Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Nancy Agrahari (Journalist) on 30th Oct 2020
10 minutes of skincare routine for tightening ugly pores
Dealing with pores can sometimes be mentally and physically exhausting. Have you tried out every other face mask or ointment that claims eradication of large pores are a hoax till they strip off a layer of skin? Pores size is genetically determined and might take more than a few strips to minimize. The good news is we have a simple skincare routine that will tighten your pores and shrink them so that they stop bothering you.
There is a whole load of the science behind the tightening of those ugly pores. Sadly just another face strip won’t do the work for you. To get rid of open pores, you need to have an effective yet simple skincare routine.
What is a pore?
Pores are tiny openings on our skin, which allows our skin to breathe. Each pore has an opening to a follicle, made of hair and sebaceous or oil gland. When these openings or pores are blocked by oil, dirt, dead skin cells, or bacteria, it develops pimples.
What are clogged pores?
Clogged pores can be formed for various reasons. It can be because of the dirt, oil, or dead skin cells or related to your diet causing inflammation in the body and cells. If you have stuck to the greener side and still have clogged pores, it can be hereditary.
Apart from the above options, you can have open pores due to hormones. Yes, hormones create a stickiness along the pore-lining of the cell, thus clogging the pores.
Type of clogged pores and ways to shrink them
There are three types of pores. These can be small, medium, or large. The harsh truth is that we can’t change the number of pores or their actual size on our skin. Having small or medium pores are genetically determined and may or may not increase over the years.
Youthful skin has less open pores because collagen strengthens the walls of pores, making them appear tighter and firmer. For young, glowing skin, look for ways to tighten your pores. There are home remedies and several over-the-counter products that claim to tighten or close open pores but instead result in inflammation or skin reddening.
To tighten your pores, you either unclog them, shrink them, or make sure they don’t jump up on the surface every now and then. To get to the point, all you need is a simple skincare routine.
But Why Should I Close Open Pores?
Let’s get one thing straight- you cannot close your pores. Our skin has tiny pores all, and they are all open. The visible ones- the small or large pores bother us because they are clogged and let's face it, not very pretty to look at.
To shrink, unclog, and improve the pores' appearance, follow the quick skincare routine and enjoy a good tea... or coffee?
How to tighten your pores
Get your hands on the Acids
Direct acids like Alpha Hydroxy acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids( BHAs) are the best things you can put on your skin. No, they are not those types of acids that will burn skin or cause you any harm.
These direct acids like Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, or Kojic Acid, are good for our skin and found in every other popular skincare product. Looking back on our history, we will find that direct acids have been around our skincare regimen for a long time. Earlier, they were used by dermatologists and makeup artists. With the introduction of science in the skincare regimen, these acids are regularly used in our products too.
But how do direct acids help shrink the pores?
Direct Acids like Alpha Hydroxy Acid and Beta Hydroxy Acids deeply exfoliate and intensely clean the skin from within. It also helps to improve skin clarity by reducing pigmentation. These acids are what the skincare regimen believes to be the holy grail when cleaning and shrinking your pores.
Choosing the right acid for your skin can be pretty confusing. You should always look for formulations that target your skin problems while keeping it clean and radiant. Get ahead and choose the right skin acid-
- Glycolic Acid (Alpha Hydroxy Acid)- Glycolic Acid works well with almost every skin type. Yet a patch test before using the product on your face is always recommended. If you have fine lines or wrinkles, you can bet on this fantastic acid. Glycolic acid gently exfoliates the skin and reduces dark spots.
- Salicylic Acid (Beta Hydroxy Acid)- Salicylic Acid or SA is another trusted Beta Hydroxy Acid that visibly reduces pore size and tightens them. They work well when it comes to unclogging pores and effectively treats blackheads and whiteheads. People with oily or acne-prone skin should grab a bottle of Salicylic Acid 2% and use it as a common mantra for cleansing open pores.
- Azelaic Acid- Reach out for Azelaic acid because it will not disappoint you. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that stop acne and pimples from surfacing on the skin. This acid is also used as a skin-lightening agent and works for all skin types.
If you are trying acids for the first time, use Minimalist Salicylic Acid or Glycolic Acid as their formulations are made with aloe juice to calm any side effects or irritation caused by direct acids.
When you are buying the products, look for acids that have a lower concentration, especially those with sensitive skin or dry skin. Also, go slow and use them less frequently, not more than once a week, and then increase the frequency when the skin adapts to the acid.
Since these acids are pretty strong, they may make your skin likely more susceptible to sun damage. Therefore, applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more in the daytime is a must. If nothing else, do a patch test on your wrist and wait for 24-48 hours. Once you get it all clear and don’t have any irritation or redness, continue using the active ingredients.
Clean Your Face Twice
Part of the reason why you can’t seem to tighten those pores is that you are not cleaning and exfoliating them regularly. When dead skin cells are accumulated or clogged in the pores, they make the pores appear larger and covered with whiteheads. Regularly cleansing the face with a gentle cleanser (preferably containing Salicylic Acid) will deeply unclog the pores, thus reducing their appearance.
Exfoliating and cleansing your skin goes hand in hand. You have clogged pores you should exfoliate your skin. There are various ways of using exfoliation, be it physical or chemical exfoliation. We suggest using a chemical exfoliant once a week to unclog the pores and tighten them for the best results.
Retinoid is your best bet
Though there have been controversies around retinoid, it is still an excellent option to reduce pores and get them to be invisible. Retinoids are a Vitamin A derivative that shrinks down pores and brightens dark spots. Retinoid works wonders because it boosts collagen production while decreasing the excess oil production in your skin, thus resulting in clear, radiant skin. It visibly tightens pores and is a great choice.
Retinoid promotes cellular growth and fights the signs of aging by exfoliating at the cellular level, giving you a brighter complexion. Regular use of retinol does help to reduce pores size and visibly shrink them. If you are new to retinoid, be braced as it may cause dryness, irritation, or redness. Retinoid is one of the few products that believes in a “worse-before-better” situation. It usually takes a few weeks for the skin to get used to retinol but always go with a patch test before trying the product.
We suggest you use Minimalist Granactive Retinoid 2% as it works well with beginners. Since the product is clinically proven, you can rely on it to shrink and tighten those pores.
Aloe Vera Gel
Every DIY swears by aloe vera and its unique properties. Applying an aloe vera gel face mask on open pores helps hydrate and tighten them. This is also an excellent way to unclog pores and keep your skin fresh and youthful all day long. You can directly apply the aloe vera gel on the face or make a quick leave-on face mask.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is more than your food staple. It is often known as the ‘radiant booster’ in the skincare regimen. It contains natural acids (such as malic acid) that work as a chemical exfoliator in unclogging the pores and removing excess oil. It minimizes the pores while balancing the skin’s natural pH.
To effectively tighten open pores, you can look for ACV serums.
Dr. Harshna Bijlani, Mumbai-based celebrity says-
For exfoliation, I use an exfoliator that uses glycolic acid instead of beaded
exfoliants that tend to damage the skin
To get glowing, clear skin, keep it hydrated, and avoid touching the acne all the time. Use gentle exfoliants to unclog the pores and visit the dermatologist whenever you need to. Your skin will stay healthy when you stay healthy and eat healthy.