No matter how careful or thorough your daily skincare routine is, you’ve probably encountered the annoyance of unsightly large pores. Pores serve an important purpose in overall skin health, but big pores on the face can also be unattractive (and unwelcome).
Now, there’s no need to feel self-conscious about the size of the pores on cheeks and the rest of your face. Luckily, there are plenty of safe, healthy ways to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. Let’s discuss steps to minimize the appearance of big pores.
How to Get Rid of Enlarged Pores
Pores are holes in your skin around the hair follicles. They produce an oil called sebum, which helps keep your skin moisturized and healthy. You can’t change the size of your pores, but with the proper skin care routine, you may be able to help large pores look smaller.
- Wash your skin daily. Your routine should incorporate a cleanser. Cleansers keep pores clean so that dirt and oil don’t clog them up and make them appear larger.1
- Vitamin A, often listen on skincare products as retinoids, may help large pores appear smaller.2
- Clay masks can soothe, clean, and generally help your skin appear more healthy. Enlarged pores may be less noticeable on healthier skin.3
- Explore face-peel products with AHAs and BHAs for a more intensive regimen that could help pores appear smaller.4,5
Of all the tips above, AHAs and BHAs can seem the most intimidating, but they’re also very effective at reducing the appearance of large pores. Let’s look at how.
AHAs vs. BHAs
Alpha Hydroxy Acids, or AHAs, are water-based acids that have a lot of positive benefits for porous skin, including the ability to help make large pores appear smaller. Beta Hydroxy Acids, or BHAs, have many of the same benefits, but they’re oil-soluble.
Neither is automatically better or worse than the other, but their applications are different.
- AHAs and BHAs are both effective exfoliants, which makes them both excellent tools to help reduce the appearance of large pores.6,7
- BHAs are particularly beneficial to sensitive skin because they’re less likely to cause irritation.8
- AHAs help your skin restore some of the health that it loses as it ages, so AHAs can be helpful if you notice large pores growing worse as you age.9
Depending on your own personal skin-care needs, you may find yourself preferring AHAs or BHAs more. You may need to experiment by applying a few different products to your porous skin before you find the one that works best for you.
Note: When testing a new product, apply it to a small patch of skin first. Once you confirm that you won’t have an adverse reaction, you can then apply it to your entire face.
Using AHAs for Large Pores
Now, if you like the idea of using AHAs to help minimize the appearance of large pores, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- The FDA suggests using products with an AHA concentration of 10 percent or less.10
- AHAs can make your skin especially sensitive to sunlight, so always use sunscreen when you’re using AHAs.11
AHAs are powerful exfoliants, and they can also be harmful if they’re used improperly. Be sure to read the product instructions when you try a new AHA product.
Using BHAs for Large Pores
The most commonly used BHA is salicylic acid, an effective acid to use against large pores. If you choose to apply salicylic acid or any other BHA to porous skin, there are steps to follow to ensure that it’s safe and effective.
- Your product’s concentration matters. Usually, BHAs are sold at a 10% concentration, but some products will be more concentrated to treat more serious skin issues.12
- If your skin needs help recovering from sun damage, apply a retinoid right after using a face peel that contains salicylic acid.13
- Salicylic acid face peels are generally safe, with few or no side effects. To help avoid a bad reaction, don’t get peeling agents in your eyes, don’t attempt to rush the process, and avoid consuming alcohol right before or after a facial peel.14
Salicylic acid and other medicated formulas are incredibly useful when used correctly to reduce the size of pores on face. If you’re not sure about using a product, speak to your dermatologist.
Finding the Right Routine for Your Skin
Between AHAs and BHAs, you may feel like there’s an entire alphabet’s worth of products to familiarize yourself with. Now, there’s no one-size-fits-all secret of how to get rid of big pores. Different methods will be more or less effective, depending on your skin type and personal body chemistry.
With a little experimentation, you’ll find the perfect routine to help your skin look healthier. By sticking to it, over time, you can successfully minimize the appearance of large pores.
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