Individuals can minimize pores by practicing good hygiene, using certain skincare products and trying home remedies. Some experts say, however, that minimizing pores is actually an impossible ideal and that the emphasis should be on overall skin health. Others outline everything from home remedies to expensive medical treatments for skin conditions. At times, advice is contradictory, recommending everything from baking soda to laser therapy to improve the look of skin.
Pores can appear large for a variety of reasons. In some cases, the size of the pore is natural and determined by genetic factors rather than overall skin health. People who gaze constantly in the magnifying side of their mirror may believe that their pores are larger than normal. Also, many celebrities and models who appear in magazines are airbrushed so that bigger pores cannot be seen, which people may think is normal. Some people may think that their pores should not be naturally visible.
Basic skin care guides agree that daily hygiene helps to minimize pores. Skin should be washed daily with natural soaps. Experts recommend using exfoliators or moisturizers after skin cleanser. Sunscreen should also be applied to protect skin from ultraviolet, or UV, rays, which can make skin flaws more prominent.
There are many over-the-counter products, called toners, that claim to help minimize pores. They contain astringents, such as alcohol, caffeine, or green tea. These products have an overall tightening effect on the skin. Other people recommend home remedies, such as washing with a paste of baking soda and water, or applying lemon juice. Whether these methods actually minimize pores is controversial.
In other cases, acne and other skin conditions can cause oily skin or blackheads, which make pores appear more prominent. If your skin is very oily, or if you have blackheads or red patches, you will need to see a dermatologist. Changes in your skin should be monitored in case they are a symptom of underlying health conditions. A dermatologist can also recommend products, such as lotion containing Retin A, and skin-care regimens that would be best for your type of skin.
For those with hard-to-treat acne or other skin conditions, more aggressive treatments have been developed to minimize pores. Skin peels, done with mild acid or lasers, remove the top layer of skin. The result is much like a sunburn without the UV exposure, as the layer of dead cells peels off and is replaced. The oil-producing glands also shrink, minimizing blackheads. The skin that grows back will be refreshed and smooth-looking and have smaller pores.