Large pores can make your skin look uneven and spotty and can even make you susceptible to blackheads and acne. To shrink pores, you must first cleanse them; dirt, oil and excessive dead skin cells can clog the pores and cause them to appear stretched out and enlarged. By adding a few steps to your skin care regimen, you can shrink pores and provide for better natural skin or provide a smoother base for makeup.
Prepare your pores for cleansing by first steaming them open. The heat from the steam will gently open pores so you can clean them more effectively. Bring a pot of water to simmer on the stove. Once it has started simmering, remove it from the heat and make a tent by placing a towel over both your head and the pot. Breathe in the steam for five minutes while it opens your pores. For a more relaxing experience, place a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil in the water.
Exfoliate your skin once the steam has opened the pores. You can use a store-bought exfoliating cream if you wish. Mary Stone, M.D., associate professor of dermatology at the University of Iowa, recommends using a cream that contains alphahydroxy acids to dissolve dead skin. You can also make your own exfoliating solution by mixing brown sugar and olive oil to create a paste and rubbing gently on your face. This will help to slough away pore-clogging dead skin cells.
Cleanse your skin with a mild skin cleanser not containing soap after exfoliating. This will help remove any stubborn dirt or oil particles that could be stretching out your pores. Soaps can be too drying, resulting in an overproduction of skin oil, so look for an oil-free, gentle solution.
Wrap an ice cube in a thin washcloth or piece of fabric and apply it to your face. The cold from the ice cube will shrink your pores, making them look tighter and smaller. This is a good trick if you aren’t planning to wear makeup. Cold compresses made from frozen foods are also acceptable. Hold the cold item to your pores for at least two minutes.
Smooth on a pore-minimizing moisturizing cream. These creams go on as a lotion but dry as a powder to help fill pores for a smoother appearance, notes “Fitness” magazine. Look for a lotion specifically formulated to be pore-minimizing, with ingredients such as retinoid.