When trying to keep pores clear it can be tempting to over-exfoliate. However, this can actually have the opposite effect, irritating the skin, triggering inflammation and keeping pores open, becoming prone to congestion. Our tip? Swap gritty scrubs for pre-soaked acid pads for a gentle but effective exfoliant. Keep an eye out for glycolic acid and salicylic acid, which are particularly effective.
Soothe With Steam
While few of us have time to regularly indulge in an at-home facial, there’s been a resurgence of steaming, the old-school ritual of immersing your face in a cloud of warm vapours to clean out pores. Set aside some time a couple of days a week and finish with a toner for the best results – we love Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Refining Tonic.
Clay masks are a quick, gentle and often affordable way to wick oil from congested pores. Sand and Sky’s Purifying Pink Clay Mask is an industry favourite – apply a thin layer to clean skin to eliminate surface impurities and toxins.
Get A Peel
These aren’t as scary as they sound. New-generation peels work under the surface of the skin to give you an instant glow as well as cleaning out pores to shrink them in the long-run. If acne has left you with enlarged pores and scarring, try the Medik8 betaPeel, or book in for an express 20-minute peel at recently opened Peel Boutique – the Blemish Busting Peel works miracles.
Retinols are vitamin A-based products loved in the beauty world for their anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle properties. In the same way they work to banish wrinkles, they can help to minimise pores by increasing collagen production and plumping skin. They can also decrease oil gland production and size, which can make pores appear smaller. Try La Roche-Posay’s Redermic Treatment for a hard-working yet gentle option.
UV protection is key to minimising pores in the long run. UV damage enlarges pores over time by thinning the skin and affecting its collagen structure. But many facial SPFs can leave skin looking shiny, which only exacerbates pore size, so opt for a primer that contains SPF instead. NARS’ Radiance Primer, £28, is the perfect solution, offering sun protection as well as pore-shrinking properties.
Keep Your Face Clean
This means cleansing twice daily with a pH-balanced cleanser (try Dermalogica’s Special Cleansing Gel), and consider using a facial brush like the cult Clarisonic for a deeper clean. Also, be sure to wipe down post-workout to prevent pores from clogging – facial wipes moistened with salicylic acid will do the job, so keep a pack in your gym bag at all times.
Try A Quick Fix
For an instant fix, primers and blurring creams work wonders to smooth the skin’s surface and make pores appear tighter. YSL’s iconic Touche Éclat Blur Primer will smooth skin in less than a minute and acts as the perfect primer under foundation. Or try Cover FX’s brand-new Blurring Primer for an airbrushed look.
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