Blackheads and large pores often go hand in hand. According to Mayo Clinic, the main difference between a whitehead and a blackhead is that whiteheads are raised, enclosed bumps, and blackheads are clogged, open pores with dark spots, or heads. These heads can give the illusion that pores are enlarged, and oftentimes this is precisely the case. Use these tips to get rid of blackheads and shrink large pores with home remedies you can do yourself.
What Causes Large Pores?
a. Protracted Sun Exposure: It can lead to enlarged open pores as it damages the skin collagen, thereby shrinking the elasticity of the walls of the skin pore canals.
b. Age Factor: With aging, the open pores tend to enlarge as the skin loses its elasticity.
c. Genetics: In some cases heredity is the cause for enlarged pores.
d. Excessive Oil Production: If the oil production is normal, the natural oil (sebum) clearly flows through the skin pore lining to get out of the pore and spread over the skin’s surface gradually. On the other hand if the oil glands produce too much of oil, the excess oil combines with other substances (like skin dead cells, dirt, and sweat) in the pores to create clogs. Consequently, these clogs render it tough for the oil to flow freely, thereby causing the pores to get enlarged.
Ice works as a simple and effective home remedy to help shrink large pores due to its skin tightening effect. It is often used to minimize enlarged pores before applying makeup. It will also stimulate circulation and promote healthier skin.
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean washcloth and hold it on your skin for 15 to 30 seconds. Do this a few times daily. You can reduce the frequency of use when you see improvement.
- Alternatively, you can simply wash your face with ice cold water once daily.
To enhance the benefits of this remedy, infuse the water for ice cubes with cucumber juice, apple juice, green tea or rose water.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar works as a natural astringent and skin toner. Thus, it tightens your skin, reduces large pores, and restores the skin’s pH balance. Plus, it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help treat acne breakouts.
- Mix equal amounts of organic apple cider vinegar and water.
- Soak a cotton ball in the solution and apply it to your face.
- Leave it on for a few minutes, and then rinse it off.
- For best results, use this remedy every night after cleansing your face. Follow up with a light moisturizer. You will notice improvement within a few weeks.
3. Egg Whites
Egg whites are also widely used to shrink enlarged pores because they tone and tighten the skin. Egg white masks are also great for drawing excess oil out of greasy skin.
- Simply whisk an egg white and spread it evenly on your face. Allow it to dry completely, and then rinse it off. For better results, after applying the egg white, cover your skin with pieces of tissue paper and peel them off when the mixture dries. Do this once or twice a week on a regular basis.
- Alternatively, whip two egg whites along with the juice squeezed from half of a lemon. Spread it on your face, and leave it on for about 10 minutes or until it dries completely. Rinse it off with cool water. Repeat a few times a week for one month.
- Another option is to whisk an egg white and mix in two tablespoons each of lemon juice and oatmeal. Spread it on your face and allow it to dry for 30 minutes. Finally, scrub it off and wash your face with cool water. For best results, repeat twice weekly for several weeks.
4. Fuller’s Earth
Fuller’s earth, also known as multani mitti, is another useful natural remedy for open pores as it absorbs excess oil and exfoliates the skin. In addition, it helps reduce scars and blemishes and benefits sun-damaged skin.
- Mix sufficient rose water in two tablespoons of fuller’s earth to make a paste.
- Apply it on your face, and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes until it dries.
- Scrub it off and rinse your face with cool water.
- Use this mud mask once or twice a week regularly.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda works as a gentle exfoliating agent, removing excess oil, dirt and debris from your skin. It also helps balance the pH levels of the skin and reduces problems like acne and pimples due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Mix two tablespoons each of baking soda and lukewarm water.
- Apply the mixture on your skin and massage in circular motion for a few seconds.
- Finally, rinse it off with cool water.
- Repeat the process daily for five to seven days. Then reduce the frequency to three to five times a week for a few weeks.
What Causes Blackheads?
Some factors can increase your chances of developing acne and blackheads, including:
- producing too much body oil
- the buildup of the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria on the skin
- irritation of the hair follicles when dead skins cells don’t shed on a regular basis
- undergoing hormonal changes that cause an increase in oil production during the teen years, during menstruation, or while taking birth control pills
- taking certain drugs, such as corticosteroids, lithium, or androgens
1. Honey and Milk Pore Strips
Milk and honey both have properties that are good for skin. Honey has antibacterial properties, and the lactic acid in milk is said to help keep skin soft and supple. The main purpose here though is, when mixed together, to act as an adhesive.
