Last Updated on August 9th, 2019
Even if you have been following any ordinary anti-acne care program with good success, chances are you are left with a problem that anything less than the best skin products and programs won’t address, enlarged pores. Treatments that work well to get rid of blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples can still leave unsightly reminders on newly clear skin that seem to scream “Acne was here!”
Enlarged pores tend to be worse in women than in men1. They are more noticeable and severe in adult acne than in acne in teens. Growing skin tends to erase enlarged pores all on its own, but any over the age of 25 is likely to need a little cosmetic help to get past the problem.
The good news about dealing with one of acne’s most persistent side effects is that you don’t have to diet to get rid of enlarged pores. There are no odd foods you have to eat. There are no delicious foods that are prohibited for you.
A simple combination of the right home skin health routines and the right acne products is the most effective solution for getting rid of enlarged pores for good2. If you follow these simple steps, it will only be a day or two before you see the great complexion you have been working so hard to achieve. Treat these five steps as your map to success over enlarged pores.
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It’s no secret. Soap and water are often the best cleansers for normal healthy skin3. If you have enlarged pores, however, you will get better results if you use a cleanser that is right for your skin type.
Oily skin. Many cleansers contain oil and vitamin E4, which is great for your skin—unless it’s oily. You don’t want to add oil to oily skin! Oily skin needs simple skin cleansers. The lipid cleansers many companies make for removing makeup leave a residue on oily skin. You probably don’t need them. If you have oily skin, take the time to find simple products that contain a minimum of oil to dissolve the excess oil on your skin so you can wash dirt away.
Dry skin. The lipid cleansers that are not recommended for oily skin5 are exactly what is needed for taking makeup off dry skin. These products will smooth over enlarged pores so they disappear under makeup. Oil and vitamin E in your facial cleansers are fine year-round if you have dry skin.
Sensitive skin. If you have skin that breaks out easily, or if you tend to get skin allergies, you have sensitive skin. People who have sensitive skin need to avoid any product that contains scents, essential oils, or fragrances. These are major causes of new skin irritation. Men who have sensitive skin need to consider products like neem or tea tree oil that prevent ingrown whiskers and razor burn.
Many acne cleansers include a mild exfoliant, such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulfur. These chemicals are added to peel away tiny, almost invisible flakes of dead skin6 that otherwise might flop around and block pores. The products are OK for oily skin, but people who have dry or sensitive skin do better avoiding them.
Other acne cleansers contain abrasive particles that are advertised for “unplugging” pores. If you have enlarged pores, you don’t need these products. Your enlarged pores have already been unplugged. Using abrasives on skin that has enlarged pores will just injure the walls of pores7—and make them red as well as enlarged.
Polyethylene beads are bad, but aluminum oxide and ground fruit pits and nut shells, found in “natural dermabrasion” scrubs, are even worse. Ironically, these scrubs can make it even harder to get rid of enlarged pores because they thicken the skin8. If you feel you just have to use a face scrub, look for the ingredient sodium tetraborate decahydrate, once upon a time known as “20 Mule Team Borax” soap.
Even better, just say no to facial scrubs. They are a leading cause of damage to pores!
When you are 13, 14, 15, or 16 years old, your skin tends to forgive you when you rub it the wrong way. Teenagers can get away with scrubbing their faces with washcloths and harsh soaps—although they can avoid years of problems later if they just follow the good cleansing habits that are also best for adults9.
Wash your hands before you wash your face. Apply cleanser to your face with clean fingertips. Allow 15 to 30 seconds for penetration that lifts and separates dirt, debris, and oil.
Wash the skin on your face, and anywhere on your body, with warm water, not hot or cold. Hot water makes enlarged pores even bigger, and cold water can trap those little bits of dirt that look like blackheads, but really aren’t, in the pores you have worked so hard to heal.
Pat your skin dry. Don’t rub it dry. And be sure to use a clean towel every time.
Washing your skin by this procedure is good no matter what your age, and there is a simple way to avoid damaging your pores—don’t leave any cleanser on your skin for too long.
The reason for this recommendation is that the surface of your skin is naturally slightly acidic. Soaps are naturally slightly alkaline. Leaving a cleanser on your skin for, say, 2 to 3 minutes or more begins to interfere with the natural healing action of the antioxidants your skin needs to stay wrinkle-free. And you really don’t want to replace acne with wrinkles!
We don’t really mean to suggest you need to follow the skin care routines of the stars of Twilight fame, but rather that you don’t want to moisturize too much, or too often. Moisturizer should be reserved for when you really need it.
Even acne sufferers who have oily skin can need moisturizer11. If you stay cooped up in a house with a fireplace or forced air heating system all winter, or if you live in a place that has hot, dry summers, moisturizing prevents the skin damage that inevitably leads back to more blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. You just don’t want to put too much moisture in your skin.
Timing makes a difference12. If you moisturize just in the evening, or just before going to bed, or just before you go out for the evening, you won’t be filling up enlarged pores with moisture. If you moisturize morning, noon, and night, too, your pores will show it.
There are two exceptions to this rule. If you have not just enlarged pores but also acne scars, you may want to use collagen products that put moisture on the skin without putting moisture in it. The cosmetic effect of these products goes away just as soon as you wash them off, but they are a great cover-up while you are reducing acne scars.
Also, it’s not unusual for a woman to find that her skin gets drier with hormonal changes. Anytime the skin starts to lose its matte, or it gets just a little rough even with the use of makeup, more moisturizer may help.
In 2010, there is no shortage of acne information. There are literally thousands of acne products available at your nearby cosmetic counter or supermarket, or at much more reasonable prices over the Internet.
Each month there are at least 100 new formal product reviews for acne skin care13. We can give you a hundred rules and link you to a hundred articles to tell you how to control acne on your face and on your body with good results.
But why try to follow long lists of rules about acne treatments? You can save time and money, and it’s just a whole lot easier, to get all your acne treatment in one place. There are lots of products that get lousy results, but acne sufferers are universally pleased with the widely recommended Acnezine and Exposed. Take a look at these top products today and you will find the system that will work for you.
To be your most trusted ally in your pursuit of clear, healthy skin.