Recently, I’ve gotten quite a few requests to do a blog post on pore minimizing tips. We’ve covered so many skincare issues here on the site, from acne to under eye circles. But this is one topic we haven’t talked about yet, so I thought I’d give it a go! While I’m pretty well versed in the world of beauty, I’m not an aesthetician or dermatologist. So along with some helpful tips I’ve gathered over the years, I’ve turned to skincare guru Kate Somerville for her expert advice. Check it out below…
What are pores?
First, let’s start with the basics. As Kate explains, “pores are the tiny openings in the skin where oil and sweat is released to keep skin naturally moisturized, cool, and healthy.” Pores are also home to your hair follicles. You have pores all over the surface of your skin, but they tend to be more prominent on your face because that is where your sebaceous (oil) glands are the largest. When your pores get clogged with dead skin cells, dirt, oil, or makeup, that’s what causes acne. So it goes without saying that you want to prevent buildup and keep your pores clean.
Why do some people’s pores look larger than others?
Not to state the obvious, but we all have wildy different skin. Some women deal with discoloration, some are plagued by breakouts, and others have visible pores. A lot of it is left to genetics. For instance, your pores are more likely to look larger if you have an olive complexion or a darker skin tone. According to Kate, skin type and age also affect the size of your pores. People with oily skin tend to have larger pores (because their pores are more active). And as we age, we lose elasticity in skin, which can make pores appear larger. Accumulation of dead skin cells, sebum (oil), and dirt and picking at a pimple can also stretch pores.
How can I make my pores appear smaller?
While it’s not possible to actually physically shrink your pores, you can make them look smaller and give your skin a smooth, radiant appearance. The first step is ridding your skin of all the things that potentially clog pores and make them more prominent (dirt, oil, dead skin cells, etc.). Kate explains that proper cleansing and steaming, exfoliation, regular professional facials, and the use of noncomedogenic products can minimize the appearance of pores.
Never going to sleep without properly cleansing your skin is a given. Kate recommends the ‘double cleanse’ where you use a makeup wipe to remove impurities on the surface and then apply a cleanser to penetrate deeper. Incorporating steam can help to open pores and release impurities while softening the skin.
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Exfoliation is also key in keeping pores clear. Kate recommends making exfoliation a part of every skincare regimen (2-3 times a week). Always exfoliate with steam (the shower is a great place), and look for a product that has both physical and enzymatic exfoliation like ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. Products with alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid will also help refine the appearance of pores.
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Primer might be one of those products that you think you can do without or never really understood the purpose of. But using a primer is another great way to minimize the appearance of pores. Primers sit on the surface of the skin and create a barrier between skin and makeup. Primers prevent makeup from sinking into your pores and create more of an even skin tone.
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A professional facial treats your skin to a deep pore cleansing that you simply can’t achieve with every day cleansing. Regular, professional extractions will help keep skin clear and prevent scarring in the long run. Kate recommends getting a facial every 4-6 weeks for maintenance.
Do you have any other skincare topics you’ve like me to cover?
Let me know in the comments.