Some people would do anything to shrink pores. But pores, be it large pores or small, aren’t your enemy! In fact, they are your skin’s best friend.
So, What Are Pores?
Pores are found all over your body and are actually the opening at the top of your hair follicle. In fact, for every hair on your body, there’s a skin pore.
Pores are responsible for releasing oil (sebum) and toxins from your skin. Sebum is released through your pores to help moisturize the skin, while sweat helps your body to regulate temperature. Sweat, on the other hand, is produced by separate glands across the skin. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t help to clog your pores.
Take a look at your hands, your feet, and more obviously… your face. Your skin’s pores are conduits. Think of them as vent holes (or chimney pipes) that remove waste products from your body up through your layers of skin. Though the appearance of large pores can be incredibly frustrating, we need pores to perform these essential functions. That said, they have a pretty big job and can grow larger for a variety of reasons.
If the pores on your face are more noticeable than on other areas of your body, it may be due to the fact that the skin on your face tends to produce more oil than places like your feet. For this reason, many people have larger pores on their face.
The overall size of your pores is determined by genetics (your DNA) and that’s something you have zero control over. However, there are other factors that can come into play and increase their appearance. These include UV sun exposure, clogged skin, acne, and aging skin cells.
No matter what the cause, if you can keep your pores clean, you can reduce the appearance of large pores. But it’s important to note that too much cleansing can backfire, causing your pores to produce more oil.
Here are 12 ways to shrink your pores, fast!
1. Never Skip Your Skincare Regimen.
Lack of cleanliness is one of the main contributing factors to large pores. If you do not wash your face every day, the likelihood of oil and sebum buildup greatly increases. So, never skip your cleansing skincare regimen! Always use a high-quality cleansing oil to remove makeup at night, and in the morning to eliminate any dirt, or grime left behind from your linens during sleep.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and a vital piece of the elimination system. As it is constantly removing toxins and pollutants via the pores, it is also continuously regenerating. During this process, dead skin cells can accumulate on the skin, clogging your pores and making them look larger. Exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells to shrink your pores instantly! The best natural ways to exfoliate include citrus, oatmeal soaps and a gentle massage with a textured cloth. Avoid store-bought ones because of their abrasive ingredients and stick with DIY recipes.
There are many different varieties of clay you can use on your face. But no matter what you choose, clay masks work wonders on reducing the appearance of large pores! Try a restorative and calming clay mask. The best clays for relaxing facials include kaolin, and bentonite.
4. Heat it Up.
Heat is a great, natural way to open your pores. And it’s so simple! To apply heat to your face, you can use a facial steam bath with nothing but filtered water, a large pot, and your stovetop. Just fill the pot, turn the heat on a low setting and allow the steam to wash over your face. Slowly inhale, and exhale over the pot. As you do this, allow the steam to penetrate the skin for roughly 10 minutes. This opens the pores and helps them eliminate build-up faster. If you want additional aromatherapy benefits, add 5-10 drops of your favorite cleansing essential oil, such as lavender, clary sage and lemon.
5. Apply SPF Protection.
Sun exposure can wreak havoc on your pores. As the UV rays hit your skin, it creates free radicals which can harm healthy skin cells. This damage forces your skin to work harder to produce new cells, and can make pores appear larger. Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher, to protect from both UVA and UVB rays that can damage your even skin tone with harmful free radicals.
6. Eat Probiotic Foods.
It may sound like science fiction, but there are an estimated 100+ trillion microscopic bacteria that call your face “home.” They are working hard to keep your skin healthy, and for this reason, adding probiotic foods to your diet may help to eliminate impurities that make your pores look big. You see, probiotic foods contain “good” bacteria that can help to balance the millions of living microbiota on your face. For this reason, you may want to add these probiotic foods to your diet: yogurt, dark chocolate, sauerkraut, microalgae, and miso soup. Additionally, you can make a powerful probiotic beverage right at home called kefir, with this simple recipe. Delicious, fizzy and easy-to-make, kefir is a great way to maintain healthy skin, and promote the appearance of smaller looking pores.
7. Add Egg Whites.
Containing all of the amino acids (proteins) needed to keep your skin healthy and youthful looking, eggs provide the essential nutrients needed to boost collagen and elastin production in the skin. As nature’s perfect source of protein, egg whites make a great DIY face mask to reduce pore size.
To make an egg white mask, place the whites of one large egg into a bowl and whip with a blender until the mixture forms peaks. Then you can apply it to your clean, dry face. Leave for 15-20 minutes and allow the mask to dry, then wash off with warm water. The egg white mask will have a tightening effect.
8. Call Cleopatra.
This Egyptian queen knew that a milk bath is a MUST for healthy skin. Back in ancient times, Cleopatra soaked in cow’s milk to nourish her skin. But today, you’ll find that goat’s milk is a better option, as it is closer to the natural pH of your skin.
Goat’s milk is alkaline with a pH of 7.4, where cow’s milk is acidic with a pH of 6.7 – 6.5. So, skip the cow’s milk, and opt for a more pH balanced option instead! To apply goat’s milk to your face, simply splash it on. Or alternatively, you can dab it on with a swab.
9. Get Witchy.
Witch hazel is an inexpensive astringent. And as an astringent, it contracts body tissues including your pores, to make them look smaller – instantly! Dap it on your face with a cotton swab in the morning or in the evening to cleanse the skin and reveal smaller pores.
This hydrosol (floral water) is highly fragrant, and acts as a natural astringent for your face. You can make rosewater at home by steaming rose petals, or purchase it. Ideally, you may want to combine witch hazel and rosewater to make a spritz you can take along with you to the office or the gym, to keep your pores clean on-the-go!
11. Green Tea.
This type of tea is LOADED with antioxidants to nourish your skin, but it also acts as a skin toner to tighten the appearance of pores. A potent source of naturally occurring caffeine, green tea also boosts circulation to revitalize a dull complexion.2
To use green tea as a toner, brew a bag in boiling water, and allow it to cool before using it. You can apply green tea skin toner to your pores with a cotton swab, or as a spritz from a spray bottle.
12. Apply Retinol.
Also known as Vitamin A1, retinol is able to reduce the cohesiveness of skin cells, making it easier to free up clogged pores. This nourishing vitamin can be found in carotenoid-rich foods like apricots, carrots, mango, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, collard greens, turnip greens, and red palm oil. For best results, consider applying a retinol product directly to trouble spots to clean out pores, such as Resurface + Restore daily peel pads.
There’s an asset to having large pores – if you’re willing to wait for it. Because large pores produce more oil this can actually be an advantage as you age. As you grow older your skin starts to produce less oil and therefore becomes much drier. And, dry skin can cause you to appear older and more wrinkled than you actually are. So take heart that those large pores will end up keeping your skin more moisturized and youthful-looking than your small-pored friends.
Yes, large pores can be embarrassing. But don’t just live with them. Try these 12 tips to shrink pores fast, or at least the appearance of, so you can face the world feeling confident and beautiful about your skin!
Article updated: March 21, 2018
For more skin care tips, keep reading on our blog here:
The Best Way To Unclog Pores On Your Face
Stop Exfoliating Your Skin with Baking Soda! (3 reasons why)
How to Remove Blackheads Safely and Naturally
1 Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review. Babar Ali, Naser Ali Al-Wabel.
2 Jagdeo J, Brody N. Complementary antioxidant function of caffeine and green tea polyphenols in normal human skin fibroblasts. J Drugs Dermatol. 2011 Jul;10(7):753-61.