Every woman had met her nemesis in pores. On the nose, cheek, and forehead. There’s no running away from them. As we age, skin tends to lose collagen and the pores appear much larger. Pores are also more visible in darker skinned people. There are many myths surrounding pores. Principal among them is that pores open and close like a car door.
Large pores occur as a result of aging, blockage by over-secreting sebaceous glands, poor skin care, lack of sleep, overall health, loss of collagen, sun damage and genetic factors.
Today, several chemical treatments claim to reduce pore size. But we will look at some natural remedies that help you minimize their appearance.
Women can stop worrying about pores.
Before you use these remedies, here are a few things you need to do first in order to make pores appear smaller.
The Smaller Pore Routine
Pores are often most visible in the T-zone of the face. With time, as the sebaceous glands secrete oil, the pores expand and attract dirt. Dead cells and bacteria accumulate. Often, this results in acne. So a smaller pore routine can actually keep them at bay.
Start with clean skin. This doesn’t mean splashing some water. What we’re talking about is exfoliation. To get rid of the day-to-day buildup of skin cells and sebum, you want to exfoliate once if not more times in a week. Products that have alcohol tend to be dehydrating. A gentle scrub will do. If you have oily skin and are prone to blackheads, whiteheads, and acne you may want to do this at least three times a week. Use a moisturizer to help replenish the moisture in your skin.
Choose the right makeup.
If you’re using makeup to conceal pores, chose the right products. Many foundations simply sit in pores causing them to expand. A cream-based concealer works best to minimize large pores.
A diet that is high in fat does aggravate acne. Studies have shown that a diet rich in omega fatty acids tend to have significantly lower levels of acne. Caloric restriction can change the composition of sebum. So lay off the chips and cookies. Choose fruits and veggies instead.
Another tip regarding makeup never sleep leaving it on. Makeup tends to clog your pores. Over time, this will stretch them out. Take a cue from Beyonce, who always keeps a pack of wet wipes near her bed, so that no matter how tired she is, at the end of a long day, she wipes all the gunk off.
Often the products we use are dense and settle into pores. Healing oils like tea tree, rosemary, and lavender ease irritation. Products containing zinc and magnesium help restore the oil balance, while products with alcohol and acid tend to enhance the pores. Choose noncomedogenic products. Retinol or Vitamin A based products help unclog pores, giving them a finer appearance. Salicylic acid is another ingredient to have in your products.
Wear a sunscreen to keep skin from aging.
Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 every day. If you can avoid it stay away from the sun. Sunlight is known to damage the skin and makes your skin dry through a process called photoaging.
Pores are less visible in drier skin. They’re more noticeable in the oilier skin. The T-zone, nose, cheek, and forehead tend to be much larger. Treat these areas more often with a mask that can wick out extra oil from congested pores. This tends to smoothen the skin.
Now that you know the routine, you can use the following natural products.
Oatmeal leaves the skin supple.
A mixture of 2 tbsp of yogurt and ground oatmeal can be refrigerated for a couple of hours. Apply this paste to your face, leave it on for thirty minutes. Wash with lukewarm water. A similar mixture can be made to include lemon juice and rose water. Some may even use chickpea flour. Studies have shown that oatmeal does leave the skin feeling supple and moisturized.
2. Egg whites
Egg white masks tighten the skin making pores look smaller. Mix 2 egg whites with a few drops of lemon juice. Leave it on for fifteen minutes and then wash it off. This mask also acts as a natural toner. This is because egg whites contain a lysosome that stimulates the production of collage and the genetic expression of hyaluronan synthase.
Lycopene in tomatoes reduce sebum production.
Tomatoes with their lycopene can reduce the oily secretions and the appearance of the size of pores. You can simply dip cotton in tomato juice and apply it on your face. Rinse it off after fifteen minutes. Lycopene in tomatoes also prevents keratinocyte carcinomas and thus plays a distinct role in keratin production, although the process is not understood fully.
Papaya has immunomodulatory properties.
Papayas are known to be natural toners of the skin. You can mash the papaya and mix with some honey and apply. Wash it once dry. A word of caution though, the papain in papaya may cause your skin to tingle or skin. If the feeling is rather unpleasant to wash it off immediately with lukewarm water. Papaya does have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it an option for people with autoimmune conditions.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera helps clear out pores.
Aloe vera has many benefits and is an ingredient in many skin products because of its soothing effect, but it does help clear out pores. You can either apply the gel to your face and then rinse it after ten minutes or you can use an aloe based moisturizer to help tighten the skin thereby making the pores appear smaller. Studies have shown that aloe vera plays an important role in wound healing. This is its due to its role in keratin production.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a very eefctive antimicrobial especially against E. coli.
Apple cider vinegar is another wonderful natural toner that reduces inflammation. Since vinegar is basically an acid, it must be diluted. A 1:1 ratio works best. So for every tbsp of vinegar dilute it with equal parts water. Apply the solution to your face with a cotton ball and let it dry. Try doing this every alternate day. Apple cider vinegar has been proven to contain antimicrobial properties especially E. Coli.
Lutein in bananas keeps your skin youthful.
Bananas contain the antioxidant, lutein. It can give your skin a youthful appearance and the potassium helps your skin heal. You can either mash a banana and use it as a mask for fifteen minutes followed by a rinse. Or you can rub the inside of the banana peel on your face. Both methods work. Repeat it every alternate day.
