Many of us have enlarged pores, that result in various skin issues like acne, rosacea, white heads and black heads. What makes it worse is when we apply a highlighter on our cheeks and nose; thats when these pores are all the more pronounced. Pores are often caused by popping pimples, rubbing the skin abrasively, heat, sebum, and aging. Once these pores are enlarged, it is very difficult to shrink them. However, we can work towards eliminating the causes one by one:
Controling sebum production and heat
Heat is an important aspect to control. I'm sure many of you think cold water or rubbing an ice cube on your face will help. This might give temporary results, but its not going to make a dramatic improvement. Instead, you must treat this problem from within- drink lots of water. Yes! needless to say, this will bring down your body heat and keep you hydrated. Eating 1 full cucumber a day will also maintain low temperature. Aloe Vera gel or sheet mask is equally cooling. A well hydrated skin, will in turn produce less sebum.
How to clean the pores?
The answer is exfoliation. But this doesnt mean, rubbing your skin or being too abrasive. It will only make matters worse. The best way to exfoliate is to use a toner with cleansing and exfoliating ability. You can look for natural alternative to AHA (glycolic acid) BHA (Salicylic acid) like sugarcane extract and willow bark extract respectively. Wiping your skin with a toner-soaked cotton pad will remove the dead skin cells and polish the skin texture. However, donot use strong AHA, BHA, PHA products on a daily basis, as this will disturb the natural skin barrier and make your skin extra sensitive.
Follow these steps to get best results:
Apply a clay mask on your face right after a shower. This will extract all the dirt and bring it to the surface. Leave it for 15 mins and rinse with warm water (cotton pad/ wash cloth).
Follow up with a gentle foaming cleanser.
Now it is important to shrink the open and cleansed pores. Apply this DIY mask (mentioned below in detail), which is very helpful, effective and can be easily made at home. Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse off with cold water. Follow up with a Toner (cleansing + exfoliating) and your other skincare products.
Oatmeal - Either flour or regular oatmeal will do. However, it needs to be 'colloidal oatmeal', which is nothing but cooking oatmeal in water till it is absorbed in the water and you should have a milky liquid with a silky feel. Colloidal oatmeal is great to reset the skin's disturbed barrier by soothing it and holding water against the skin. Let it cool down after cooking.
Egg White - Separate and whisk the raw egg white in a separate bowl. Note: donot add the egg white in the hot/ warm colloidal oatmeal, as we donot want to cook the egg. Egg white has albumin which is great at shrinking the pores.
Matcha- Incase you donot have Matcha, regular Green tea bag or tea leaves, steeped in hot water will also do. Again strain and let it cool down. (Non of the ingredients should be hot). Matcha/ green tea is excellent at calming irritation, decreasing the appearance of blackheads, eliminating dead skin, dirt and bacteria.
Honey- Add manuka honey or any regular honey to the cooled down green tea water and ensure it is completely dissolved. Honey is great at moisturizing the skin.
Mix all the above cooled down ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate for an hour before use. Leftover mask, can be stored in the fridge upto 4 days. Donot use the mask after that to avoid bacteria formation. Apply this mask in the morning and evening for 1 week, to see the desired results. Regular use will considerably help in reducing the size of the pores.