Not to break your heart this early on, but the truth is that we can't actually make our pores smaller. As much of a bummer that is, however, your pursuit for smoother skin isn't entirely hopeless. That's because even if you can't shrink your genetically-determined pore size, you can pretty much hide it the same way you do your dark circles. It won't work as fast as concealer, but we swear—with the right skincare products and techniques, minimizing the look of pores is simpler than it seems. Scroll ahead for a complete guide!
How do you make large pores look smaller?
1. Protect your skin's collagen and elastin.
Our skin's natural collagen and elastin tends to degrade as we age, but it degrades even faster the more we're exposed to the sun. This makes our complexion less taut and firm, leading to very visible pores. While we can't stop ourselves from aging, we can protect our skin from the sun with consistent sunscreen use, which will slow down collagen and elastin degradation and keep our skin looking tight and minimize the appearance of texture.
2. Increase your collagen production.
Your pores could become more visible if your skin's self-renewal process isn't as fast as it should be. Using vitamin A derivatives like retinoids and retinol as well as vitamin C can help with this, since these ingredients encourage cell turnover. It'll give you not only less visible pores but a smoother, more even-toned and firmer complexion!
3. Reduce your oil production.
If you have very oily skin, it's likely that it's the reason behind your inflated-looking pores. To remedy this, create a skincare routine that'll reduce your sebum production. You can consult your doctor if you're a candidate for oil-cutting medication like accutane or tretinoin, or you can try adding products with ingredients like niacinamide and green tea extract to your regimen.
4. Remove excess oil in your pores.
When your pores are looking bigger than usual, it's probably holding on to a lot of excess gunk that shouldn't be there in the first place. Instead of forcibly squeezing them out though, hand the job over to beta-hydroxy acids like salicylic acid which will basically dissolve that gunk for you. Using a cleanser with salicylic acid daily should help you maintain clear-looking pores, and you can even use it as a quick mask and leave it on for a minute or two. But for the busy-bodies, a clay mask BHA-infused toner or serum should do the trick. No picking and squeezing needed!
5. Get rid of all the dead skin.
Having dead skin cells accumulate at the top layer of your face is also a common culprit for more visible pores. Luckily, you can easily get rid of these by applying chemical exfoliants at least once or twice a week. Alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid are a great choice for a good scrub-free sloughing, but getting a microdermabrasion treatment from your derm or dermaplaning are also options worth looking into.
The Best Pore Minimizing Products to Try
Now that you know what's making your skin look congested, it's time to upgrade your routine with products that'll give your pores that "tighter" look. Take your pick below!
1. Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Gel
This gel-based, water-resistant sunscreen has a fresh, lightweight feel that'll keep you (and your pores) protected from UV rays. It's also light enough to be worn on the body!
Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Gel SPF 50+ PA++++, P1490, ANESSA, Lazada
2. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
If you want to dodge a white cast, this fragrance- and oil-free sunblock uses safe chemical filters to shield you from the sun and blue light. It can also double as a primer, leaving the complexion with a velvet finish that easily grips makeup.
Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++, P2050, SUPERGOOP!, Sephora.ph
3. The Inkey List Retinol
This retinol cream is perfect for beginners who want to dip their toes into this skin-renewing ingredient but have no idea where to start. Use it as your last step at night for healthier-looking skin!
Retinol, P700, THE INKEY LIST, Sephora.ph
4. Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum
Murad's Youth Renewal Serum contains a fast-acting, time released retinol that gives you all the ingredient's benefits while minimizing irritation. Not only will it make your pores less visible, it also claims to reduce fine lines and dullness as early as two weeks.
Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, P5050, MURAD, Rustan's
5. Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Serum
Olay combines the powers of niacinamide and retinol in this night serum to renew, smooth, and add radiance to dull, textured skin. FYI, if it's fragrance-free, so it's a worth a shot if you have sensitive skin!
Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Serum, P1999, OLAY, Watsons
6. Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
With 12.5% vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, this serum from Kiehl's visibly refines the look of pores by improving your collagen production and hydrating and plumping the skin. What's more, it's a perfect multi-tasker that'll deal with fine lines and wrinkles and provide everyday protection from free radicals.
Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, P3900, KIEHL'S, Greenbelt 5
7. Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum
Niacinamide helps balance sebum production and brighten dark spots all at once, so if struggle with both, you won't regret adding it to your regimen. This serum from Good Molecules is your best bet for its high concentration of the ingredient (10%) and the affordable price tag!
Niacinamide Serum, P375, GOOD MOLECULES, BeautyMnl
8. Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash
To clear your skin of dead skin and oil, lather up this acne cleanser from Dermalogica. It contains 0.5% salicylic acid, one of the best ingredients out there for unclogging pores and preventing breakouts.
Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash, P1210, DERMALOGICA CLEAR START, Sephora.ph
9. Naturium BHA Liquid Exfoliant 2%
If you prefer a leave-on BHA, Naturium's liquid exfoliant has 2% salicylic acid that'll deal with congestion sans the hassle. It also works double time to add radiance and smooth out fine lines, so you're definitely getting more out of it than minimized pores.
BHA Liquid Exfoliant 2%, P1600, NATURIUM, Lazada
10. Caudalie Vinopure Blemish Control Infusion Serum
This serum targets excess oil, clogged pores, and breakouts with a combination of salicylic acid and niacinamide. To soften the blow, it hydrates with rosewater and give you antioxidant benefits with grape seed polyphenols.
Vinopure Blemish Control Infusion Serum, P2880, CAUDALIE, Sephora.ph
11. Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask
For tighter-looking pores in a flash, give yourself a DIY facial with this clay mask from Sand & Sky. In 10 minutes, it'll get the gunk out of your pores and give you fresh-looking complexion that barely needs makeup.
Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask, P1500 (30g), SAND & SKY, Sephora.ph
12. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
This glycolic acid toner will slough off dead skin and help lighten dark spots in a few swipes. It's one of the easiest ways to incorporate a chemical exfoliant in your routine, just make sure to pace yourself a minimize use to a few times a week to prevent overexfoliation!
Glycolic Acid Solution 7% Toning Solution, P1100, THE ORDINARY, Lazada
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