How to Decrease Pore Size
Large pores mar the appearance of soft, smooth skin, but they can also leave you more susceptible to blackheads. When dirt, oil and dead skin collect in your pores, they can look darker and larger through no fault of your own. The best way to decrease pore size is to engage in a weekly routine to effectively open, cleanse and exfoliate your skin so that pores become tightened and less noticeable overall, which you can do using materials you likely already have in your kitchen.
Steam your skin to gently open your pores in preparation for cleansing. To steam your skin, fill a pot with water and set it on your stove on medium heat. It's a good idea to toss in a few slices of lemon or a sprig of mint to make it a more relaxing experience. When the water comes to a simmer, remove the pot and create a tent by draping a towel over your head and the pot. Allow the trapped steam to circulate, opening your pores.
Exfoliate your skin to remove dirt, oil and dead skin cells that become trapped in the pores and make them look larger. You can use a store-bought exfoliating cream, but you can also make your own easily at home by combining brown sugar and olive oil into a paste. Then rub it on your skin in a circular motion. Make sure you rub gently, and stop if you feel irritation.
Cleanse your skin with a mild facial cleanser in order to remove the exfoliating mixture. This can also help wash away any remaining impurities, and sop up excess oil. Choose a cleanser that is soap-free and gentle so that it doesn't dry your skin. The Yale School of Medicine recommends a weekly cleansing mask treatment to further cleanse the pores to keep them looking smaller and tighter.
Moisturize your skin at the end of the cleansing treatment, making sure to choose a moisturizer with a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher built in. Sunburns and sun exposure can cause your skin to create more oil to counteract the drying action of the sun. That oil in turn clogs pores, making them look larger.
Use a pore-minimizing treatment that contains alpha hydroxy or retinol as ingredients. This type of skin lotion can help to remove dead skin cells and promote a smoother look to your skin overall, says Mary Stone, M.D., associate professor of dermatology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
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