Pores are the tiny dots on the surface of your skin, which are the openings of hair follicles. Pores serve a purpose, as they are the gateway for our skin’s natural oil to reach the surface. Sometimes our pores may seem to be a nuisance and may appear unsightly especially for those who have oily skin. But what really causes our pores to appear enlarged?
Pore size is largely determined by genetics, lifestyle, and age. For example, poor hygiene such as sleeping with your make-up on, can lead to clogged pores, thereby making them appear larger.
Hormonal imbalance or poor diet may cause oil glands to produce too much oil, and when this oil mixes with dead skin cells, it causes the pore to stretch. When we age, our skin loses elasticity, therefore our pores may appear larger.
We cannot physically shrink our pores. However, we can make them appear less noticeable. Here are some tips:
1. Wash your face every day
Pores enlarge when they become clogged with oil and dirt. Keep your skin clean by washing it twice a day. Be careful not to over-wash as this will irritate your skin.
2. Ice therapy
Every morning, gently run an ice cube over your face for about 30 seconds. This will tighten your skin and keep your pores looking smaller.
3. Eat a healthy diet
Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive dairy, deep fried, and sugary foods. Your skin needs plenty of Vitamin A, C, and B to keep it healthy. These vitamins help to build collagen which improves skin elasticity thereby minimizing pores. A healthy diet also results in less toxins to the skin.
4. Exfoliate regularly
Use a mild scrub with small granules to assist in unclogging pores. You may use this instead of a facial wash. Exfoliate daily if you have problem skin, and two to three times a week for sensitive skin. Use sunscreen daily as exfoliation increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
5. Don’t work out with make-up
If you wear make-up, wash your face before and after a workout, to prevent cosmetics from lodging in your pores.
6. Weekly tightening masks
Weekly or monthly masks using yoghurt, egg whites, bicarbonate of soda, bentonite clay, or tumeric are great for reducing the appearance of your pores.
Remember to keep your hands away from your face and invest in silk or satin pillow cases. Cotton is bad for your skin as it dries it out. If you have sensitive skin, avoid heavy products such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil which may irritate your pores.