most popular professional treatments for achieving a youthful complexion with petite pores is microdermabrasion, says Maria Rianna, lead esthetician at White Tea Med Spa in New York City. This procedure works by peeling off the outermost layer of skin, abrading the blackheads off, and using suction to effectively pull out the remaining dirt and hardened oil from the pores. When the trapped oil reaches the surface, the pores return to their natural (smaller) shape since there's nothing inside to enlarge them. The procedure also stimulates collagen production and increases elasticity, which is essential for keeping pores tight. Other salon treatments like laser resurfacing and light chemical peels can also strip pores of debris and tighten them.
Wipe down post-workout
This prevents sweat from clogging pores, says California-based dermatologist Michael Lin, M.D. Keep towelettes, like these from Garnier, that are moistened with gentle cleansers and salicylic acid in your gym bag to make washing your face more convenient.