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Pores are small openings in the skin that are an essential part of the skin structure. While pores help the skin to breathe and maintain its health, they may become a nuisance if they enlarge.
Large pores can result in excessive oil release, blackheads, and spots, often making makeup applications difficult. Several at-home treatments can help tighten pores, making them smaller and less noticeable.
Enlarged Skin Pores
Skin pores can stretch out when dirt, oil, skin cells, and debris accumulate inside the pores. Pores may also enlarge as a result of sun damage and aging, which affect the structural integrity of the skin.
Often, oily skin is more prone to large skin pores, especially in young age. However, people with dry skin may have noticeable pores as well. Pore size depends on various factors, including genetics, hormones, age, and sun damage.
Home Remedies to Treat Open Pores
You can try different home remedies to help tighten your pores. Make sure to perform a patch test first to prevent adverse reactions or allergies.
1. Apply aloe vera gel
Aloe vera is a natural astringent, which helps reduce the appearance of pores. It also helps in evening out the skin tone. (1) Moreover, aloe vera helps nourish and cleanse the skin of dirt and oil.
How to use:
Apply aloe vera gel to your face and gently massage. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, and wash it off with cold water after.
2. Use an egg white mask
Topical application of egg whites can help tighten skin pores and give an even tone to the skin. (2) Egg whites also help treat acne and improve skin health.
How to use:
Mix an egg white with some lemon juice and oatmeal. Apply the paste to the open pores and allow it to dry for half an hour. Wash your face with cold water. Use this remedy twice a week.
3. Steam your face
Often, your skin pores appear enlarged due to the accumulation of oil, skin debris, and blackheads. Steaming your face can dislodge this dirt from the pores, helping them return to their original size. (3)
How to use:
Steam your face for 5–20 minutes once a week.
4. Dab some apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) acts as a skin toner, which can help tighten skin pores.
How to use:
Dilute ACV in water in a 1:1 ratio, and dab it on your face using a cotton ball. It is best to use this at night after washing your face.
5. Ice the area
The cold effect of ice helps shrink skin pores and gives a tightening effect. It also promotes blood circulation, thus improving skin health. However, avoid applying ice directly to the skin as it can damage skin tissues.
How to use:
Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean washcloth and apply it to your skin for a few seconds. You can also use ice-cold water to wash your face. Infusing the water with apple juice, cucumber juice, rose water, and green tea when making ice cubes may provide added benefits.
Tips to Prevent Large Pores
The following self-care tips can help treat and prevent large skin pores:
1. Apply sunscreen
Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher helps prevent sun damage to the skin. Apply a water-resistant sunscreen for long-lasting wear.
2. Drink lots of water
It is essential to keep your skin hydrated as dry skin is prone to enlarged pores. Drink 8–10 glasses of water each day to meet your fluid requirements. (4)
3. Remove makeup
Always cleanse your skin of any makeup before you sleep at night. Make sure to clean your makeup tools regularly as well. Micellar water is perhaps the best makeup remover as it penetrates deep inside the pores and cleanses your skin thoroughly.
4. Consume a healthy diet
In general, it is advised to avoid high-carb and oily foods as they can cause acne breakouts and large skin pores. (5) Instead, consume a diet rich in nutrients and vitamins to help firm up the skin.
5. Wash your face twice daily
Use a gel-based cleanser containing glycolic acid to wash your face twice every day. This helps remove excess oil, treat acne, and ultimately, prevent large pores. (6)
6. Use oil-free products
Apply only water-based, noncomedogenic lotions, creams, and makeup products to prevent excessive oil on your skin.
7. Exfoliate your skin
Use a mild scrub to exfoliate your skin two to three times a week. This helps remove dirt, oil, dead cells, and toxins accumulated in your skin pores. (7)(8) However, avoid overexfoliation as it can cause microtears and enlarge the pores.
8. Use clay masks
Clay helps absorb the oil, dirt, and other impurities from your skin pores. It is often used as an acne and detoxifying treatment. Apply a clay mask, and wipe your face with a clean towel dipped in warm water once the clay dries.
9. Avoid touching your skin
Do not pick on your skin or pimples as it can increase the risk of bacterial infection, making your pores larger.
Skin pores are an essential part of healthy skin. While tight skin pores make your skin look healthy and youthful, large, loose pores can give a dull effect. Moreover, the debris accumulated in such large skin pores may impede their function.
Cleaning your skin regularly, following a proper skin care regimen, eating healthy, and staying hydrated can help improve large pores. These measures help your skin appear firm, smooth, and healthy.