How To Minimize Pores
In 2 Easy Steps
How to minimize pores - Refined, small pores are clear pores. The steps on this page will help shrink your pores AND improve your skin overall!
These steps will also help balance oil production - so they're also extremely beneficial for breakouts, acne and blackheads in general.
And don't miss the video at the end on how to make any sized pores instantly disappear (with make up, but hey, it works!)
A Quick Note On Pore Size
Your actual pore size is determined by genes - this is what contributes to your underlying 'skin type'.
- If your pores are small or barely visible you have a dry skin 'type', and most likely struggle with hydration, sensitivity and/or fine lines.
- If your pores are visible with an oily or combination 'type' you likely struggle with acne, breakouts and shine. The larger a pore is, the more oil it produces (obviously!).
Your natural pore size can be enlarged by factors like excess amounts of sebum from unbalanced skin, sun damage and aggravation (more details below).
Minimizing this outcome is the aim. Naturally larger pores won't disappear altogether - but you can make a significant improvement in their appearance by refining them and keeping them clear.
How To Minimize Pores
The most important tip in minimizing and refining pores is consistency.
Improvement can happen quickly (sometimes in 7days), but long term changes only happen with consistent steps - the good news is that results are cumulative so your skin will continue to get better and better!
The 2 steps to minimize pores are as follows:
- Clear your pores and keep them clear - this is simple but in reality can be hard to achieve!
- Use products that work to refine your skin daily with consistent exfoliation. This reduces, refines and strengthens pores.
Step 1) Clear Your Pores and Keep Them Clear
Oil and dirt build up makes pores appears larger, as it stretches them slightly.
Blackheads are also very common, and as they are essentially a 'plug', they can cause a pore to enlarge - which is why often after squeezing a blackhead you're left with a hole that doesn't shrink!
Here are tips for clearing your pores and keeping them clear:
- Do a double cleanse in the evening. The first will remove make up and the day's build up. The 2nd will really clean your skin.
- Massage your cleanser in for at least 30seconds, and concentrate on congested and oily areas.
- Use a cleanser with AHA's and/or BHA's, which actually dissolve oil and dead skin cells instead of just moving them around. They also get right into and deeply cleanse pores, not just the surface of your skin.
- Important tip - very often your moisturizer can be the hidden culprit. The best cleansers and exfoliators can't do their jobs properly if the wrong moisturizer negates their benefits. Often, by getting this step right, you will finally clear your skin up properly. Use an oil free, non comedogenic moisturizer, and see the difference this can make to your skin quite quickly.
Step 2) Use Consistent Exfoliation To Refine and Minimize Pores
This step refines pores and helps to prevent breakouts, get rid of blackheads, and brighten your complexion!
Use salicylic acid on a consistent basis, preferably daily depending on your skin's tolerance.
Salicylic acid (a BHA) is oil soluble so it has the ability to get right into pores, dissolving oil and dead skin cells. Used consistently this allows your pores to reduce to their normal size
It also increases healthy skin cell turnover. This helps to tighten and refine pores, improving their structure and appearance. Here's how to use it:
- Use a product with 2% salicylic acid daily. With this consistent but gentle exfoliation, pores will clear quickly and continue to refine as you keep using it.
- It's easy to apply in the evening after cleansing. As well as exfoliation it also deeply cleanses skin, acting similar to a toner which will remove all last traces of make up, dirt and oil your cleanser may have missed.
- Salicylic acid controls and rebalances oil production, which keeps pores smaller. This also helps prevent breakouts and blackheads.
- Optional - a heavier peel done monthly can also make a big difference in the appearance of pores, acting like a 'boost' to clear skin by sloughing off a good layer. Either glycolic or salicylic acid work well, for more details and help you can read my ultimate guide to home skin peels here.
The Things That Can Enlarge Pores...
- Don't use grainy scrubs - these do micro damage to skin and end up weakening it's structure, so pores can become enlarged more easily
- Sun damage breaks down the structure of skin and dries it out. The rays get deep into the structural layers and affect collagen. Skin looses it's flexibility, support, and 'springiness' - pores can't bounce back as well and may stay that way
- Too much heavy make up - this can sit in pores and make them appear larger, drawing attention to them! Plus if not removed thoroughly it will lead to blockages.
- Heavy, rich moisturizers - as already mentioned. For the same reason as make up but can often be worse as they are left on overnight, and not always cleansed properly the following morning. Always use an oil free, non-comedogenic moisturizer
- This goes for sunscreen too - it's important to always wear it, but choose one that's formulated for the face as body creams are generally thicker and oilier
The steps to minimize pores are fairly simple, but they do work!
Once your skin is refined and clear, even if you can still see your pores due to their natural size, they are much easier to make disappear with a few tricks.
Watch this video for the best way to do this (Gossmakeupartist is excellent!). It's a quick video demo that can make a big difference in the appearance of your skin:
› Minimize Pores
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