Here’s a fun fact: If you were to key in “how to get rid of pores” into Google, over 14 million search results will pop up and fill your screen.
Now, here’s the caveat: You cannot get rid of or eliminate your pores. You are stuck with them forever. Not that it is a bad thing, really. They are, after all, your very own hair follicle openings that allow oil produced by sebaceous glands to reach the surface and lubricate the skin. This natural oil keeps your skin supple, moisturised and healthy, while protecting it against dryness, infection and chapping.
Your pores have a very important task at hand, so you definitely do not want to see them gone forever!
While pores serve a significant function, there is no denying that they can be unsightly and equally annoying, especially the enlarged ones. More often than not, it is these large pores that prevent even the best of us from achieving flawlessly smooth skin.
Minimise Your Pores
And so this begs the question: If we cannot get rid of pores, how then do we make them appear less unsightly?
Now that we have set the record straight, it is possible to diminish or minimise your pores so that they appear less conspicuous. Here are some ways for you to achieve that:
1. Unclog Those Pores
One of the best ways to make pores appear smaller and less noticeable is to keep them unclogged. Clay masks are a quick and gentle way to draw the gunk out of congested pores. Apply a thin layer to clean skin and you may observe traces of oil appearing through the mask, as it wicks the oil out of your pores.
2. Cleanse Your Face
Cleansers generally remove excess dirt and oil. However, the best of cleansers do not strip your skin completely of its natural moisture. Search for an over-the-counter gel, mask or lotion that contains a proven sloughing ingredient, such as retinol or fruit enzymes. You can also consider opting for exfoliants with either alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). Both AHAs and BHAs can maximise your exfoliating benefits, with the latter also possessing the ability to penetrate deep into pores to treat acne. A gel-based cleanser typically works well for large pores related to oily skin, while those with normal to dry skin can profit from creamy cleansers. Be sure to avoid cleansers comprising soap or scrubbing agents, regardless of your skin type, as these tend to make your pores look bigger. If you are prone to breaking out, in addition to having large pores, try opting for a lotion with salicylic acid, which will exfoliate your skin while treating the blemishes. Do remember to use a skincare product with sun protection factor (SPF) daily, as exfoliating can make the skin more sensitive to UV light.
3. Protect Your Skin with Sunscreen
The UV rays from the sun break down your skin’s collagen, which is responsible for keeping your face firm and supple. Over time, this will lead to larger pores and stretchy skin after repeated exposure. Beauty experts around the globe recommend applying a minimum of SPF 30 every morning, preferably before you head out for the day. Sun damage not only dries out your skin, it also increases your long-term potential risk of cancer and wrinkles.
4. Never Sleep with Make-up on
We are not going to judge, but falling asleep with make-up on has never worked out great for anyone’s skin and is detrimental to it on so many levels. It might seem harmless but we assure you that your face will punish you the following day, when you wake up to dull, uncomfortable and lacklustre skin. When your make-up is left intact on your skin overnight, it reacts and mingles with dirt, oil and bacteria from the previous day, causing dull skin, clogged pores, bumps, puffy eyes and generally aggravated skin. And yes, your pores will look larger the next day when you wake up. Despite this, we have all been guilty of sleeping in our make-up at one time or another (guilty as charged!) because sometimes, tiredness prevails. Nevertheless, it is important to religiously wash your face and remove your make-up before you go to bed every night, no matter how exhausted you are or how late you get home. You can also use a make-up remover before your cleanser for a more thorough clean.
5. Hide Them
Well, if all else fails and you cannot seem to beat them, hide them. A primer is the most effective product for this. Much like an Instagram filter, primers have the ability to blur your pores and create a seemingly smooth finish. Primers also fill in the pores, paving the way for a perfect blank canvas and further make-up.