As posted on http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/anti-aging/a35847/how-to-minimize-pores/
Pores — they’re so tiny, they shouldn’t be that visible, right? Oh, if that were only true. Some of us have noticeable pores, and we’re not too happy about it. Unfortunately, you can’t physically reduce their size without seeing a dermatologist, but you can make them look less obvious. Thanks to a few pro tips and tricks, there are ways to make them (almost!) disappear.
1. Keep your face clean.
“When dirt clogs the pores, they expand and appear larger,” explains dermatologist Dr. Margarita Lolis. “So, it’s important to always wash your face with a gentle cleanser, especially before bedtime, to remove any extra dirt and grease.” On top of cleansing every day, always use clean makeup brushes and never touch your face with your fingers. Your complexion will thank you.
2. Before you put on your foundation, use a primer.
Yes, you can camouflage their appearance with makeup. And primer is great option says Laramie, pro makeup artist and founder of Book Your Look. But that’s not all: “You can also use the ‘blurring’ foundations that are so popular right now,” she adds.
3. Be gentle with your skin.
Aggressive cleansing, exfoliating, and skin picking can cause wrinkles and lead to worsened acne, but going too rough on your skin can also damage your pores. “Be gentle so you don’t expand your pores, which you can do permanently,” warns esthetician Mariola Barczewska of Haven Spa. Already damaged your pores? Barczewska advises taking it especially easy so your skin can heal properly.
4. Get facials every month or so.
Barczewska recommends seeing a facialist every four to six weeks. Why? A little professional extraction and exfoliation can help clean out your pores, so you wind up with clearer, healthier skin. If this seems a little too indulgent for you, consider getting one a couple times a year or on special occasions like your birthday.
5. Exfoliate regularly.
While keeping your face clean is so important, it’s the act of getting rid of dead skin cells that really keeps your complexion looking its best. “Exfoliation can be achieved in a number of ways, both physical and chemical,” says Dr. Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, dermatologist and consultant for HydroPeptide. “Gentle cleansers containing low concentrations of salicylic acid (.5% – 1%) or lactic or glycolic acid (2.5% – 5%) will stimulate cell turnover and keep pores clean.”
6. Keep your skin extra hydrated.
Yes, you can start by drinking a lot of water. But you could also use a hydrating serum before putting on moisturizer. “It helps shrink your pores by plumping up the surrounding skin,” explains Dr. Craig Kraffert, dermatologist and president of Amarte. Just make sure you exfoliate often so your hydrator can really work its magic.
7. Add a retinoid to your skincare routine.
“Using a prescription-strength topical retinoid, such as Retin-A, can increase cell turnover, thus exfoliating the pore and making them appear smaller,” says Dr. Lolis.
8. Don’t skip your moisturizer, even for a day.
You already know lots of bad stuff can happen if you stop moisturizing, and enlarged pores are just another one. “It’s important to use a high-quality, noncomedogenic moisturizer twice a day,” says Dr. Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip. “If you leave your skin to get dry, it will respond by producing excessive amounts of oil that can clog your pores.” If you’re not sure exactly how to apply it most effectively, we’ve got this handy tutorial to show you how.
9. Use sunscreen no matter what.
You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, but that’s because it’s totally true: SPF is an integral part of your skincare routine. “UV radiation breaks down collagen and elastin, thus expanding the pore,” warns Dr. Lolis. “So the best way to prevent your pores from becoming enlarged is to protect yourself from the sun.” Warning: Some sunscreens can make your skin appear shinier or oilier, thus accentuating your pores. In that case, opt for a matte finish primer, foundation, or powder to minimize that effect.
10. Find the right face mask.
One easy, luxurious, and relatively inexpensive way you can get smaller-looking pores: masks. “At-home treatments such as masks and peels work with consistent longterm use,” says Dr. Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip. “Masks containing ingredients such as clay or charcoal work by absorbing oil out of pores.” Plus, if you have multiple types of problem areas, you can try the multi-masking technique.
11. Head to the dermatologist for a laser treatment.
That’s right: Lasers can help reduce your actual pore size. “A series of treatments with nonablative lasers can help reduce pores by building collagen, thereby plumping the skin and shrinking pores,” explains Dr. Lolis. Bonus: This treatment has minimal downtime.