Do you love your pores and want to know everything about pore care, you have reached the right place. In this article, I have come up with an ultimate guide to clear pore and help you with minimizing pores and refining skin.
Thinking about how something so small, sometimes look so big?
No matter if you have dry skin, oily skin, combo skin, or all, here is the ultimate guide to clear pore and why it should be a part of your skincare routine.
Because pores are mostly due to genetics and hormones, there are still things we can do to help them look as teeny tiny and invisible to the eye as possible.
What are pores?
Pores are the little openings on our face that we like to complain about. They are very important for the healthy functioning of our skin because they produce sebum to protect your skin from dirt and bacteria in the environment. They are actually teeny hair follicles with baby hair inside the pore which you can’t really see for the most part. Sebum is released to the surface of the skin through then pore.
Pores are different from sweat pores, which only produce sweat from the glands. And only when the pore is trapped by deadly skin, will comedones like whiteheads, blackheads from inside the pore.
Clear pores from oily face skin
So are you the one wondering why are my pores so big and why are other people’s smaller? So generally speaking, it comes down to skin types, because people with more oily skin will generate more sebum in the pore. This means when the pore is filled, it will look larger. It’s kind of like larger, i.e. filling up a pool. So when you fill up something that wasn’t there before, it will expand and it will just stay that way.
If you don’t do things like clean your face properly, then this is only going to more like extravagant.
Clear pores for dry skin
People with dry skin don’t produce too much sebum as a result of which the pore size is smaller. But then the other end of that just means that they have to work harder in restoring all the oil to their face. Otherwise, dry as a desert.
Clear pores for combination skin
If you have combination skin, you’ll find that the most part, just the pores around your T-zone will be enlarged compared to the rest of the face.
Basically, a lot of ingredients you find that are like very big marketing words on your products because these are ingredients that are good for your skin and are already produced by your skin.
Another thing is the thinner your skin, the more apparent you pores can be, because it’s more like sagging effect, i.e. if it’s thin, it just sags a little which is why sometimes with age or aging skin, it can look bigger than normal. Whereas, if you have very thick plump skin, you can just imagine like everything is kind of condensed and like dense. So then your pores won’t look as big which is why things like retinols also help with pore size as it helps boost the skin thickness.
While our pores can’t actually be shrunken or enlarged, their appearance can definitely be minimized with various tips and tricks and good skin care habits. And this takes us into some pre-skin care steps for taking good care of our pores.
Face steaming at home
You cannot actually open or close a pore, because in order to do that you need a muscle and there is no muscle surrounding your teeny tiny little pore. So what they mean is, its’ basically got to do with temperature. When it’s hot, your skin as an organ expands, and it will like magnify that hole which is the pore. And then when it’s cold, it will contract. Now what face steaming does is its basically using hot steam and opening your pore so that it will loosen the debris that’s actually filling the pore inside which is like dirt, oil, whiteheads, blackheads, and that makes it easier to do things like extraction.
It helps the product that we apply after to absorb a lot better and a lot more effectively when our pore is nice and clean.
How to face steam at home?
- Fill your sink with hot water. You can boil some, but hot water from the tap works perfectly fine as well.
- Then cover your head with a towel for 3-5 minutes. Longer is allowed only if you are comfortable.
- Breathe in and breathe out. If breathing gets difficult, open the towel up and let the air through. And of course you can take breaks. Try not to force yourself. Instead, treat yourself.
After steaming, your face will feel very hot and this is actually really great because sweat expels a lot of toxins from the face as well. So not only are you opening the pores, you are also getting rid of that gunk. Doing this is one method but it’s the same as having a bath or a shower. So you don’t have to do this if you just came out of the bath or shower because it’s the same thing.
**With face steam cleaning, you’ll be able to clear your sinuses as well as you are doing this. And if you just can’t be bothered with filling your sink with water and you know draping a towel over your head and putting your face over it, you can also get a face towel and wet it with hot water. Wring it, and then just put it over wherever you want to extract. If it’s the nose, you just fold the towel, put it over here for like a minute or something. I mean it only last about 30 seconds. And you have to do it like few times, 3 times is enough.
“Face steaming is a way to loosen everything whatever is inside the pores”
Extraction is done with a tool, I say a metal rod with a loop on one end and a more rounded spoon extractor, which has a teeny tiny hole in the middle. This tool is used to extract the comedo which is just a fancy medical term for pimple. And these includes blackheads, whiteheads, and other grimes. So when you’re once using, clean pores are trapped by dead skin, things like oil, bacteria start to build up inside which forms these pimples or forms these blackheads or whiteheads which is when you use a tool to help extract.
