Minimize Pores: Cheap At-Home Tips

How to minimize pores

Want to know a secret about minimizing pores?

Pores can't be closed! They can stretch, but they can't be opened or closed.

Here's another secret about pores?

Your pore size is mostly inherited! But that doesn’t mean you can’t create the illusion of smaller, tighter pores using simple home remedies and inexpensive over-the-counter products.

Check out these quick and easy tips to minimize pores. 

by Linda Robison

Clean skin - clean pores

So how do you "reduce the look" of pore size? Keep your skin clean.

It's a simple fact: If you reduce the build-up of those "black oily plugs" in your pores, they'll look smaller and smoother.

This does not mean you should overwash your face or use oil drying agents like alcohol or alcohol based toners. This will only cause more oil production and will make your pores look worse.

A simple weekly or bi-weekly gentle peel or exfoliation facial is all that is necessary to minimize pores - in addition to washing your face before bed, especially if you wear makeup.

What causes enlarged pores?

Pores on a woman's nose.

Your complexion naturally produces oil to hydrate, moisturize and protect the skin. Also, your skin is always renewing itself and in the process sheds the outer layer of skin (dead skin cells) daily. 

When excess oil combined with dead skin cells and other dirt such as makeup or pollutants builds up, it creates a soft waxy plug that causes the pore to stretch out and look larger than normal.

Also, oxidation (that's when tiny oil plugs are pushed up to the surface of the pore and exposed to oxygen) causes those plugs to turn black, which makes them even more noticeable.

Minimize pores with home remedies

Minimize pores with aspirin mask.

Baking soda mixture is a great, cheap, and simple home remedy to reduce the appearance of pores and keep them clean.

It acts like a commercial exfoliator, removing dead cells and any other build up from soaps, lotions, pollution etc. If you try this option, wash your face first with a gentle, natural soap and pat dry.

How to Clean Your Pores:

  • Take 1-2 Tablespoons full of the baking soda, mix with a little water until you have a paste. Use your fingertips, applying the paste to your skin. 
  • Move in circles for no more than 30-40 seconds.  Rinse thoroughly and moisturize.

Got Oily Skin and Enlarged Pores?

You can also try an aspirin mask. Simple to do:

  • Crush two non-coated aspirin in a bowl.
  • Add a few teaspoons of water and make a paste.
  • Apply this to the affected areas like nose and forehead and let dry. Then rinse off and moisturize your face.

Remember: Just because you want to minimize pores doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be moisturizing your skin.

Moisture is essential to your skin’s well-being. Don't be afraid to moisturize  otherwise your skin might over compensate and produce more oil and cause more clogged pores.

This is called the "rebound effect" where the more you try to reduce oil, the more the skin tries to produce to keep an equilibrium.

Best products to reduce the looks of large pores

Some simple non-expensive products like alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) or beta hydroxy acid (BHA) scrubs and peels are great for cleaning out those clogged pores.

These gentle (sometimes fruit-based) acids help to "un-glue" dead skin cells making it easier to remove them from the skin. Plus, they make your skin and look fantastic!

If you're over 40 you should at least be using an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) a few times a month for skin anti-aging purposes.

Remember, those dead skin cells not only settle into your pores, but also in the groves and lines of your wrinkles - making them appear deeper and more noticeable too!

Read about the anti-aging benefit of Lactic Acid Peels...

If you have combination skin you can address both issues with a gentle scrub that combines the benefits of both AHA/BHA. It uses natural fruit acids as opposed to harsh agents.

AHA/BHA Refining Scrub

Makeup to minimize pores

Makeup also offers some solutions for minimizing pores. When you start with a primer it fills in all the little lines and pores. When you add a good quality foundation to that the end effect is a great coverage and a much younger look.

Many experts in the makeup industry recommend mineral makeup foundations for the greatest success.

See how well this Veil Smoother Primer works:

Makeup to reduce the look of pores.

Pore reducing questions, facts and myths

Does cold water open pores?

1. Does hot water open pores?

No. Again, pores do not open or close, just shrink or stretch depending on how much debris is inside the pore. The only benefit of hot water or steam has on pores is to perhaps soften the oily plug, so it can be removed easier.

2. Do Biore Pore Strips really work to close or clean pores?

These type of products can help remove some of oily plug stuck inside your pores, but since these strips are so small and are only used on a small area of the face like your nose, you'll still benefit from a weekly or bi-weekly exfoliating facial or peel cleanser as mentioned above. 

Your entire face, neck and chest could benefit from a good scrub or peel. It's healthy to exfoliate your face, neck and chest, because that helps increase cell turnover and collagen production revealing fresh new clean skin.

3. How does sun exposure affect pores?

One overlooked tip to minimize pores is to watch your exposure to the sun. UV rays zap a lot of moisture from our skin and deter collagen production.

This means the more you tan – the more evident pores become because they don’t have good support. There are many makeup products on the market that include SPF protection, so grab one – even if it’s only a foundation to safeguard your skin’s elasticity.