You will need…
-1 tablespoon of organic raw honey
-1 teaspoon of milk
-Clean strip of cotton
Mix 1 tablespoon of organic raw honey with 1 teaspoon of milk. Heat it for 5-10 seconds in the microwave, and then mix again to blend thoroughly. When it’s a comfortable temperature, apply a thin layer over blackheads, and then gently but firmly pat a strip of dry, clean, cotton onto it. Let dry (to play it safe, wait at least 20 minutes) and carefully peel the strip away. Rinse with cold water and moisturize as usual.
2. Cinnamon & Honey Strips
It sounds like a delicious candy, but cinnamon and honey make a wonderful combination for getting rid of blackheads. Again, the anti-bacterial agents in the honey can help keep away bacteria that are causing acne (not necessarily blackheads, but still a bonus) as well as act as the adhesive to pull out anything clogging your pores. Cinnamon improves circulation, and this increased blood flow gives your skin a smooth, healthy, glow.
You will need…
– 1 part cinnamon powder
-1 part organic, raw, honey
-Clean strips of cotton
Mix the honey and the cinnamon together until you have enough paste to cover the affected area. Apply in a thin layer over the blackheads and then press a strip of clean cotton over it. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes before removing and rinsing your face. Don’t forget to follow up with a moisturizer!
3. Toner for Tighter Pores
Since blackheads are caused by open, clogged, pores reacting to oxygen, it only makes sense that “shrinking” your pores down will help. Lemon juice is just the astringent substance needed to get the job done, however, it can lighten skin temporarily and it does make you sensitive to the sun, so load up on sunscreen if you plan on using this method in the summertime. If you have sensitive skin, try diluting the lemon juice with water first.
You will need…
-A small bottle
Rinse your face and pat dry. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bottle and then use just enough to dampen a cotton ball. Apply to affected areas 3-4 times a week, at bedtime. When you wake up, rinse your face with luke-warm water and apply moisturizer as usual. Store the rest of the juice in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be aware-the juice can sting sometimes!
4. Cleansing Sugar Scrub
Sometimes all you need is a good exfoliating followed up by moisturizing. Exfoliating does one very important job-it sloughs away dead skin cells. These are the skin cells that could potentially clog up your pores, leading to acne, whiteheads, and of course, blackheads. It also temporarily revives circulation and it leaves you with a healthy glow and soft skin. If possible use jojoba oil, as it is the oil (technically liquid wax) that most closely mimics our skins own sebum. If you don’t have jojoba oil, grapeseed, olive, or sweet almond oil are all fine substitutes
You will need…
-1 cup of sugar (brown or white)
-4 tablespoons of jojoba oil
-An airtight glass jar
-Essential oils (optional)
Mix 4 tablespoons of oil into 1 cup of sugar, stirring until everything is fully incorporated. Add several drops of essential oil for fragrance if you like. Store in a cool dark place in a glass jar for up to the shelf-life of the oil you chose to use (although if for some reason I haven’t used it all, I personally make a fresh batch after about 1 ½ months.) Stir before using and then wet face, scoop some scrub onto your fingertips, and massage it over your skin in circular motions. Rinse with water and moisturize as usual. Do this no more than 2-3 times a week, otherwise you risk drying out and/or irritating your skin.
5. Steam It Out
Steam may not literally open your pores (see blackhead myths below) but it can help reduce the appearance of them by softening up trapped sebum/dead skin cells that can fill out your pores and form blackheads.
You will need…
-A large bowl
-A soft clean towel
Fill a bowl with boiling water. Let it cool briefly, then cover your head with a towel and lean over it for 5-10 minutes to allow the steam to loosen anything in your pores (form the towel like a tent so no steam escapes.) Be careful not to get to close or you risk burning your skin. When you are done, rinse your face with warm water and pat firmly but gently dry with a clean towel (or gently wipe away the blackheads.) Moisturize as usual. Repeat this several times a week, or as needed.
Skin care is a balancing act-keep that in mind whenever you’re doing something that involves cleansing or washing (or pore strips.) Overdoing it is going to make matter much worse in the long run. Pore strips are great when you really need them, but it’s best to try and prevent the blackheads in the first place by keeping up a good skin care regime.