And the difference between a whitehead, a blackhead, and like a pimple for example is a whitehead is contained. It’s not exposed to air, so it’s still under skin, i.e. building up slowly. And then a blackhead isn’t black because it’s dirty. It’s because it’s actually been exposed to air and air oxidizes whatever it like touches type of thing. You can think of an avocado; if you cut an avocado, it goes brown. That’s basically what a blackhead is.
Then a pimple is just more of that pussy build up inside. If you use it properly, get this out, very gently.
How to use the extraction tool?
Using this tool is a lot better than using our fingers because there’s bacteria trapped under our nails, so when we touch it, it’s easy for the bacteria to spread.
- Ensure the tool is sanitized. You can use alcohol before beginning. You can just let it sit in the alcohol for about twenty to thirty seconds.
- Gently press over the opening of the blackhead or pore; wiggle it around or gently roll across affected area. If nothing comes out, you can slightly adjust the angle that you’re pressing down too.
- If it still doesn’t come out easily after you have adjusted the angle, just leave it alone because if you press too hard, which is something that I tend to do, it just indents your skin and then it just starts peeling the next day. This is because you broke your skin layers by pressing too hard.
Now you shouldn’t keep going with it, because sometimes the blackhead, whitehead, or pimple is actually very far down in the layers of just skin. And it’s just not ready. So by you going down, you are actually aggravating it and spreading it inside.
**Tip to keep in mind; You can use a toner or antiseptic cream or natural antibacterial ingredients like tea tree or eucalyptus oil to the spot. Do you know how to use facial skincare toner for clear skin?
Prepping and also, like, sealing it is just as important. Because if you don’t, the bacteria will get inside again and then you’ll have another pimple in the place where you just got one in.
It’s the next most important thing when it comes to minimizing pores. And I am going to focus on serums because they are jam-packed concentrated little bottles of magic that are filled with active ingredients to help you target specific skincare concerns. And there are lot of products for pore care. So if pore is your main concern, you want to find something that is very hydrating as well as helps with blurring of the pore.
- Clarins pore control serum- This is specifically designed for controlling your pores. This was actually really interesting because normally, the serum I use are very runny. But when I use this one, it’s so iridescent. It’s like pearl. Further, it’s hydrating and of course smooth. I dab it onto my fingers and then apply it onto the places where my pores are ginormous which is the cheek and the forehead. Help it work in the smaller circular motions.
The texture of this serum is mattified velvet and it’s the one that creates that blur. It reminds me of the primer. It’s like the texture of the makeup primer like a foundation primer is also hydrating at the beginning. There’s this like transformation that kind of goes on. So when it starts to settle into the skin, it gives you almost like the softening and blurring feel in the real life version. Hence, making it important to use pore control serum after you’ve just extracted all the nasties from your pores.
Apart from that, it actually has mattifying powders in it but also light enhancing pigments, so that it does kind of like manipulate lighting when it’s shining onto your face. It’s the iridescent thing that I’ve been telling you all.
- Tamarind pulp acid
This is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid which I known is a chemical exfoliant that helps to unclog the pores. This also reduces age-related spots and blemishes and keep the skin clear. And tamarind also has a lot of antioxidants in it that helps with free radicals, kind of like Vitamin C. Tamarind naturally exfoliates pore clogging debris to help smooth and refine skin’s texture, for a boost of radiance.
- Vine Flower
It also helps to tighten and reduce the look of enlarged pores.
- Organic strawberry tree
It helps regulate oil production to reduce the appearance of dilated pores. So then you can use this by itself and then follow with a moisturizer.
This serum is basically to help with controlling your oily pores, your big oily pores.
For dry skin and large pores;
You can try skipping cleansing in the morning and instead use something like micellar water to just kind of take off anything on your face that got there overnight. And then follow with your best skincare routine. Note that serums are a must because it helps you nourish and hydrate your skin before you lock everything in with a moisturizer. Because if you don’t have the under layers, your moisturizers could potentially not be enough for dry skin.
For oily skin
It’s almost exactly the same. You want to keep it hydrated because the hydration and the moisture will then tell your pores to not make as much oil, which means it will then be smaller and it’s not filled with excess sebum. So the moral of the story is just hydration with serums.