8. Baking Soda
Baking soda is known to help reduce acne due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps restore the ph balance of the skin and is often used to tone skin with large pores. Mix 2 tbsps. baking soda and 2 tbsps. of water. Apply this paste to the face for ten minutes. Since this can be slightly dehydrating use this only once a week. In fact, many patients of scaly skin or a condition called ichthyosis recommend using baking soda to their bath water.
Cucumbers slow down skin aging.
Cucumber is now hailed as a superfood that can slow down aging. Cucumber slices can be placed on the skin or you can grind them with lemon juice to form a paste. Apply it as a mask and leave it for fifteen minutes. Rinse with cool water. If you plan to use cucumber slices, refrigerate them. Cold slices will cause the blood vessels to constrict and therefore tighten the skin. This is great before a party for an evening out. The bioactive compounds in cucumber can decrease in melanin production in the skin.
10. Argan Oil
Argan oil increases skin elasticity.
This Middle Eastern oil is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E. For that dewy, youthful complexion you can use argan oil. Regular application tends to minimize the appearance of pores. Take a few drops of this oil and massage it on your face with clean fingers. Rinse after half an hour. This not only cleans your pores but moisturizes simultaneously. Argan oil had anti-inflammatory properties and studies have shown that in post-menopausal aging women, it increases skin elasticity.
11. Jojoba Oil
Like argan oil, jojoba oil also works on improving skin texture and clearing out pores of gunk. The oil easily helps lift off dead cells. Jojoba oil is a common ingredient in skin lotions, creams, and gels. Take a few drops of jojoba oil, massage it into the skin with fingertips. You can leave it on all night if you want or rinse after thirty minutes. Jojoba oil demonstrates a high oxidative stability. It is also resistant to degradation.
Lemons are superb for pres clogged with blackheads.
Lemon juice is an astringent. For those suffering from blackheads, this should be your number one choice. The citric acid breaks down the dirt at a molecular level and clears out blocked pores. All you need is 1tbsp lemon juice and since this is an acid, dilute with equal parts water. Using a cotton ball, apply it for ten minutes and wash off with cold water. Be careful, lemon juice is acidic. If you experience any stinging or tingling, wash it off immediately.
13. Fuller’s Earth
Fuller’s earth is a staple in many exfoliation processes. It acts as a cleanser and soaks up oil from the pores making the skin appear youthful. Mix 2 tbsps of Fuller’s Earth with equal parts of rosewater. Apply a thin layer of this mask to your face till dry. Rinse off with cold water. This can be dehydrating, so apply a moisturizer after this and use it at most twice a week.
14. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is known to reduce blemishes and pore size. Lactic acid in the yogurt tends to unclog pores and tighten the skin. You can safely use this twice a week by mixing 2 tbsp of Greek yogurt. Let it dry. Wash with lukewarm water.
Clinical trials of topical applications of probiotics have shown their positive effect on acne. The first trial showed a 50 percent reduction of inflammations. It also influences sebum production. Yogurt restores the normal skin pH. And returns enzymes like protease activity levels similar to that seen in young, healthy skin.
15. Olive Oil
Olive oil reduces inflammation.
Now olive oil is not just great for hair and your diet but for your skin as well. The phenolic compounds in olive oil have antioxidant properties. It can also reduce inflammation in large pores. Massage olive oil into the skin and leave it on for a few minutes. Olive oil is not as light as jojoba oil and should not be left on your face overnight. Rinse with warm water and a mild face wash. Topic olive oil has been shown to reduce dermatitis as well.
Sugar makes a good exfoliant.
The grittiness of sugar makes it a good exfoliant. If you have ignored your skin for a while this can work wonders to remove the buildup of dead cells. Take 1 tbsp sugar, equal parts honey and lemon juice. Mix and gently massage your face with this mixture for five minutes. Rinse off an moisturize.
Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory qualities. It reduces any acne related swelling and diminishes pore size. It’s great as a spot treatment. Mix 1 tbsp turmeric powder with equal parts milk. Apply this mixture on large pores and rinse after dry.
18. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil tones and reduces pore size.
For those with acne and blemishes eat tree oil’s astringent and antimicrobial properties make it a great choice for toning and reducing pore size. Take 4 drops of tea tree oil and mix with equal parts honey or water. Never apply tea tree oil directly on your skin. Wash off after fifteen minutes. Repeat daily. While it’s been said to speed up wound healing, it also exhibits anti-cancer activities.
19. Clay Mask
Clay masks absorb dirt.
Like Fuller’s earth, clay masks like kaolin absorb oils and lift off dirt from clogged pores. Take 2 tbsps of cosmetic clay kaolin. Add rose water to make a paste. Do a patch test before you apply as this as people with sensitive skin may react differently. Apply this paste on to your face like a mask. Rinse after fifteen minutes. Clay masks work because of the ph buffered by them tend to destroy bacterial cell wall and are bactericidal.
Honey makes your pores appear smaller.
Honey is a natural bleaching agent and all its antioxidants will give your skin a youthful appearance. It makes pores appear much smaller and all you need is honey and lemon juice. You can omit the lemon juice if you’d like and simply apply the honey all over your face. Let it dry and wash off with lukewarm water. Repeat this process every alternate day. Honey has been proven to be effective in treating partial thickness burns thus emphasizing its role in skin repair and collagen production.
As you can see all the above help to visibly reduce pore size. However, the fundamental idea is the same, clearing out the pores and unclogging any blocked ones.