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Post in Clean Beauty
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How can I shrink pores

Hi, I am 29 with sensitive rosacea prone skin, and would like some advice on how to clean or shrink my pores down from my nose and upper cheeks. I just recently purchased the Glow Recipe’s PHA and BHA pore refining toner and have just been testing products as I go but haven’t really found something I love quite as much yet. I still need to give the #GlowRecipe a try but would like to know if anyone has any experience or advice for me. 

Re: How can I shrink pores

Hi @IraA !  If your pores are normally visible, you can't really "shrink" them; they'll always be visible. And that's okay! Pores are a normal feature of skin, especially on and around the nose and upper cheek area. MANY people have visible pores there, despite what some "beauty influencers/gurus/whatever" portray in their filtered videos and photos. I have mostly-dry combo skin, and all my visible pores are on and around my nose. They'll always be visible: I can't shrink or "erase" them. I just try to ensure they don't get clogged with bacteria and excessive dead skin cells. 

 

If your pores look larger than usual, you're on the right track with BHA, aka salicylic acid. BHA gets down into your pores to clear out gunk that stretches your pores wider than normal. Just make sure the BHA in your product is salicylic acid, not willow bark extract which is sometimes touted as "a natural salicylic acid" but doesn't do what BHA does. You'll want true salicylic acid. A 2% strength BHA exfoliant used 1-3 times a week is often plenty enough to bring pores back to their normal size, plus kill acne-causing bacteria and exfoliate some dead skin from the surface of your face. 

 

That Glow Recipe toner contains PHA which is a great exfoliant for sensitive skin—but it can't degunk your pores like BHA can. Since that Glow Recipe toner doesn't contain salicylic acid, consider something like Paula's Choice Mini Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 1 oz/ 30 mL , Paula's Choice CLEAR Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid 4 oz/ 118 mL , or The INKEY List Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) Blemish + Blackhead Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL . If you find a leave-on BHA is too irritating for your skin, try using a BHA cleanser 1-3 times a week; something like Paula's Choice CLEAR Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser 6 oz/ 177 mL or The INKEY List Salicylic Acid Cleanser 5 oz/ 150 mL would work well. Just let the cleanser sit on your skin for 1-2 minutes before rinsing off. 

 

Niacinamide won't exfoliate your skin or degunk your pores, but it can help maintain your normal pore size. Check your other skincare products to see if they contain niacinamide. If they don't, consider Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner or, if you can find it, e.l.f. Hydrating Water Essence. (I think e.l.f. recently discontinued that toner, which is unfortunate.) You could also try a standalone niacinamide serum like The INKEY List Niacinamide Oil Control Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL , The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% 1 oz/ 30 mL , or Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster. 

Re: How can I shrink pores

Thank you @WinglessOne great advice and I will definitely be trying the products out as soon as I can get my hands on them!

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