Other ingredients that you can look out for that help with pores include; glycolic acid for mild chemical exfoliation and hyaluronic acid to hydrate without greasiness. Salicylic acid is also a great ingredient to include, and is a winner for both drier and oily skin types, because it helps to get deep into pores and break down the sebum.
**Key takeaway is exfoliation and hydration. All the exfoliating acids, AHA’s, BHA’s, help you take away the dead skin, so it doesn’t clog your pores. And then the hydration helps replenish and keep your skin hydrated and plump, so that it is not saggy and expanding.
And the good thing about the ingredients in serums is that the AHA’s are fruit derived, much like this one with the tamarind.
Sugar hormones and large pores
Large pores have a lot to do with genetics, but hormones as well. So how do these interplay together? Though it’s not that sugar itself causes acne, it’s actually what happens when we eat it, and how our body reacts to it that actually causes the breakouts. So if you’re over-indulging in sweets, it doesn’t really matter what you follow up with skincare. This is because if your body isn’t happy with what you’re consuming, which is a lot of refined sugar, then you know it’s not going to be happy outside either.
Sugar has a high glycemic index and it is basically ranking for food based on their sugar level. And sugar level affects our hormones.
How does it affect our hormones?
When you eat certain foods that are high in sugar, particularly refined sugar, your body quickly converts this into glucose when then goes into your bloodstream. This makes insulin levels in your body increase and insulin is a hormonal response to sugar in the bloodstream. Then when your insulin spikes, this is directly linked to the receptors that are connected to the pores and it will signal the pores to produce more oils. So the oils in the pores increase, which makes them appear larger. And then when the pores are larger, you’re also increasing the risk that they get filled with dead skin, debris, and dirt, which then makes you break out more!
But it’s not even just the pores that get affected. When your insulin goes up, your body goes into fat storing more which is why high sugar diets cause very rapid weight gain, and why you can’t lose weight without reducing the amount of sugar you’re consuming.
“If you want to have clear skin, you’ve got to cut out the sugar!”
Tips to reduce sugar in lives
First thing I try to do is I generally don’t drink much soda to begin with, because it’s loaded with so much sugar. And there’s always healthier options like water, which might be a little boring, but you can throw some frozen fruit in there or just fruits in general to make it have some sort of a flavor. Or there’s also teas. For me, Soda is non-negotiable. Like I try very hard to not drink it. Actually I haven’t had it in a long time and it’s one of those things if you don’t have it for a long time, you don’t really crave it.
One thing that’s kind of in the gray zone for me is a 100% fruit juice, my body works in a way where it can process the sugar from fruits really well. But I know for other people drinking juice, even if it’s 100% fruit juice, it will affect them the same as like drinking soda. So it really depends.
Juice is almost as bad as soda sometimes because it’s got just as much sugar in it. You just don’t necessarily think of it as that much because you’re like “Fruit!”
“Refined sugar in soda is different from natural sugar in fruits”
So that’s like one way to cut some portion of sugar out because it’s like, you’re kind of drinking it sometimes to wash food down, right? It’s kind of like wasted calories and wasted sugar, so that’s one step that you can do.
Another thing you can try is also reduce the sugar that you put in as a supplement to other drinks like teas, coffees or even oatmeal and yogurt. Sometimes we like to sprinkle sugar on top. For me, every morning, I used to put in two packets or two tablespoons of sugar into my coffee, but that is actually very easy to reduce.
At first, I reduced it to one packet, or one teaspoon in the coffee, and then you kind of get used to that. And then through there you can reduce it to nothing at all and just drink it straight. But also same with teas, you can have it without milk and just have it with boiling water, and you don’t need it. Otherwise look for natural sweeteners like honey, which is something that we both do. And then if you’re doing this once a day, it adds up over like the seven days, a month, and then within the year, you reduced actually a lot of sugar from your diet. So if you’re ever craving something sweet, you can replace what you would normally eat, like a cookie or a slice of cake or anything loaded with refined sugar with something like fresh fruit. They are loaded with tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are actually really good for your skin.
So if you can, swap out: this is like making these minor lifestyle adjustments.
“Sugar makes the brain produce dopamine and serotonin”
Just remember, everything in moderation. And just know that it is actually having effects on your body. And if you’re complaining about your skin, this is a very easy way to kind of slowly reduce and be mindful.