Pores are a structural layer of our skin and most times the cause of worry for a number of skincare problems like acne and pigmentation. They work just like a sponge to absorb products, retain moisture, protect the skin, etc. You can’t get rid of them but if they are oily or appear more prominent there is something we can do about it.

Pore size is determined by genetics so there are small-sized pores for normal and dry skin types who often have less to worry about. People with oily, acne-prone, or combination skin have large pores that easily get clogged by dust, pollution, and other free radicals in the element as the pores get clogged quickly triggering an inflammation reaction. Large pores also have a tendency to produce more oil or sebum which when exposed to sunlight causes pigmentation.

Let’s Minimize Open Pores with The BEST Regimen

There are three ways you can deal with open pores:

  1. Shrinking (by unclogging a.k.a clearing out all the gunk and that’s making them look bigger), 

  2. Tightening them back to their pre-stretched state, and 

  3. Controlling sebum production

Here is the regimen you could follow if you have large open pores;

  • Exfoliate 

Exfoliation acids like AHA (Glycolic Acid), a water-soluble acid to remove surface debris, and BHA (Salicylic Acid), an oil-soluble acid to remove bad guys from deep inside the oil-clogged pores is your best bet against clearing congestion effectively. A daily morning and evening cleanse with a face wash containing both these acids will keep your skin smooth and clear. In case your skin doesn’t agree with salicylic acid, you can switch to using glycolic and lactic acid combination. 

Tip: Wash your face with warm water first to open up your pores for better penetration of the cleanser and rinse off with lukewarm water to shrink them back to normal. 

  • Tone

Toning is an important step in the skincare routine for people with oily skin and large open pores. Toning helps get rid of stubborn surface debris or whiteheads that didn’t come off during cleansing. After face wash, the gunk may come out of the pores and remain stuck on the surface because salicylic acid has pushed them out of the pores. For this reason, it’s best to use a glycolic acid toner to remove them easily without stripping the skin’s natural pH. The toner also helps control sebum production by taking care to keep the skin hydrated, making the oil-producing skin cells know that there is no need for extra oil to keep the skin moisturized.

  • Treat 

Treatment for open pores comes in the form of pore tightening. It could be keeping the pores clear and shrinking them to their non-stretched state or tightening lax pores that occurred due to age or acne inflammation. Niacinamide is a great skincare ingredient that will mellow the skin down after exfoliation and also control oil production. There is also Retinol that has strong anti-aging benefits that help tighten lax pores and keep acne inflammations at bay. 

Tip: You cannot mix AHA-BHA with Retinol. You can however use AHA, BHA & Niacinamide combination in the morning, leaving to use Retinol ONLY at night after washing and toning your face with products that do not have Glycolic or Salicylic Acid in them. You can use a Vitamin C Face wash and toner at night, before Retinol treatment. 

  • Moisturize

Moisturization is a scary concept for large open pores as it already produces so much oil. But your skin needs hydration and a means to control that oil because extra oil on your face is not necessary and needs to be blotted out to keep acne and pigmentation at bay. Using an oil-free moisturizer with oily and acne-prone skin-friendly ingredients like squalene or niacinamide will control the oil, hydrate the skin, and help treatment products to better absorb into the skin without irritation. The exfoliation process tends to dry out skin, even oily skin types, so it is better to keep the skin’s pH balanced.

  • Protect

This regimen has both AHA, BHA & Retinol exfoliation that leaves new skin exposed to sunlight. If the skin is not protected with a strong sunblock then it could lead to pigmentation and melasma. An oil-free SPF 60+ sunscreen containing zinc agrees with all skin types and provides the protection you need to keep your skin further from harm’s way and heal slowly. Also, sunlight reverses the effects of Retinol so you should use sunscreen in the morning after applying Retinol at night.