When it comes to skin and skincare, one of the most asked questions is “how can I get rid of my pores”? Even if it wasn’t a concern before, it has suddenly become for many after seeing all the beautiful Korean women with their poreless “glass” skin prompting K-beauty. I used to think it was mainly photoshopped images but when I went to Seoul I just couldn’t stop staring at the women on the streets – they had the most amazing complexions and not a pore in sight!
There are many products that make your pores “appear” smaller but is there something you can actually do to shrink your pores? The answer is that there’s a lot you can do to make them less apparent even if you can’t totally get rid of large pores, you can certainly, minimize them and make them smaller so that they are hardly noticeable.
Let’s understand what affects your pores:
-Genetics has a lot to do with your skin texture and pore size
– Age – as you age you lose collagen, therefore, your skin begins to look less firm and the pores look larger because the surrounding skin gets slack
– People with oily skin generally tend to have larger pores
– Your skin maintenance program
– Weather and pollution
The disappearing act is a process so let us start with what you can do immediately for instant results. There are a lot of products that have pore minimizers but don’t necessarily work as a permanent solution, such as primers, serums, lotions etc. I really liked the Clinique pore refining solution, Instant Perfector. I used that under my CC cream or foundations and it works amazingly well. It’s so good I sometimes use it with just my sunscreen on top (but I always use a serum and moisturizers first!). You can also get primers with pore-refining ingredients but I still don’t find them as effective as the Instant Perfector. Additionally, when the weather is hot and humid, I use an oil control moisturizer on my T-zone, where pores tend to look larger since its oilier plus a regular moisturizer on my drier parts. I find that just helps my BB cream or foundation from slipping. In warm, humid weather I tend to be extra attentive with my pore care routine since debris and pollution can stick to your face and can get embedded into the skin more easily.
For a more permanent solution, I use a combination of things to keep my pores clean. When dirt and oil build up it fills and stretches the pores. I started by using a cleanser specific to the purpose, the “Dr Thomas Roth Anti-Ageing cleansing cell”. It has both glycolic acid and salicylic acid to help exfoliate and cleanse while dissolving make-up and emulsifying oil build up. After cleansing I like using “Pixi Glow Tonic”, which also has glycolic acid but has no alcohol and no oil so it’s beneficial for all skin types. Another effective one is “Paula Choice 2% BHA liquid” which contains salicylic acid, it’s a favourite of many beauty experts for keeping the skin refined, it breaks down oils while some acids are only water-soluble therefore it works deeper for better skin clarity.
One of the best solutions for both anti-ageing and reducing pore size is retinol (retinoid), which I use at least 3 nights a week. For people with sensitive skin, you need to acclimatize by starting slowly so your skin builds up the tolerance or you can use the microencapsulated version like “Dermalogica’s Overnight Retinol Repair” which I find is not drying at all but it comes with a buffer cream if you feel like toning it down a bit. I haven’t ever needed to use that so I end up keeping it in my purse and using it as a hand cream. Alternatively, you can use nature’s versions of retinol, bakuchiol, which I’ve written about in a previous article on Imperfekt Beauty. Even the most sensitive skins don’t seem to get irritated with bakuchiol.
If you want to keep on top of your game, I recommend you can get a professional facial done that includes extractions, it goes a long way in keeping your skin clear of pore-clogging debris plus it can have a lot of added benefits like keeping your skin texture refined and hydrated. Not to mention it’s nice to get pampered once in a while. The next best thing is mask regularly at home like “GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment”. I usually do this after a warm bath or shower while the skin is still slightly damp. It just helps to dislodge all the pore-blocking debris much more effectively when the skin is softened by the warm temperature.
If you keep up on your pore maintenance routine regular you definitely will see the improvements in the size of your pores. There are other professional and more expensive treatments that can be done such as needling and lasers but I’ll save those for another article because I feel that they should be an add on to a regular skincare program that includes pore-refining steps.