Pores are tiny holes in the skin containing hair follicles, sebum (an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands that protects and moistens your skin when combined with sweat) and sweat glands. Large pores can be caused by genetics, poor skin care, increased oil production or puberty.
With the advent of advanced photo-editing software, magazines are now filled with men and women exhibiting beautiful, pore-free skin. These images can create a great deal of insecurity in those who have larger, or even average-sized, pores. Realistically, of course, we cannot all have flawless, airbrushed skin as seen in fashion editorials, but there are a number of ways in which you can hide or minimize the appearance of pores.
Avoid heavy liquid foundations, as they are oily and can settle into the skin, causing pores to look larger. There are a number of pore-minimizing concealers and foundations on the market, but be careful in your selection, as some may clog your pores. Choose a light, water-based, oil-free foundation, and apply it to your skin sparingly with a clean make-up sponge. Make sure to wash your make-up sponges and brushes once every two weeks, as they can collect a build-up of dirt and oil.
Wash your face twice daily, using a pore-refining facial cleanser, and apply a gentle, oil-free, fragrance-free moisturizer each time you wash. Also be sure to wash your face free of any make-up before you go to bed. Excess oil can attach itself to the edges of your pores, causing them to appear larger, so it's important to maintain a good skin care regimen.
Avoid popping, squeezing or otherwise irritating your pimples or blackheads. You can stretch or injure the pore by attempting to pop blemishes. In some cases, larger pores are actually the result of scarring caused by squeezing or pinching pimples and blackheads. Instead, use a cream or face wash designed specifically to get rid of blemishes.
Exfoliate your skin once a week. Regular exfoliation helps to rid your skin of dead cells. These dead cells can clog pores, causing them to appear larger and, in some cases, develop into pimples.