Some of us take great care of our skin, eat all the right foods, drink water regularly and visit the dermatologist religiously and yet, we’re still plagued with large pores that never–ever!–seem to shrink.
Before you get down on yourself, however, it’s important to realize that the size of your pores isn’t entirely within your control; pore size is hereditary. That being said, there are ways to make them appear smaller. Below are 8 helpful tips from Licensed Esthetician Pearl Dworkin of Glamologie and Dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse of Rapaport Dermatology in Beverly Hills that will help you get the smooth, pore-less skin you’ve always wanted.
1. Wash your face every single night. No excuses–no matter how tired you are. “Never sleep with your makeup on and don’t just use those little makeup wipes,” Dworkin says. “They do not really deep clean your skin. They are okay to wipe off makeup, but follow with a cleanser and toner. When you sleep with your makeup on, you will sleep with your pores dirty, which over time will enlarge your pores.”
2. Use a toner as the second step of your cleansing routine. “Use a pore refining toner that contains a Lactic, Glycolic or Mandelic acid,” Dworkin says. “This will tighten your pores after cleansing. Just using tap water after cleansing doesn’t help the pores and can disrupt the barrier function of the skin which can lead to breakouts and inflammation, thus making pores appear larger.”
3. Exfoliate the right way. Too many of us are either neglecting to exfoliate or going overboard and damaging our faces with abrasive scrubs. “Scrubs can actually stretch and cause microscopic tears in the skin which can damage the follicle and make pores appear larger,” Dworkin says. “For smaller pores I like enzymes to exfoliate, like mandelic acid which also brightens the skin and is lipophilic, which means it penetrates the oil barrier and dissolves it, which will help the pore to constrict. Think of your pores like a balloon that fills up and stretches. Keeping the pores clean prevent them from stretching out and keeps them smaller.”
4. Try a pore refining mask. “Alpha Hydroxy Acids will dissolve the bonds that hold the dead skin cells to the surface of the skin and stimulate new cell growth which can refine the texture and make pores appear smaller,” Dworkin says. “Kaolin Clay can also tighten the pores. A mask can be done weekly. The effects will be immediate and over time you will start to see cumulative results.”
5. Peel away. “For very oily skin with large pores, try a peel combining Salicylic Acid with Glycolic, which an Esthetician can do for you,” Dworkin says. “I would recommend a series of peels, once every 3-4 weeks for six weeks. An esthetician can best assess your skin and help you with a personalized regimen with great home care products to get the best results.”
6. Don’t leave home without sunscreen. “Wear sunscreen to prevent UV damage,” Shainhouse says. “UV and pollution cause free radicals that break down the collagen and elastin in skin, making the skin less tight, which can make pores look larger.”
7. Add primer to your makeup bag. I’m not a foundation-type of girl, but since discovering primer, I can honestly say it makes a world of difference in the appearance of your skin–and experts agree. “Wear a primer under your make-up (silicone or dimethicone based ones are best) to sit on the skin and create a smooth make up base, so that you don’t see the pores,” Shainhouse says. My personal favorite: Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion.
8. Consider an in-office treatment. Shainhouse recommends Dermapen, which she describes as “an in-office procedure [that] creates hundreds of tiny holes in the dermis that force the skin to repair itself, creating new collagen and hopefully a tighter skin that doesn’t make pores as visible.”