Written by Debra Wyatt (last updated April 3, 2020)
There is this rumor that has been going around for years that you can actually shrink your facial pores, simply by using egg whites or splashing on ice-cold water. This would be great if it were true. Nothing can actually shrink facial pores, since the size of your facial pores is actually determined by genetics. There are ways, however, that you can minimize the appearance of larger pores.
Pores are actually more noticeable on certain body parts, especially on certain areas of the face. It seems that we notice pores more on the forehead and the nose. One of the good things about having dry skin is that your pores will be less noticeable than if you have oily skin. Fair skinned people also have a tendency to having less noticeable pores than people who are darker skinned or have olive skin.
There are other things that factor in to different pore sizes. The size of the pores can actually be stretched, making them appear to be larger than they should. Some of these things can be pimples, too much sun (UV rays can actually weaken the collagen in the skin), or the natural process of aging. Picking at or squeezing pimples can cause trauma to the skin, which can cause permanent damage to the skin by widening the pores.
The easiest way to keeping pores appearing smaller is by keeping the pores clean and clear of dirt and grime. If you are going to wear make-up during the day then chose make-up and moisturizers that don't have heavy ingredients like petrolatum and mineral oil. These two products alone can irritate your pores and making them bigger. Use a gentle cleanser and moisturizer for nighttime. This will prevent the pores from clogging.
Exfoliate at least once a week. If your skin is hardy and doesn't get red, try exfoliating every day. If your skin is sensitive try to exfoliate at least once a week using something gentle like a mask. When you exfoliate your face, your skin will be more tender and sensitive to UV light so to prevent skin damage use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 rating daily.
If you have stubborn pores you may want to take your skin treatment to another level. This involves seeking the help of a dermatologist who can prescribe an exfoliant that is more powerful. There are a couple of procedures that can be done in the doctor's office such as a glycolic or salicylic acid peel. Usually these approaches require at least three treatments with each treatment costing about $100. For a more dramatic result there is another procedure that uses an ablative laser. This procedure will increase the collagen which in turn will tighten the pores. The treatment will last about twenty minutes and costs about $500. You will see results with the first treatment but it usually requires at least three treatments for full results.
A more economic quick solution to the problem is to apply a silicone-based primer. This is put on your face just prior to applying your make-up. This is only a temporary fix, but it will fill in the holes so your face will appear to be practically pore-less.
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